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Old 1st October 2007, 11:28 PM   #1
Robert
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Default Sword ID And Translation Help Needed

This is a sword that I've had for awhile and need help in identifying. The steel blade is of diamond shape and is 21-7/8" in length. The tang is set into the grip with what I believe to be pitch or some other type of resin. At the hilt the blade is just over 1/4 " thick. Hilt is made of wood and is 5-5/8" in length, 1" thick and 1-1/2" wide. Unfortunately there is some damage to the carved end. Total length of sword is 27-1/2". Scabbard is a dark wood with four large diamonds (1") and four small diamonds (1/4") carved into it. There is also a star about 1" across carved into it. There is some kind or writing carved into the hilt that can be seen in one of the pictures. I will do a rubbing of it later and post it in hope of getting a translation. Any help in identifying this sword and the writing would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Robert
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Old 2nd October 2007, 06:58 PM   #2
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Here are the characters that are carved into the grip. I am hoping that someone can translate these and that they might help in identifying where this sword came from.

Robert
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Last edited by Robert Coleman : 2nd October 2007 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 2nd October 2007, 07:55 PM   #3
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Would it be possible to get a couple of close up shots of the blade? The writing looks Asian but the handle and scabbard are atypical of anything I am familiar with. The blade could be a nice old blade so close up shots might reveal the qualities of the steel.
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Old 2nd October 2007, 08:34 PM   #4
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These are the best that I could do with the camera that I have. Hope they help.

Robert
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Old 2nd October 2007, 08:42 PM   #5
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Robert, try rotating the writing 180*. I can't translate, but some of the characters are upside-down.
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Old 2nd October 2007, 08:53 PM   #6
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Hi Andrew,
Thank you for letting me know. I had no idea that I posted the writing upside down.

Robert
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Old 3rd October 2007, 02:11 AM   #7
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The blade very well may be an old Chinese Jian blade. The diamond shape cross section plus the bottom picture hints at an inserted edge and there seems to be some hints of lamination in the blade especially near the hilt. The point, however, is much more tapered than is typical and may be the result a slightly longer blade being reshaped or shortened due to tip damage. The handle and scabbard are unique but seem to show some age and may point to a small ethnic group. I like the blade. It has a certain stoutness to it!
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Old 3rd October 2007, 03:24 AM   #8
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RSWORD,
Thank you for the information. What would be the best way to tell if it has an inserted edge ? Would etching the blade with lime juice help or would that be a bad idea? Thanks again.

Robert
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Old 3rd October 2007, 12:23 PM   #9
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Hi Robert,

If you look at your bottom picture and then look at the bottom edge you can see that the very edge is showing up slightly lighter in color than the body of steel. You can also see, if you look real close, a faint "line" or "hamon" which is visible to my eye in that sunlight you took the photo. I do not recommend lime juice for this blade. If you wanted to give it an etch to see what may pop out I would recommend using a hot vinegar etch, taking your time and watching closely along the edges for a "hamon" and also looking at the body of the blade near the ridge line for any subtle lamination. Look at the blade closely in sunlight in those areas and you should be able to see what I am seeing in your pictures. If you do decide to do an etch please share the results!
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Old 3rd October 2007, 01:04 PM   #10
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RSWORD,
I did as you suggested and looked at the blade in the sunlight this morning. I can see a line about an 1/8" in from the edge of the blade down both sides. Funny how I never noticed this before. I don't think that I will etch the blade until I find a little more information on it. Do you know of anyone I might contact to have the writing translated? Thanks again for all your help.

Robert
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Old 3rd October 2007, 11:04 PM   #11
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Let me suggest that some lines of the characters are missing, and that the two right bottom characters are Ri and Ben, like in Japan, Ri missing a little on the top. The reason a suggest this is partly that I have had a dao with the characters Ri Ben Da Guo, Great Japan Empire, and Zheng, like in government, plus some thing about Manchuria, a I forgot the exact words, written on the handle in a similar fashion. Maybe this can give some lead to the meaning.
With may dao I speculated that it may have belonged to a Quisling group in Manchuria during the Japanese occupation, and maybe marked to show, who they where, if checked by japanese soldiers. This one doesn't have the exact same writing though, but still I must say the characters for Japan is rather close.

Also some times rebel groups did this on their weapons like the Tai Ping, and we have Tai as the second character to the left. The top left character can be Zheng as in right, correct, proper if one little line is missing....

Anyway, a few suggestions, interesting if somebody can figure the whole meaning.
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Old 3rd October 2007, 11:39 PM   #12
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Klas,
Thank you very much for your help. I am adding a new picture that I have made of the markings with a little more detail. It is very hard to tell if some of the markings on the grip were made as part of the writing or are just damage to the wood. I hope that this new picture will help.

Robert
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Old 8th October 2007, 07:17 PM   #13
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Well, I finally got a decent picture of the grip where the characters can be seen. I hope this helps as I would really like to find out something about this sword.

Robert
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Old 8th October 2007, 08:36 PM   #14
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Default Similar Weapon

There is a similar weapon pictured in "Traditional Weapons of theIndonesian Archilepgo" on page 61, fig 185, called a Kaso,

Description as follows:

"Kaso
(Kasok, Kasoq)

Sumatra, Aceh

A long straight double edged sword. The hilt is straight and cylinderical in cross-section, broadening towards th point and the blade. In the past those seeking revenge used this weapon when standing under the pile-house and plunging it through the floor on which the master of the house was reclined."

A Van Zonneveld (quote)

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Old 9th October 2007, 02:23 AM   #15
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Rand,
Thank you for your help in this. I am ashamed to say that I do not own a copy of Albert's book yet. Hopefully someone can post a picture of the sword that you have mentioned. Thank you again.

