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Translating old sword tang

Ballistic

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I picked this up in a garage sale and I'm having trouble translating this signature. I'm thinking its WWII era, but any help would be most grateful.

If you need better pictures, just let me know and I'll upload more.
 

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Mike Cash

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The only really clear and obvious kanji are 江、喜 and 源, but I think I also spot a highly stylized 島 and perhaps 峯. I'm no good at stuff like this.
 

Majestic

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江州住人佐々木善四朗源一峯
Goshu junin Sasaki Zenshiro Minamoto no Ippo

Swordsmith from the section of Japan now called Shiga prefecture. Active from the mid-to-late 17th century. If you got this at a garage sale, you've done quite well for yourself. Bear in mind that the sword world is neck-deep in forgeries. If you want to compare yours against a verified Zenshiro Ippo sword, you can look at the sword #10 on this page here > http://www.choshuya.co.jp/1/0805/member_frame_sword.htm
 

Ballistic

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Awesome! The signature matches almost exactly in writing and stylization. I'm quite excited to learn more about it. If there is anymore information about it I should research, it would be most helpful.

I appreciate everyones time and help in translating it.
 

Toritoribe

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Sorry for nitpicking as always, but the kanji of "rou" in his given name seems to be 善四, not 善四朗.;)
 

Majestic

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If you are just beginning to become interested in this, I recommend the following book from John Yumoto. Its quite old and basic, but still useful I think.

Amazon product

For something a bit more in-depth, I recommend:
Amazon product

For something a bit more immediately accessible I suggest joining the Nihonto Message Board. The members there are probably the brightest non-native Japanese sword enthusiasts around.

A matching signature is a good thing, but the sword enthusiasts will want to make sure that the actual sword resembles what a Zenshiro Ippo sword ought to look like. But I would also say that while we see a lot of crap pieces getting posted to the forum, yours doesn't give me that knee-jerk "junk" reaction. Would like to see more - or if there are any documents that came with the sword it would be interesting to see those too.
 

Ballistic

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If you are just beginning to become interested in this, I recommend the following book from John Yumoto. Its quite old and basic, but still useful I think.

Amazon product

For something a bit more in-depth, I recommend:
Amazon product

For something a bit more immediately accessible I suggest joining the Nihonto Message Board. The members there are probably the brightest non-native Japanese sword enthusiasts around.

A matching signature is a good thing, but the sword enthusiasts will want to make sure that the actual sword resembles what a Zenshiro Ippo sword ought to look like. But I would also say that while we see a lot of crap pieces getting posted to the forum, yours doesn't give me that knee-jerk "junk" reaction. Would like to see more - or if there are any documents that came with the sword it would be interesting to see those too.

I think I will sign up and post some more pictures on that message board to see what reactions it brings. I would love to see if it is authentic and what kind of history it holds. You've been most helpful and hopefully we can continue to communicate.
 
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