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Thread: Japanese Sword thoughts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Posts
    95

    Japanese Sword thoughts

    Hi all,

    I’m not sure if this is the appropriate place for this, but I did not see a lot of action happening on the nihonto forum - so I thought I would try here first.

    I have a small Japanese sword (I can’t remember the exact terminology as my books are in storage for moving) here at the Archive I work at, and I was curious as to whether any of you can enlighten me further about it.

    It measures exactly 21” from the broken tip to the end of the tang. The blade itself measures 15.75”. There is no signature on the tang. The tsuba seems to have a maple leaf on it - ironic that it is in Canada.

    Thoughts? Here are some photos. I have tried to follow the prescribed guidelines.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    West Yorkshire, England.
    Posts
    362
    Going by the photo's what you have is a genuine fairly standard Wakizashi in shabby condition and missing some parts. Looking at the tsuka you are missing the ito, the menuki and the kashira. If the tsuka has not been messed around with then it looks like it would have had a plain kashira made of horn. No saya in the pic's, do you have one or is it lacking.

    I don't see a signature, and only one mekugi-ana, so it is not shortened, and putting that with the evident patina I would stick my neck out and say Shin Shinto in date. There was a change in the law in the later 17thC and Wakizashi had to be taken down to a new legal length of about 16 inches, resulting in a lot of blades having two peg holes just a couple of inches apart. Blade length was measured from the tip, to the habaki, the area covered by that being not counted as blade length.

    The tsuba looks a little odd to me, and might be very late in date, possibly even modern.

    All of this is conjectural, and I have no doubt there are others who will correct any mistakes on my part.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Posts
    95
    Thank you very much David. That gives me more information than what I had before. And yes, what you see in the pictures is all there is to it, no saya.

    Matt

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