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-   -   WWII Japanese Katana Blade Tang Inscriptions (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=7160)

celtan 28th September 2008 02:56 AM

WWII Japanese Katana Blade Tang Inscriptions
 
Hi,

I recently acquired a WWII officer's katana blade, missing everything from habaki upwards. The blade has an interesting inscription, I was wondering if anyone here reads japanese cursive.

BTW, how difficult is it to adapt a new habaki..?

Best

Manolo

Pics:












Henk 28th September 2008 07:53 AM

Manolo,

I'm convinced the translation of the tang will appear shortly. We have members who are able to give a translation.

The sword is as far as I can judge from the pictures in an awful condition.

To adapt a new habaki and I suppose you mean the other fitings above it as well shouldn't be so difficult. There is enough for sale on ebay. Point is, will it fit this sword? So measurements of the merchandise is necessary. You could look for new replacements, but I strongly advise you to go for original replacements.

stekemest 28th September 2008 09:48 AM

The pictures are upside down. ;)

Maskell 28th September 2008 11:39 AM

Greetings,

Yes, the image is upside down. After standing on my head for awhile I come up with "NOSHU (NO) JU KANEZANE SAKU KORE" which means KANEZANE (sword smiths name) a resident of NOSHU (MINO or present day GIFU providence) SAKU KORE (made this). The small stamp is what's known as a SHOWA stamp meaning it was made 1926 or later, till the end of the SHOWA era. This sword is likely made during WWII. The large stamp is called a KOKUIN, a counter mark with the kanji "Zane" in the center that we Americans call a turtle stamp. The red paint on the other side are assemblay numbers, worn but may be 26? He is listed as making Showato (machine made) and medium grade Gendaito (hand forged) blades. The formal style of kanji would indicate it is a Gendaito.

To have a proper habaki made is expensive and you will be extremely lucky to find one that fits exactly. Hope this is of some help.

Maskell
Jerry

celtan 28th September 2008 02:59 PM

Thank you very much guys,

What do you know? So it was upside down! : )

Henk,Yep, it's in bad condition. I bought it just to rescue same from its owner. So far, I have only cleansed it with penetrating oil, the rust was awful, including some pitting.
Ernest, I'm trying to buy a period tsuba/tsuka et al, but the proper polish is simply out of the question. At least, it will be better than it was...
Jerry, your answer was very much appreciated, learned something new today. and it gives the blade more "personality".

Best regards

Manolo

celtan 24th November 2008 11:21 PM

Hi Guys,

Got me a WWII Tsuba with all the trimmings. No habaki yet. I'm considering taking an alginate impression of the ricasso, making a stone-resin cat of the blade, and send same to have a habaki done.

Regarding the tsuba. Surprise!

It doesn't fit (but I won't yet quit).

Is there any manner in which I may open the tsuba, without destroying the wrappings, so I may adapt same to the tang?

Best

Manolo

BTW: Got me a couple more NCO swords, haven't had yet the time to clean them, so no pics just yet...

Rich 25th November 2008 02:20 AM

You might be interested in knowing about this smith. Check my webpage at:

http://www.geocities.com/alchemyst/kanezane.htm

Since this is a gunto (WW II military), I wouldn't be surprised if finding a
habaki would be fairly easy as the blades had to be within military specs.
Might try David MacDonald at:

http://www.montanairon.com/swords.html

Rich S

Bill M 25th November 2008 07:11 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by stekemest
The pictures are upside down. ;)


Perhaps if you were in Japan, on the other side the world from the USA, in the same position you were here, it would be the proper orientation.......... ;)

kisak 25th November 2008 07:30 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by celtan
Is there any manner in which I may open the tsuba, without destroying the wrappings, so I may adapt same to the tang?


Are you confusing tsuba (guard) with tsuka (grip) here? And to the best of my knowledge the grip isn't considered "disassemle-able". The only part of grips I've heard of getting re-used are the metal parts (fuchi, kashira, menuki).

http://home.earthlink.net/~steinrl/glossary.htm

celtan 26th November 2008 12:47 AM

But that's exactly what happened! I was standing right beside Hachikō in Shibuya when I took that photo...

:p

Best

: ) M

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Marsh
Perhaps if you were in Japan, on the other side the world from the USA, in the same position you were here, it would be the proper orientation.......... ;)

celtan 26th November 2008 01:04 AM

Yep again. Tsuka it its. I bow to your knowledge, O' Kisak-san!.

:(

I believed the same was comprised of two wood halves held together by the combination of kabuto-gane, the ito, same, mekugi, and the fuchi..

So, how did they fit tsubas to the tang? Did they begin with the wood, and once finished , they did the sane-giso and the ito?

