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japanese sword question


15 Nov 2002
I have a friend who has this question....since I know nothing about this, perhaps Thomas you may know....or one of your great many disciples you've gathered through your eleventy-hundred year lifespan so far....

the question below:

"Would you happen to know anyone I could talk to
who's familiar withantique Japanese swords? My Dad
collects knives and swords (a 50 yearcollection; very
nice!) and received a 'katana' from my Grandfatherthat
he got in WWII. Part of what I'm hoping to find out is
if there'sa way to identify it, and since we cannot
find the original scabbardI'd like to see if another
could be made.
"I'm hoping it's not some family heirloom, but it would
be nice to findout any history it might have....

"Think about it, and if you come up with anything
I'd appreciate it!"

So, if anybody knows the answer to this one, then please post it here

thanks in advance, Den4 :D
"...received a 'katana' from my Grandfatherthat
he got in WWII."

That's the intriguing part right there... Chances are it may be an authentic Japanese Army officer's sword if your friend's story is true. His/her best bet would be to have it professionally appraised at their earliest convenience. Furthermore, try and refrain from cleaning any part of the sword including the blade if at all possible as this can tend to detract from the value (contrary to what many think).

Identifying the signature is not easy for the untrained eye and usually requires being able to decipher the Japanese characters on the nakago and in the mei (tang and signature) or any other inscriptions. I have included a few links that may be of use to help your friend get started with becoming more familiar about Japanese swords and more specifically how to identify them... but I strongly suggest that the sword be professionally appraised asap to get a better idea of its history and potential value. Hope that helps.
Yahoo | Mail, Weather, Search, Politics, News, Finance, Sports & Videos
http://www.galatia.com/~fer/sword/term.html (Pic below taken from this site)
Learning and Teaching Japanese
Japanese Samurai swords evaluation and instruction sheet


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