Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Not being even an amateur Nihonto collector I accept your dating this naginata to the Koto era.
Otherwise, we are in complete agreement.
See my post #9.
I think that with heavy rust and abundant deep pitting this blade has lost its
value for a serious collector. Full polishing, IMHO,will likely result in exactly what you are describing: complete or at the very least significant loss of Hada.
I appreciate and respect your collection interest in Nihonto and am happy that you were able to restore some valuable examples to perfection. I just think this is not the case with this blade.
My inclination would be to leave it alone. Oiling it to prevent further damage and respecting its age and hard life.
Long ago I bought a sword at a Gun and Knife Show for a maximum I could afford then :$25. It was in a fire and retempered, the blade lost a lot of its width and thickness from repeated sharpenings and polishing, the Yakiba was no more than 2-3 mm wide and soft steel was showing.
But it was signed, and several “serious” Nihonto buffs told me that the smith was Kanesada first generation, dating it to ~ 15-16 century ( if I remember correctly).
From the”serious collector” perch it was not worth even what I paid for it:-) And that was what I was told repeatedly : hopeless sword that was long dead.
But for me this sword was important: many generations of warriors knew something about this blade, brought it back to life many times over and kept it despite its obvious flaws. They just did not want to see it die. It had some special historical value. We cannot recall it, but generations of samurai did.
And that is why I keep it, despite not collecting Nihonto.