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C Allen




Location: Wasilla Alaska
Joined: 02 Oct 2018

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue 02 Oct, 2018 3:25 pm    Post subject: Need help in identification Very old Japanese Sword         Reply with quote

Greetings, I need some assistance. We have acquired a Collection of Japanese War Memorabilia. The collocection is nice, consisting of 5 swords, and a very Impressive collection of Japanese War Medals.
The one that really catches my eye and intrigues me was an actual ‘barn find’ from Alabama. As the barn was being torn down, this blade was found in the floor joice. Along with the blade a coin was found, a McArthuratriation coin, which I have pictures of as well.
Also in the collection are 2 Civil War era swords. One is a Calvary Sword, and I have already deduced that it’s value has been destroyed by polishing. So 5 swords, three are Japanese, two are Civil War Era.
I am really interested and enthused about this blade ( the barn find )
I am attaching a link to a shared google album https://photos.app.goo.gl/7RmmrYHtykVVsnyGA
I am willing to take more pictures if needed.
Thanks for your help and advice. I need it. Taking things slowly, and being careful. I wish I could find an appraiser here in Alaska, I notice Wasilla being mentioned, coincidentally I am from Wasilla as well. If you know a qualified appraiser please by all means tell me.I am willing to pay the cost.
If anyone is interested in Japanese Medals, I can post pictures as well.
Thank You for your time and viewing this post.[/url]

My pictures appear to be too large, please view the link to the google shared album. Thanks
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,838

PostPosted: Tue 02 Oct, 2018 7:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As it is often so, finding the right venue to post inquiries can be a search in and of itself. There are a few that read here well versed with Japanese swords but when in doubt, the following may be one of the best to answer questions about Japanese swords.

http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/

Frankly, I'm surprised there was no more response there at another board but the subsection you posted to isn't where most read there.

Cheers
GC
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C Allen




Location: Wasilla Alaska
Joined: 02 Oct 2018

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue 02 Oct, 2018 10:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glen A Cleeton wrote:
As it is often so, finding the right venue to post inquiries can be a search in and of itself. There are a few that read here well versed with Japanese swords but when in doubt, the following may be one of the best to answer questions about Japanese swords.

http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/

Frankly, I'm surprised there was no more response there at another board but the subsection you posted to isn't where most read there.

Cheers
GC


Well, I received an evaluation that was valid tonight. It appears to be a real 16th ccentury Sword. Condition is everything, and well, to go further would be very expensive for what actual cash value would be in the end. This has been an interesting ride. To say the least...I learned much.
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Hannes Vereecke




Location: Belgium
Joined: 27 Jul 2016

Posts: 14

PostPosted: Wed 03 Oct, 2018 5:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The sword is indeed in very poor condition and getting it restored (the correct way) would cost a fortune.
I can't read the Kanji on the tang, but if it is not from a well known/respected sword smith, it might not be worth investing in a full restoration.
If it does however turn out to be made by a "famous" smith, it would definitely be worth getting restored.

If it's by a normal/unknown smith, I would leave it as.
Or do what I did (on a tanto though) and attempt a restoration yourself if you are capable Happy.
Lot of hard work, but glad I did it in the end.
Here is my topic on that: http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=35629&highlight=
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C Allen




Location: Wasilla Alaska
Joined: 02 Oct 2018

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed 03 Oct, 2018 4:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hannes Vereecke wrote:
The sword is indeed in very poor condition and getting it restored (the correct way) would cost a fortune.
I can't read the Kanji on the tang, but if it is not from a well known/respected sword smith, it might not be worth investing in a full restoration.
If it does however turn out to be made by a "famous" smith, it would definitely be worth getting restored.

If it's by a normal/unknown smith, I would leave it as.
Or do what I did (on a tanto though) and attempt a restoration yourself if you are capable Happy.
Lot of hard work, but glad I did it in the end.
Here is my topic on that: http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=35629&highlight=


First, thank you for showing me with your links. It is likely a good option... following is the evaluation, disappointing but very informative.
Okay, Chris, looking at the photos from the link, you have what's called a wakizashi, which is a Japanese blade between 12"-24" long on the hacho, the cutting edge. The sugata, or overall shape looks to be Kanbun-Shinto, which is mid-1600s. Looking at the nakago, the mekugiana, or hole, has been drilled, rather than chiseled, which, again, puts the time of its manufacture after 1600.

From the amount of rust on the blade, I doubt that more photos will tell me very much, to be honest. I just checked on the mei & see that you've already contacted the Nihonto Message Board, where I'm a member. The Mutsu-no-kami Yoshiyuki signature can be seen at ( https://nihontoclub....miths/YOS1044),& there might be some history around the blade IF the signature is valid.

The problem is, quite simply, that the blade would first need to be professionally polished, at around $100/inch. Then it would need a new habaki that fits in the blade in front of the nakago, which adds about $350, plus a new shirasaya, or wooden storage case, $400, So, now the wakizashi is prepared, you would send it off to Japan to the NBTHK shinsa, which would authenticate the blade, adding several hundred dollars for the agent to handle the blade's transfer, plus anywhere from $100-$350 for the authentication. Then you would know if your blade was really made by Yoshiyuki...& the blade would probably have a market value of about $1200, depending on whether there are any major flaws that show up during polishing.

Supposedly, a blade made by that smith was used by a famous Japanese statesman, Sakamoto Ryoma, during a fight that killed him, but the actual blade is in a Kyoto museum. So, my professional opinion is to just put some penetrating oil on the blade, & let it soak with a towel wrapped around it. Some of the rust should come off, so it will look cleaner, but you'll never get a clean-looking blade without having it polished, & it just doesn't look like it's worth the money.”
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C Allen




Location: Wasilla Alaska
Joined: 02 Oct 2018

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed 03 Oct, 2018 4:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks to Steve M from the above mentioned forum, here is the interpretation
陸奥守吉行

Mutsu-no-kami Yoshiyuki (meaning: Yoshiyuki, Lord of Mutsu Province).

In this context, "Lord" is an honorary title, and doesn't imply political power. If authentic, this sword will be a nice one to have in the collection. It should go to a professional Japanese sword polisher to get the care it deserves. I am more optimistic about this one than in the other two, even though the others might seem like nicer eye-candy since they come with the full scabbards and other furnishings. To my eye, the other two look like garden-variety wakizashi, and the furnishings look very common, if not downright cheap. The first sword, however, might be something interesting. .

So it appears to be genuine 16 th century Sumari. Disappointing though....bittersweet . What a piece, the stories it could tell.
I would still like to find an appraiser, I posted in off topics looking for an appraiser here in Alaska. Anybody know who the expert might be in this state?
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