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Thread: Katana and tanto inscriptions for translation

  1. #1
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    Katana and tanto inscriptions for translation

    I'm not sure this forum still has life in it, but I'll post these and see what happens . . .

    The photo on the left show the tang of a Japanese katana owned by a friend who is trying to figure out the provenance. Can anyone translate the kanji?

    The second and third shots are of a dagger that my friend says is a Japanese WWII-era pilot's dagger. Again, lots of kanji to translate.

    I've suggested that he trace the inscription on the katana, but I'm not sure where he is at with that.

    Thanks in advance to anyone willing to assist.

    Mark
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  2. #2
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    Not much life left here. Frustrating to help people with so much false information and bad recommendations allowed.

    The one on the left is a date, not a signature. The other side may be signed, usually if dated they are signed, but not always. It is a combination of standard nenki and kanshi (zodiac). Although it is very odd, which is somewhat of a red flag. It reads: Empo Go Tschinoto Hinoto Nen Ichi Gatsu Bi. This would put it between 1673 and 1682. But again as this is an odd combination using Tschinoto Hinoto, which I have never seen, so I am not 100% sure. I do know that Empo began in 1673. Of course the whole thing could be faked.

    Inscription on the dagger is Tosa no Kami Masamune. Looks like a war time inscription which may have been added later. ???

  3. #3
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    Thanks, Ed. Much appreciated. I'll ask my friend to check the other side of the katana for a signature.

    The one thing about the katana's tang that I thought was unusual was the lack of black, inactive rust. This one seems to have a fair bit of active rust and a few spots of deeper corrosion. I would think a katana blade tang from the 1600s would be uniformly covered with black by now, but then I'm a neophyte when it comes to these swords.

    Mark

  4. #4
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    The signature side . . .
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