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Thread: NCO sword??

  1. #1

    NCO sword??

    New to the forum and excited to see what you all think about this piece of history (hopefully). Let me give you some back story on this as well. My wife's great uncle was a PFC in the Army, 21st infantry. He never talked much about the war but due to several items that were found after his death I am guessing he fought in the Philippines, possibly in Operation Victor V. I am particularly interested in the folded pieces of paper that are under the cord wrapping the handle.(I apologize in advance for not knowing proper terminology).
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  2. #2
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    The folded pieces of paper are hishigami. These were used to help define the folds in the ito (wrapping). They help to keep the wrap tight and crisp. I do not know if the writing on yours has any significance, they may have just been scraps of paper that the person doing the wrap had to hand. Tsukamaki is the art of wrapping a sword handle and was usually done by a highly trained craftsman. Incidently this looks like an officer's sword or Shin-Gunto
    Last edited by Guy C; 04-15-2017 at 12:13 AM. Reason: Addition
    The journey not the destination

  3. #3
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    Yes, this is a shingunto (military officer's sword) not an NCO sword. A larger pic of the writing on the tang would help. Can't quite read it as is.
    It may (?) be ____ Masamitsu or _____Kanemitsu- but can't tell for sure. Also, the green ito (wrapping) and green same' (rayskin) are somewhat unusual. I've not seen that before.

    Rich
    Last edited by Rich S; 04-15-2017 at 05:30 AM. Reason: add

  4. #4
    Thank you both. Rich I think the green you are referring to is the lighting from the room I was in. The pictures I took with my phone of the writing on the tang were oriented the correct way but when I resized them it oriented them another way. If I can figure out how to attach the picture from my phone I will do so. Also what is the opinion on how he obtained this.

  5. #5
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    Pure speculation, but likely from a pile of confiscated Japanese swords after the surrender. Just a guess. Probably no way to know for sure.

    Rich

  6. #6
    So I spoke with a professor at Georgia Southern who teaches Japanese. She said the the symbols translated to Kanemitsu Sawada. She also said the folded pieces of paper she could not read well due to the tearing but all characters she could read were related to the war. Would either of you recommend sending the piece somewhere to have it re wrapped, polished and the dowel replaced or leave it as is?

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Just had a chance to look at this. Your sword is signed Sawada Kanemitsu. The photos are so small and so poor it is virtually impossible to say more.

    There was a Taisho era smith with this name, but is he your guy, who knows. ?????

    The reading of the hishigami is completely irrelevant to the sword.. Whatever was available was used, probably old newspaper.

    I wouldn't worry with polishing it, but I would consider having the handle re-wrapped. Probably get that done professionally in the $200 range.

    For more info you can e-mail: Yakiba.com@gmail.com

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