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Thread: Old Katana, or is it?

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  1. #11
    Advisory Panel Surpmil's Avatar
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    The menuki look a bit like one of Hiroshige's waves behind that shell and the fat little fellow might be Hotei, a good luck deity IIRC.

    Or maybe Bodai Daruma, but Hotei is sometimes shown with monkey attendants and a stick, and that might be one on the figure's right arm/stick?

    Probably a bit of a stretch to suggest there is an allusion there to "wave men" as the ronin were called!
    Last edited by Surpmil; 02-14-2021 at 12:58 AM.
    "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." W.L.S.C..

    "None need deceive a people determined to deceive themselves."

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    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
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    Katana Tang

    I had visons of getting my Katana sword polished up, I sourced a chap over east that was trained in Japanicon for those 10 years I asked about the tang and that would have cost me $200/Aud for the answer. I did get the maker here but have lost all the info due to a computer hard drive crash like I lost about 8 years of data aarrgh! Got it about 8-9 years ago it did not cost me much the price of a OA 1945 '07 bayonet & scabbard he wanted ($175/Aud) so pretty happy with the deal. The last pic shows the tang to have 3 holes makes me think it may have had another handle on it.
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  7. #13
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CINDERS View Post
    I had visons of getting my Katana sword polished up
    I think it looks fine just as is. Nice looking weapon.
    Regards, Jim

  8. #14
    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Menuki

    The first one is a crested bird. A crane, perhaps? Or maybe a dragon? Anyway, that is a wing in the centre.

    - I haven't a clue about Japaneseicon swords, so my answer is not prejudiced by any specific knowledge
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 02-14-2021 at 03:29 PM.

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  10. #15
    Contributing Member IanS's Avatar
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    Hi Cinders,

    You appear to have an old blade dressed up in military guise. The main giveaways are the tsuba, menuki and the saya. The holes in the tang usually indicate that the blade has been shortened, this most likely done when there was a legal requirement to do so and that's a long time ago. The blade is most likely a family blade used by a family member, serving as an army officer. The tang is very clean and usually it is pretty rusty when very old. I haven't a clue what the writing says, possibly the date made and or the smith's name. You can find the date conversions online as with the names of sword smiths, probably a time consuming job though. The value of the sword will be mostly in the blade, a lot more than $175Aud.

    Hi Surpmil, hi Patrick,

    thanks for the input, it's very helpful and very much appreciated

    Ian
    Last edited by IanS; 02-14-2021 at 07:41 PM. Reason: Added text

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  12. #16
    Contributing Member IanS's Avatar
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    Had another look at the puzzling menuki and having looked more closely, it seems there are two sets of clenched claws/toes, under what could be described as the neck or crop of a crane.
    In the circumstances, I'm going to accept Patrick's explanation. Surpmil will have to forgive me unless of course, he agrees too.

    I'm glad I asked for help as I can now continue wrapping the tsuka.

    Ian
    Last edited by IanS; 02-15-2021 at 09:05 AM. Reason: Added text

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    Quote Originally Posted by CINDERS View Post
    I had visons of getting my Katana sword polished up, I sourced a chap over east that was trained in Japan for those 10 years I asked about the tang and that would have cost me $200/Aud for the answer. I did get the maker here but have lost all the info due to a computer hard drive crash like I lost about 8 years of data aarrgh! Got it about 8-9 years ago it did not cost me much the price of a OA 1945 '07 bayonet & scabbard he wanted ($175/Aud) so pretty happy with the deal. The last pic shows the tang to have 3 holes makes me think it may have had another handle on it.
    It was me Ron, who sent you the info should be on a thread here somewhere, a dealer I know specialises in Japaneseicon swords, so if anyone wants info just send a PM etc.


  14. #18
    Advisory Panel Surpmil's Avatar
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    All the same to me Ian! Could be a bird - there is what might be the representation of an eye - even a few indentations that might be an allusion to feathers there on the 'shoulder'. The 'head' resembles a Pterodactyl more than any bird I can think of though - hang on, Crested Ibis maybe?

    Can't really see a wing there though; bird and shell maybe?

    Cinders, the only thing that catches my untrained eye is the last Kanji has been over-struck on another and the tang doesn't show much age. The extra peg holes if I remember what I read many years ago, were sometimes added to give the impression of age, and it's hard to see how the tang could ever have been long enough for those two holes near the end to actually function. They are far enough out of the way however, to perhaps give 'the look' without weakening the tang?

    Any capture history on the sword? Once or twice they've shown up around here with inscriptions in Japaneseicon on old cloth tags attached to the scabbard.
    "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." W.L.S.C..

    "None need deceive a people determined to deceive themselves."

  15. #19
    Contributing Member IanS's Avatar
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    Well, I've taken the renovation to a level I'm happy with for the present. Will do more with the blade once I have learnt how to bring up the hamon (temper line). I saw the hamon at one stage of the polishing but lost it as I progressed to finer grits. I bought a new habaki (brass "wedge" at top of blade) as the original was in a bad state, I cut the new one down to fit the blade. The tsuba (hand guard) was a bit loose so I added some copper and it fits fine now. I was told that the tsuba is sukashi pierced) and early Edo, (early 1600's).

    The tsuka (hilt) is very old but I don't think it's as old as the tsuba, I stripped it right down as it was unglued and had several splits down the grain. When I took the old ito (tsuka wrap) off, it fell to pieces. It's fully rebuilt and lightly reinforced with wood veneers and has been re-wrapped with a new ito. That's another job for the future, re-wrapping properly, using traditional resin.

    The saya (scabbard) is very old too, possibly the same age as the blade which I don't know. I spliced in a piece of wood at the koiguchi (blade entrance) where a piece was missing and sprayed the saya in a satin black, it really needed re-lacquering which can still be done if it's worth doing.

    I've attached some photos, one shows the state of the blade prior to polishing.

    When I get time, I'll upload a photo of my latest acquisitions. Katana with a 700 year old blade and another with a 400 year old blade.
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    Last edited by IanS; 03-31-2021 at 07:49 AM. Reason: Added text

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  17. #20
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Very nice piece. I had a WW2 navy sword that needed some polish and the Hamon also disappeared. I was crushed...gone. It was so clear before too. Looking forward to your other blades.
    Regards, Jim

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