Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: What should I do with this blade?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Hammond
    Posts
    4

    What should I do with this blade?

    I obtained this piece from a wise old sword collector who was also a pretty handy in the work-shop. In fact he fabricated a very elegant fuchi/kashira for me that I mounted on a katana that I wish now I didn't sell.
    Anyway, the story as I remember it goes something like this. He had a couple of valuable Koto that he probably could have polished himself, but since they were so old and he had some connections in Japan, he decided to ship them over there for a really good polish. Apparently, since they were mu-mei , the custom official said "weapon, not art" and broke them in half and sent the pieces back.
    As I said he was rather handy and he had access to a heli-arc welder. I remember he specified heli-arc because he said it would limit oxidation and make the strongest weld. So he welded 2 of the pieces together, and it came out pretty good.
    A friend and I did some light tameshigiri with it and it seemed to be tough, but in the back of our minds we were still careful. It swished through a tatami with little effort and cut up some small weedy branches without incident. None the less we were younger then and I'm sure the old guy was aware of the follies of youth and I don't think he would have given it to us if he wasn't confident of its safety.
    I have included some pictures, but between my cheap camera and his good welding I don't know if you will even be able to make out exactly where the weld is.
    The way I see it is my options are mount it up as a Tachi and hang it on the wall, or cut it down and make a wakizashi out of it. Normally my first instinct would be wakizashi, but then I get to thinking he had more knowledge and experience than me and he could have made a waki, but he didn't. He must have thought the project worthwhile or he wouldn't have done it.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  2. #2
    Forgive me for saying so but the story sounds rather dubious,a blade with Showa or Seki stamps might be rejected but solely on the basis of being mumei seems highly unlikely.
    Having broken them in two why would they bother returning them?
    More likely that the blades were cut in half so that they could be hidden in baggage by returning military personnel or that postwar someone decided that they were too dangerous to have laying around in one piece.
    Interesting decorator and conversation piece.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Hammond
    Posts
    4
    Well it was 20 years ago so I probably have the details confused. I should have clarified what I was asking. Sorry for any confusion. The details don't matter. The facts are: A valuable sword was broken and expertly repaired. A wise old man considered it safe enough to give to a couple of young guys to play with. Should I cut it down and turn it into a wakizashi or should I leave it as is? Can a repaired sword ever be considered "safe"?

  4. #4
    No,the blade has lost its structural integrity by being cut in half and should not be used for anything other than decoration.
    It would be a shame to break it up again,I would leave it as it is.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Hammond
    Posts
    4
    Thanks for your reply. It's a tough decision. The blade is slim and long and it would look good mounted in a similar fashion to this shibui piece (see attached)
    On the other hand, I need a wakizashi to make a daisho, and the weld is far enough back that I could still have a good nakago if I cut it down. I will probably end up buying a chinese wak, but this thing has niku, hada, nie and nioi. Still it makes me wonder why he even did it at all. I guess he was just farting around.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  6. #6
    Yes,that's a good technical term for what he did!
    Making a wakizashi or tanto from the top section of blade is exactly what happened to many old swords that were damaged beyond repair,I have seen a number (usually tanto) over the years and is only logical when you think about it,in the middle of a battlefield melee it must have been a case of just getting your blow in first and worrying about your blade afterwards.

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •