sword database

Identification of Swordsmith - Help Please!

Help Please!

I have recently purchased a WW2 Japanese Officers sword on which the tang is marked with a makers name.

The blade is in superb condition. has a gorgeous hamon and appears to be of extremely fine quality.

However, as I cannot read Japanese I have been unable to identify the maker.

If anyone can assist I would be extremely grateful.

See attached photo.

Many thanks


New list of meitō

I found a very useful article in Japanese Wikipedia which contains a list of famous swords with brief descriptions:


I already found few swords from Kyōhō Meibutsu Chō which I had no other references to.

Surely it will grow in the future and more details will be added.

New image publishing system released

Publication of Japanese sword related materials in a systematic and coherent way is the main mission of Nihonto Club. Uploading images and other media and attaching them to the main content is one of its most important components. Over last 4 years a number of solutions for handling images were used in different parts of the website (boards, galleries, collections etc) trying to find one which is best fit for the purpose. Personally I had serious reservations about all of them and was simply waiting for 'the right one' before committing to posting any image-heavy content.

Also I needed to know how you use it. Images seemed to be mostly used in Discussion Boards to ask questions about particular blades and fittings, as well as providing answers. In addition, Image Gallery and Private Collections areas were actively used to share images of the items you own.

Ability to expose images in Sword Database was another important area to be addressed.

The time has now come to roll out the new image handling system based on a very promising Node Gallery module for Nihonto Club software.

The new solution is treating pages of certain types (forum topic, collection item, sword record) as galleries with the possibility of attaching a number of images. Once added, they are available at the bottom of the page. If you click any image, it brings you to the gallery view where you can browse through images, view their enlarged versions (if available) and leave your comments.

It also allows maintaining information about ownership, copyright and licensing restrictions. It will help us to be fair to people who share their work, as well as open possibilities of using publically available image repositories such as Wikimedia Commons and Flickr without breaching their Terms & Conditions. This may not be a concern for a classic style message board, but Nihonto Club is (or hoping to be) more like a research tool and we need to think long term.

Being currently exposed in the most basic form, it provides brilliant prospects for future development. I'm hoping that you'll find it more consistent, intuitive and convenient than the older solutions.

Public references

References field contains a list of resources where particular sword was mentioned.

Key Description
DTIYYYY-xx Dai Token Ichi catalog for YYYY (year), Page xx
JS-xx The Japanese Sword: A Comprehensive Guide, Sato, Kanzan, Page xx
MH-xx Meihin Katanaezu Shusei, Michihiro Tanobe, Page xx
MJS-xx Modern Japanese Swordsmiths: 1868-1945, John Slough, Page xx
NK-xx-Fyy Page yy of Frontispiece section of Nihonto Koza Volume xx
NK-xx-yy Page yy of the main text of Nihonto Koza Volume xx
NMK-xx-yy yy-th record on page xx of Nihonto Meikan
NN-xx-yy-zz Page zz of Albert Yamanaka's Newsletter, Volume xx, Issue yy
TB-K-xx Token Bijutsu - Koto Edition (English), Page xx
TB-S-xx Token Bijutsu - Shinto Edition (English), Page xx
TBJ-xx-yy NBTHK Magazine (Japanese Edition), Issue xx, Page yy

Please refer to Citations section of Bibliography for more citation keys in the future.

Sword Database released

I’m pleased to announce the rollout of a new feature which hopefully will become one of the most important components of this website. Sword Database (accessible from the Club Resources menu on the left hand side) is a collection of sword records, from the most prominent to the most humble ones. It starts from the list of Kokuho – Japanese National Treasures and it’s going to expand in the coming years. Information on more than 2000 swords is ready to be published in the future.

The first version of the Sword Database contains only basic metrics of the blade, attribution and references to public sources, e.g. sword books, magazines and articles. It will be eventually enhanced with photos, thorough description and other information. It’s totally integrated with Swordsmith Index and allows searching both smiths and individual swords by signature. Swordsmith records display a list of extant works (if registered in the database). See Sukemitsu or Tōshirō Yoshimitsu as examples.

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