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Hey Folks,

I recently picked up a Japanese sword from a military auction. However I can't make heads or tails of the markings. Was hoping someone on here is smarter than I am and could give me a good lead on translating the inscription. Much appreciated!

IMG_4168 (1).jpg IMG_4169.jpg
 
Maybe do a trace with white paper, take a picture/ scan of it and then google translate it.
It's probably a name and then you can search that.
 
Prewar katanas were handcrafted works of art - usually had information about the blacksmith and sometimes even a poem.

Hire a professional - there's also usually some on the tang, but each wrap of the grip is complicated and NOT for an amateur to try to disassemble and put back together.

I'll run this by a Japan-obsessed friend.
 
I tossed the image to my son.
His reply:
it's a little hard to read probably due to the lighting but it's a date
昭和二十二年二月
february shōwa (era of the Japanese calendar) 22
shōwa 1 was in 1926, so the thing is probably from february 1947
i dont remember when this was put in place but the japanese era calendar is largely symbolic and the years tick over the same as gregorian (at least in the modern era, of which shōwa is a part)
and so shōwa 1 only lasted for a week, because it started on december 25th
at least if that was true of shōwa
 
Last Edited:
Id guess that date is a bit off? If i remember right, making swords was illegal till the early 50s. so id have to assume its either pre surrender or post 1950.
 
BTW. The new SHOGUN mini series begins and is on FX starting this evening (9pm CT). The first one back in the 70's was a big hit. This is new and updated, not a repeat. From the James Michener novel
 
May be named for a smith.

"

MOST IMPORTANT MAKERS OF MODERN JAPANESE SWORDS

The most important makers of modern Japanese swords were found in Seki, in the Nippon To Denshujo, and at Yasukuni Shrine. Yasukuni Shrine and the Nippon To Denshujo were in Tokyo, and there were other organizations located all around Japan. Yasukuni Shrine's forging group was established in 1933 with the support of military officials, and all the smiths took names beginning with Yasu, such as Yasunori, Yasuoki, Yasutoku, Yasumitsu, etc. All of these swords are collectible and sought after today."
 
I appreciate everyone's comments and help in identifying this sword.

I'll need to do some research since I am under the impression that arms manufacturing, including swords, was banned from 1945 to 1953. So a date of 1947 doesn't make much sense.

I've included a few more pictures. Unfortunately someone unwrapped the sword long before I got it. The handle is held together by old GI cord. I haven't unwound it but under the cord is what appears to be stingray skin and wood. The butt of the sword is leather and the scabbard lock is on the side instead of the common end of war top (it did not have a scabbard when I acquired it). There are nicks on the blade edge... but I don't know if that was from a Soldier or a kid goofing off with Grandpa's stuff decades later.

Hope these pictures help and we can narrow down the search. Thanks again!

F72CE3BC-2C99-450F-B101-EE708A3CF4B6.jpeg 3E545756-7E06-4E78-85D5-4227A683C94A.jpeg 09BF0F2E-1655-40DE-9D5A-710A6B590D79.jpeg 00ED1E5F-1337-4A1D-B641-0B040CC9583B.jpeg 1A9304CC-F7D4-4E61-BFD8-E645CA41BBD9.jpeg
 
I appreciate everyone's comments and help in identifying this sword.

I'll need to do some research since I am under the impression that arms manufacturing, including swords, was banned from 1945 to 1953. So a date of 1947 doesn't make much sense.

I've included a few more pictures. Unfortunately someone unwrapped the sword long before I got it. The handle is held together by old GI cord. I haven't unwound it but under the cord is what appears to be stingray skin and wood. The butt of the sword is leather and the scabbard lock is on the side instead of the common end of war top (it did not have a scabbard when I acquired it). There are nicks on the blade edge... but I don't know if that was from a Soldier or a kid goofing off with Grandpa's stuff decades later.

Hope these pictures help and we can narrow down the search. Thanks again!

View attachment 1832736 View attachment 1832737 View attachment 1832738 View attachment 1832739 View attachment 1832740
During the prohibition it was illegal to make or consume alcohol, do you think that stopped people from making or partaking?
 

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