any ideas on the swordsmith

Have had this sword a number of years can anyone help with the I.D. of the swordsmith and possibly the date of its making. Thank you.

fake date?

It's not a signature, it's a date.
However, I don't recognize the NENGO (era name).
It says "something 15th year".
The part of the tang that we can see in the pictures doesn't look legit to me.
Sorry, I suspect it's a Chinese-made fake.
More pictures of the rest of the blade would help.


thanks pete

Have suspected this. Bought it years ago at a garage sell thought the blade looked to modern for the age they were claiming the woman told me her grandfather had brought it back from WWII I can spot a fake saber a mile away but my skills on Japanese swords are lacking. Am wanting to add some legit ones to my collection but do not know where to start. Any advice

Where to start a true collection


have a look at the weekly sword tracker section in the site:

You should find samples of genuine nihon to on these websites, but you'll have to invest a bit of money for a good sword. However, You'll never get disapointed.



Unless there is a public collection you can visit the best way to start developing an eye would be some good books. While there is a lot of information online it can be hard to know how reliable it is. I would really recommend "Facts and fundamentals of japanese swords". It is a great book to get started studying nihonto. There are plenty of photos and the information is very clear. A bit of money spent on books is a sound investment.

other collectors

Another great resource can be other collectors. Of course, the catch is that you need to watch out for some "dealer" types, who may not give you good info because they plan to sell you something.
A couple of hours spent with an experienced collector is probably the single best/fastest way to learn.
Some major cities may have a Nihonto club of collectors. We used to have one in the Denver area, but not any more I think. We would meet at a restaurant about once a month.



Am going to get the book and study it. I really wanna expand my collection. Any ideas on what would be a good sword to try and start with?

how much?

Hi, How much money would you spend? I'm guessing we're talking about a 4-digit price - anything cheaper is likely to be a gunto/NCO, or in poor condition. I haven't bought or sold anything in years, so I could be out of date...

Some general categories that you could shop for:

Gunto - WWII military sword, partly hand-made, often signed, sometimes dated, has "militaria" value, but no real Nihonto value. Some were made by descendants of famous smiths. I have several, and I like them for what they are.

Parade saber - Strictly militaria, factory made. Looks like a European sword.

NCO sword - Strictly militaria, factory made, but shaped roughly like a Nihonto. A blunt instrument. Even has a serial number stamped into it.

Gendaito - Modern sword (i.e. 20th century), traditionally made. Real Nihonto, but not very historic. Usually in excellent condition, because they were made to sell directly to collectors. Exception: A few pre-WWII smiths, such as the guys at Yasukuni Jinja.

Shin-Shinto - Roughly late 18th, or 19th century. These are somewhat rare (not that many were made compared to other times).

Shinto - Roughly 17th (or early 18th) century. Fairly common, and many are good quality and good condition. The price goes up fast depending on who made it, but some are reasonable.

Late Koto / early Shinto - Blades made in the "Sengoku era" (2nd half of 16th century) are old and historic, but often poor quality (some good ones, of course).

Koto - Old swords. A mix of the very best, and some that are "just really old". I have one of the latter: made in the mid-14th century, obscure smith, rough condition, but I really like it anyway because of the history.

As for books: The one book that I recommend if you buy "just one", is "The Connoisseurs Book of Japanese Swords" by Nagayama. I've heard that there are other "best single books", but I don't have experience with them.



Thats the book i am planning on getting. As far as the military swords would like to get a couple of those but not European style sabers those i have from the 18th and 19th century's and eventually I want to get a true hand forged Japanese from at least 18th century. I usually try and save up and make a couple purchase a year.but i am so out of my comfort zone on these type swords so forgive me if i ask yall some dumb questions.