And what is more important. How can I adapt a tsuka to the daito's tang without damaging the latter?

Ooopsies! Sorry again, I meant nagako...

: )

M


Quote:
Originally Posted by kisak
Are you confusing tsuba (guard) with tsuka (grip) here?
And to the best of my knowledge the grip isn't considered "disassemle-able". The only part of grips I've heard of getting re-used are the metal parts (fuchi, kashira, menuki).

http://home.earthlink.net/~steinrl/glossary.htm

celtan 26th November 2008 01:07 AM

Hey! Nice link, kisak. Thanks!

Best

M

Andrew 26th November 2008 02:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by celtan
Hey! Nice link, kisak. Thanks!

Best

M


I agree! I wonder who's responsible for that site? :cool:

celtan 26th November 2008 03:24 AM

Dunno!

BTW, just noticed that the colours on the tsukas of both NCO swords I got are different.

One of the tsukas has the ito painted green, the other is brown. Cant't find a reference explaining this difference.

Any ideas?

Toots

M

kisak 26th November 2008 10:50 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by celtan
So, how did they fit tsubas to the tang? Did they begin with the wood, and once finished , they did the sane-giso and the ito?

And what is more important. How can I adapt a tsuka to the daito's tang without damaging the latter?


From what I've understood, traditionally the wooden grip core parts are carved to fit the tang of a specific sword. When well made, the sword is supposed to be held in the grip by friction, with the mekugi pin being there to help push the sword into the grip, and as a safety feature. Once the grip core has been carved, the two halves of it are glued together, and then all the wrappings and so are done.

I'm not sure how the cast-metal hilts on some WW2-era swords were fitted, but as these would most likely be mated to machine made blades, I guess more uniform tang dimensions, coupled with the fact that the demands on overall quality there seems to have been rather low, could have meant that they could just make these to a certain size and have that fit well enough.

Of course, as many WW2-era swords took considerable shortcuts every here and there, they might have cheated a bit here too. Large amounts of washers (seppa) between grip and tsuba, and between the tsuba and habaki, could indicate that things weren't fitted properly.

I've heard that one thing done by some modern day makers of reproduction katana use rip cores with slightly undersized slots for the tang, and then simply force them on so the wood is compressed, and a suitably sized slot created. Of course, this can make it near impossible to disassemble the sword, and risks cracks and other defects in the grip core.

As for adapting the tsuka from one sword to the tang of another, I'm not sure of this is really done at all, at least not on "real" swords such as this one (the machine made ones with cast grips possibly being another matter). Altering the shape of the tang is as far as I can tell a pretty big no-no under most circumstances, and if you're unwrapping the grip, splitting the core, reshaping the slot (assuming this is even possible), and then reassembling everything (most likely needing new cord to wrap with), then getting an entirely new tsuka made probably isn't much extra effort.

Rich 26th November 2008 10:52 AM

Just FYI, both the earthlink and geocities Japanese sword sites are mine.
Just mirror sites due to high volume and low bandwidth allocations.

Rich S

http://www.geocities.com/alchemyst/nihonto.htm
http://home.earthlink.net/~steinrl/nihonto.htm

Andrew 26th November 2008 03:06 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich
Just FYI, both the earthlink and geocities Japanese sword sites are mine.
Just mirror sites due to high volume and low bandwidth allocations.

Rich S

http://www.geocities.com/alchemyst/nihonto.htm
http://home.earthlink.net/~steinrl/nihonto.htm



Aww. You're no fun, Rich. ;) :D

Rich 26th November 2008 10:33 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew
Aww. You're no fun, Rich. ;) :D


Don't blame me, blame earthlink. They're the ones only allowing 1 G per month
access bandwidth.

Rich S

celtan 26th November 2008 10:40 PM

Hi, tried today removing the two shin-gunto tsukas to see the inscriptions on their nagakos. After removing the screw, the tsukas wouldn't budge.

Suggestions?

M

celtan 28th November 2008 11:11 PM

New acquisition 1. Brown painted alum tsuka











celtan 28th November 2008 11:15 PM

New acquisition 2. Green painted alum tsuka










Rich 29th November 2008 12:41 PM

Metal tsukas for NCO shingunto aren't signed. The blades, etc are all machine
made.

Rich

celtan 29th November 2008 02:48 PM

So there's no point in disassembling the tsuka, I guess. Thanks for the hint.

:o

Were they even supossed to be removed?


BTW: I see lots of tsukas being sold over EBay (where I bought mine!) and online. Since they reportedly can't be reused, what's the point of doing so?

:confused:

Best regards

Manuel Luis


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