View Full Version : new sword question

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dan berman
08-18-2004, 03:27 PM
I just recieved a sword as a gift and I was wondering if anyone here could translate (and possibly identify) the signature for me. I have a feeling that this is a reproduction but it still seems to be hand forged and folded. If you need or want other photos for indentification let me know.


dan berman
08-19-2004, 12:37 AM
here are some more photos.




08-19-2004, 02:38 AM
If I may, not verifying the authenticity of the sword, this is not a signature. It is a nengo - a dating of the sword. I'm sorry but the picture is not too clear on my computer. I cannot read the first character too well so I cannot provide you with the era. The next two characters give you the year of that era - the 14th year. The last two note that the sword was made on a lucky day ("kichijitsu").

Sorry I couldn't be more help.

08-19-2004, 03:03 AM
I should say there's a chance that first character is showing up "ok" on my screen and I just don't recognize it. The second character is "ei" and it is commonly used in era names (emperor reigns). On the other hand, and acknowledging that I know nothing of the swords history, that first character might very well be a Chinese version of a Japanese character - which goes along well with your suggestion that the sword is a reproduction, etc.,since many reproductions are made in China and meant to look old and/or even hand-forged, etc. Either way, according to my experience that first character is either not showing up too well on my computer, or it is part of a fake era name (using a Chinese version of a Japanese character) since no era name that I know of (which is far from full-proof) has "ei" as the second character and begins with what I'm seeing on my computer in that first character.

Hope that helps.

You might want to take it to some actual sword collectors. I'm sure they might be able to give you the exact information you are interested in knowing.


Rich Babin
08-19-2004, 09:50 AM
I don't think it's a date, either. The first character could be "study" or "research", the second is "infinity", the the number 14 and I can't figure the last. Is this on the Ura or Omote side of the nakaga? the nakaga does not look oxidized, which would suggest a newer sword. The grain appears to be "gassan-like" and I don't see a hamon although that could be the pictures. It doesn't look very shiny, is it in old polish, or again is it the pictures? There is something about the carving of the characters that just doesn't look right for a sword signature or date. Too many curves - proportions wrong - I'll bet it is Chinese. Good luck, Rich

Rich Babin
08-19-2004, 09:55 AM
I just realized that those pictures scan. The tip is all wrong for a Japanese sword. There was only one historical period where the kissaki was sometimes nearly straight and that was around the 13th Century, clearly this sword is not that old. I would go with Chinese even stronger now. Rich

John Boswell
08-19-2004, 10:29 AM

The website to check at is "Sword Forum International." Anything and everything having to do with swords is there. I'd post these pictures and questions there for them to answer... but don't expect to hear anything too wonderful. I agree with the assesment that the kanji look too rounded and imho are too contemporary. But then again... what do I know? ;)


Good luck!

John B.

08-19-2004, 10:47 AM
To clarify my posts, I think it's trying to be a date but it is probably not a real date (according to Japanese nengo). From my point of view, the first character is the anamoly. The rest of the characters are quite readable. The second character is the second character of a compound trying to be an era name, or appearing to be an era name, but not one that I am familair with. The rest of the characters clearly read "On a lucky day in the 14th year." This kind of expression, "on a lucky day of "x" year," is not out of the ordinary for nengo written on Japanese blades - which is not to say that one is looking at a Japanese-made sword here. This is clearly an attempt, perhaps a poor attempt (or a poor attempt on my part in reading that first Kanji), at dating the blade.


08-22-2004, 01:21 AM
I'm at work (if you wont to call this work) right now and I don't have my book on samurai swords with me but when I can I will look up those characters for you. To tell you the Truth it looks like the blade has been anticked so it may very well be a reproduction.


Brendan Basone
09-06-2004, 02:08 PM
How much do these swords cost?