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Old 3rd June 2017, 10:43 AM   #1
CNK1
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Default Japanese blade

Hello everyone,

recently acquired this japanese blade (I guess), if you have any info about it cause it's clearly not my chosen field. From seller this blade come from Indochina and bring back his grand father in early 1950's.
I join schema of the blade with any measure of the blade.
70cm: 27,55 inch
49.5cm: 19,29 inch
20.5cm: 7,87 inch
3cm: 1,18 inch
2cm: 0,78 inch
45cm: 17,71 inch

Best regards,
Clement
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Old 9th June 2017, 01:39 PM   #2
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Hello friends,

No one got an idea about this blade !?!

Friendly
Clement
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Old 9th June 2017, 04:12 PM   #3
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It does not look Japanese to me. While it does have some Japanese characteristics like the habaki the straightness of it and the geometry of the blade look like it may have been made in imitation of Japanese swords. This is not to say it is a fake, just influenced by Japanese swords. I have been told by people who are knowledgeable on these subjects that Japan exported a lot of swords so perhaps someone copied from that.
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Old 9th June 2017, 04:40 PM   #4
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Hello,

Thank's for your help, this is a way to explore !

I dont know what thinking about this blade, don't have the mekugi ana , no yokote !?! But curiously I got a good feeling, I think it's not recent copy .

Best regards,
Clement
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Old 9th June 2017, 06:16 PM   #5
kai
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Cool

Bonsoir Clement,

this blade is in pretty bad shape and definitely needs lots of TLC (tender loving care)! With all the details hidden under thick, active rust, hardly anything can be commented on...

The Japanese sword tradition is very picky regarding the condition of the blades; I believe this one is beyond rescue and will fall into the relic category after any restoration. OTOH, this means that you can hardly make any serious mistake with any gentle restoration attempts. While sword tangs usually never get cleaned, I'd suggest that you clean the whole piece - any remaining rust is likely to compromise future preservation.

It is well possible that this is a local imitation - there were Japanese expat communities (especially traders and mercenaries) in Viet Nam and many other SE Asian countries.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 9th June 2017, 06:19 PM   #6
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P.S.: Try a search for electrolytic rust removal!

P.P.S.: Try to separate the habaki from the iron blade as soon as possible and process them separately afterwards...
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Old 9th June 2017, 06:22 PM   #7
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Question kikuchi-yari

The length of the tang suggests to me that this may be a polearm blade. Referring to Knutsen's Japanese Spears: Polearms and their Use in Old Japan I see some similarity to a kikuchi-yari in fig. 17. As previously noted, it may also be a form from elsewhere in the region.
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Old 9th June 2017, 06:44 PM   #8
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Good evening kai, lee,

Thank's for your help !

I totaly agree with the restoration of a blade but some time I prefer to wait other view before making an irréversible mistake. No blade in my collection have rust.... this is just, I find, disrespectful for the Smith, the original owner, ans the blade itself.

I've tried electrolytic removal when I was in high school it work Nice ad not really tard tout realised.

Interesting way for the kikuchi-yari ! Unfortunately I haven't this book.... But if you need other picts or measurement tell me it !

Best regards,
Clement
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Old 9th June 2017, 07:34 PM   #9
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I agree with Kai regarding condition and would certainly try the electrolysis process to remove the rust. I have found it to work very well. If you don't know about this process google rust removal by electrolysis which will tell you what you all you want to know. If you wish to bring it back to its original polished condition it will cost you several thousand pounds.
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Old 9th June 2017, 11:07 PM   #10
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In the close up of the habaki it looks as though the blade lower edge at the hamachi runs into a slot in the habaki rather than being coned by it and resting on the machigane inside the habaki. Not conclusive but does point to a non traditional Japanese blade.
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Old 10th June 2017, 12:06 AM   #11
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Superficially, it looks like a modern Chinese-made "ninja sword". Straight, 20"/50cm blade, tang a suitable length for mounting with a 12" tsuka/hilt. The habaki looks very much like those used on modern Chinese-made katana (and ninja swords).

However, if it's from the 1950s, this isn't what it is. Also, the details of the tip are not like the modern Chinese-made ninja swords.

The tang has no hole for a pin, so it hasn't been mounted Japanese-style. It's either been left as a bare blade or was mounted with the tang glued-in, SE Asian style rather than Japanese-style (pinned). If it was mounted, why is the rust so uniform? So maybe never mounted.

So, some speculations:
  • Modern Chinese-made ninja sword blade, never mounted, artificially aged - unusual for the tip to be modified in this kind of fakery
  • Old SE Asian ninja sword made for tourist sale c. 1950 - the habaki looks very modern in style; the old SE Asian (mostly Indonesian?) replicas/fakes used different styles of habaki
  • Old SE Asian imitation-Japanese cane/stick sword, c. 1950 - habaki is still a bit of a mystery
  • Old Japanese cane/stick sword, age inconnu - AFAIK, these would usually have been pinned. Maybe some were glued.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee
The length of the tang suggests to me that this may be a polearm blade. Referring to Knutsen's Japanese Spears: Polearms and their Use in Old Japan I see some similarity to a kikuchi-yari in fig. 17. As previously noted, it may also be a form from elsewhere in the region.
It's a normal length of tang for an 11" or 12" tsuka (which is long for a blade as short as this, traditionally, but common on modern Chinese-made blades).

Very short for a kikuchi-yari tang; plate 3 in Knutsen shows a typical one.
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Old 10th June 2017, 09:28 AM   #12
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Good morning friends,

Thank's for your help !

Unfortunately I think Timo said all about this blade, this is probably a copy !

I bought it to a non-collector but it's not a guarantee of authenticity, fortunately I haven't paid high price so this is the price of the knowledge

So thank's again to share your knowledge with me, it's everytime a great pleasure to learn !

Best regards,
Clement
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Old 17th June 2017, 08:59 PM   #13
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I agree, definitely not a real nihonto (Japanese sword).

For comparison, a picture of the blade of a 14th century Kikuchi Yari, greatly shortened to be mounted as a tanto (dagger).
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Old 18th June 2017, 09:27 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo Nieminen
Very short for a kikuchi-yari tang; plate 3 in Knutsen shows a typical one.
I have two ubu (uncut) kikuchi yari, both are mounted, one has a long tang, the other does not. With so few known uncut examples it is hard to know what was "typical".




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