Robert
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Old 9th October 2007, 02:37 AM   #16
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Default Kaso Pics

Kaso Pics
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Old 9th October 2007, 03:08 AM   #17
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Rand,
Thank you for the pictures. I see what you mean. The blades and grips are quite similar in style and shape with the main difference being in the ricasso area of the blade and the fact that the one in Albert's book has a ferrell to reinforce the grip and mine does not. It is too bad that there are no measurements and no scabbard shown with the one pictured in the book as it would also help in this swords identification. Again my thanks. Now if I could just get the writing translated.

Robert
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Old 9th October 2007, 03:47 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Coleman
Rand,
Thank you for the pictures. I see what you mean. The blades and grips are quite similar in style and shape with the main difference being in the ricasso area of the blade and the fact that the one in Albert's book has a ferrell to reinforce the grip and mine does not. It is too bad that there are no measurements and no scabbard shown with the one pictured in the book as it would also help in this swords identification. Again my thanks. Now if I could just get the writing translated.

Robert


Under the photo it says the length of the kaso, 104cm


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Old 9th October 2007, 04:11 AM   #19
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Hum, not quite sure how I missed that. Mine is only about 70cm in length making it much shorter than the one pictured. Still the two do seem very similar.

Robert
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Old 19th October 2007, 07:52 PM   #20
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Lightbulb Translation of the writing

Hi Robert,

I may have found you some answers. I have attached your image of the writing for reference.

My daughter is fluent in Japanese and took at look at the writing. Here is what she wrote back:

Quote:
"This is very old, fancy writing. The second character (far right column down) means I, or myself, the third character (below that one) could mean rice paddy, a common component of many Japanese names ("da"). HOWEVER, the character below rice paddy is part of the word "nihon" which means Japan, and that makes me think the rice paddy character is really the "ni" part of nihon, and just written in a really old fashioned way that's missing a stroke. The first column is probably the guy's name..the first two characters are "correct" and "fat," but there's probably an alternative meaning for the fat one. correct is pronounced tadashi and fat is futo. i can't read the last character. So the guy's last name was Tadashi and his first name was like fat something, maybe like "bountiful harvest."


Maybe now armed with this information you and other forum members can zero in on a better identification.

Best of luck,

Dave A.
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Old 19th October 2007, 09:48 PM   #21
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Dave,
I cannot thank you and your daughter enough for your help in this. Did she see the picture of the hilt itself or just my poor rendition of the characters? If she has not seen the picture of the hilt could you possibly show it to her as I could have missed something when I made an attempt to reproduce it in a larger clearer form or posting. Thank you again for you and your daughters help.


Robert
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Old 19th October 2007, 10:16 PM   #22
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The Kaso also crossed my mind but the blade of Robert's example is way too short to meet its intended purpose. Moreover, the carving of the hilt doesn't strike me as Aceh nor Sumatran in general...

Regards,
Kai
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Old 22nd October 2007, 04:32 PM   #23
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This is the only other sword that I have that has a blade similar in style and length to the one above but as you can see the hilt is completely different. Still hoping to get a complete translation on the carved script.

Robert
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Old 22nd October 2007, 10:07 PM   #24
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Robert, this last one looks more northern PI to me.
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Old 22nd October 2007, 10:44 PM   #25
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OK, Now I'm really going out on a limb. If the writing on the hilt is Japanese does anyone know anythig about the edged weapons carried by the native people of the Aleutian Islands? Just a wild guess.

Robert
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Old 23rd October 2007, 04:15 PM   #26
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Default writing on handle- more

Robert,

I have sent the picture of the hilt with the writing to my daughter for comparison with your rendition of it. Heard nothing back yet. I will post info if she has anything more to add.

My guess is that you have a farming tool once owned by a villager named "Fat Tadashi" from Nihon (Japan). The "Ni" character has a double meaning (see my earlier post with my daughter's info): "rice paddy" and also the "Ni" sound in Nihon. So I'm guessing it is not Aleutian since I don't think rice grows well in the climate!

Again, I'm not an expert...

Good hunting.

- Dave
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Old 23rd October 2007, 04:47 PM   #27
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in my travels around the aleutians i never saw an aleut with a long knife or sword, maybe a harpoon, american hunting knife or a ulu but no long knives. there may have been some on dutch harbour where the japanese had an outpost dug in for a while, but we were discouraged from walking around there due to unexploded ordinance (ie mines). the aleutians belonged to russia before we americans bought them from the tsar.

aleuts are the Unangans, the related Sugpiaq from the kodiak area are also called Alutiq but will not be upset to be called aleut (aleut was a russian designation)

Ulu:


some earlier ones, they'd make them of polished slate, bone, etc.



also used a small 'crooked' knife for carving items like kayaks, bowls, etc. some with rather fancy handles much larger than the blade.

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Old 12th November 2007, 10:20 PM   #28
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Well, after finally taking RSWORDS advice I started Googling everything Chinese that I could think of and found this link forum.grtc.org/viewtopic.php?t=426 - 80k - The blade on mine looks amazingly like the one on this spear. I just wish it had the dimensions listed. Still waiting for information on the writing. Just checked the link and you will have to cut and paste it into your address bar to get it to work.

Robert
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Old 21st November 2007, 07:14 PM   #29
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Robert.
This be the Chinese writing, is the name of a Japanese."松井本正太郎。The sword isn't Chinese or Japanese.I think that day originally of the emigrant create.
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Old 22nd November 2007, 04:10 AM   #30
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Fengmodao,
Thank you very much for the information. Could you possibly translate the name for me? I was hoping that the translation might help in placing where this sword was from but now I don't think it will. I would still like to know the name carved into it though. Thank you again for your help.

Robert
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