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Thread: Japanese Police Sword marking?

  1. #1
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    Japanese Police Sword marking?

    Gents,

    I picked up a nice Japanese Police sword with an unknown maker or proof marking on the blade. Any idea of the meaning of this marking?

    George
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  2. #2
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    George,

    Interesting piece. It seems to me that if it was a maker's mark, it would be located on the tang, not on an exposed blade surface. To this end, perhaps this is a rudimentary horimono?
    mark@swordforum.com

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  3. #3
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    Thanks Mark... I don't really know. The character is the same as that found in a two character Kami (God) stamp on page 82 of Fuller & Gregory. That stamp is listed as "...significance unknown. Very rare."
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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    George,

    Is that a machine-made blade or possibly an heirloom one (I know the latter would be rare in a police sword)? It looks like a nice one.
    Tom Donoho

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    Although this won't be much help, I do own a naval prison warden sword much like yours and it has a (different) stamp on the blade as well. I'd never really seen many with stamped blades before mostly stamped nakago.

    Best regards,
    Chris Covington

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Donoho View Post
    George,

    Is that a machine-made blade or possibly an heirloom one (I know the latter would be rare in a police sword)? It looks like a nice one.
    The sword blade is possibly an heirloom blade. It is very short @ 17 1/2" from guard to tip with a brushed silver habaki. The blade has a faint Hamon and a ubu-ha blunt area for about 1 1/2" in front of the habaki. I suspect the sword is Showato but it is hard to tell since most of these police swords have weapon grade polished blades. Very possibly a reworked older blade.

    George
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    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  7. #7
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    I know very little about Japanese swords. But I do recall seeing a police saber and a parade saber with an heirloom blade--on both of those the tangs were obviousy reworked to fit the grips and accept being secured by a nut type assembly with the end of the tangs given a few threads. I know most are fitted with machine-made blades and they look it. But your sword looks a step up for some reason.
    Tom Donoho

  8. #8
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    Hello,

    Just thought I would resurrect this thread as I have recently acquired a Japanese police sword, which has a traditional blade but strangely it has exactly the same marking! Mine however was hidden under the habaki.

    Last edited by william.m; 02-15-2018 at 12:48 AM.

  9. #9
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    William,

    Many thanks for the reply showing your blade marking. I have never broken mine down to see the tang but looking at my "fat" grip it seems it is wide and roomy enough to accommodate a traditional blade with a wide tang. At least we both know that there are more than one of these out there floating around.

    George
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  10. #10
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    I am currently in the process of polishing the blade but the two swords look extremely similar with the main difference to me at least being the colour of the leather grip. Mine is black. Nakago: https://imgur.com/a1s6bp3

    The nakago is missing the hole so these blades were purpose-built for these police swords and are not converted wakizashi. I suspect that the blade is mono-steel and not tamaghane but it should come out when I apply the fingerstones and nugi. However the blades do look as if they were made using traditional methods before those techniques and craftsmen had become scarce and the 'revival' of skills in the mid 30's was promoted by the Japanese state.

    With this in mind, these two swords were probably made around 1880 to 1920

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