I'm investigating this blade...

Hi folks!
This is my first post so I hope I get the photos and info all done correctly!! Here goes.

My father is a WWII Marine. He would have been in the Japanese mainland invasion force if not for their surrender. He walked the streets of Nagasaki just weeks after the atomic bomb was detonated there, and he served in the occupation force for some period of time after. Though he is now 90yrs young, he is in fantastic health. He sent two swords home while he was there and I grew up with them in a closet in my home. I determined that one is almost certainly a machine-made WWII example, but the other is quite interesting...

Below are measurements that I took many years ago and, frankly, I don't remember much of the terminology at all!! I posted this same sort of inquiry about 7 years ago on another nihonto forum, so I'll also give you the info they were able to give me.

I'm not really sure what I'm asking you all to do with this. I suppose what I could never really get before was any feel for the "importance" of this blade or it's maker. Is it worth a several thousand dollar polish, or....? I would love to see it preserved. What can you tell me about it? Do you agree with the info was given before? (It occurs to me that some of you guys may have given me the answers I quote below..haha!)

Mune = Ihori
Hada = Can't see it well, but probably Masame.
Sori = 9/16", 1.4cm (measuring from line from Mune -Machi to tip)
Nagasa = 20-7/16", 52cm
Nakago = 6", 15.2cm
Kasane @ Mune-machi = 7/32", 6mm
Mihaba @ Mune-Machi = 1-3/32", 2.8cm
Kissaki (tip to yokote) = 1-1/8", 2.9cm

It is signed "Musashi no kami Fujiwara MORIMICHI", I believe he is MOR702 in the database here (based on other's projections in the other forum)

One responder made this observation: "RayE's blade seems to have been machi-okuri (kiri and takanoha yasurime) About yasurime takanoha is not in conformity with Mishina-ha but some smith in Morimichi-ha used them."

So he's saying that it was cut down at some point in history.

Is it okay to link to my posts on the other forum so that you may see the complete discussion?

Now to try to post pictures....

What should I do with this blade?

Thanks in advance for your help.


I'd say the best thing to do would be to take it to a shinsa. I assume you're in the U.S. so there should be one at some point. That way you should get the best possible appraisal and from there you can decide what to do. Forum opinions will never feel conclusive and there's only so much that can be assessed by looking at a picture.


Thanks! Yes - we have it in the USA. Do people take blades to a Shinsa in this condition?


I've never sent a blade to shinsa, too difficult from here. From what I've gathered though, a blade in this condition possibly wont pass as a lot of the features will be very hard to see, but I would think you should come away with a better idea of what you have.


Well I have it on a 2yr waiting list for a polish. I've been to the Tokyo nat'l museum personally and have seen some extraordinary swords. Gorgeous works. I'd love to have a piece of that in my home/family. Thanks for your look at it!