Help with sword identification

I have uploaded a picture of the tang signature. If someone could tell me the age and smith of the sword it would be of great help.

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Signature looks like:


Thanks Pete, any idea of the

Thanks Pete, any idea of the age. I'm trying to research it but the names are hard to follow.

Thanks again.....Ted


I don't have any particular knowledge or experience with Nagayoshi.
Be aware of the possibility of "gimei" (false signature).


I guess it is always possible

I guess it is always possible that it could be fake. The history of it as far I know is that my brother got it at a barn auction somewhere in Vermont about 30 years ago. It was in a box of junk and I think he got the whole lot for about $20.00. A few years later he took it to a guy somewhere in NH who was in a sword club or something similar. He gave him a certified letter stating who made it and when. He can not find the letter but the best he can remember is that it was made in the 16th century by a smith of no particular renown. Not that he had a bad name but it wasn't one that would be worth a great deal. I would just like to know for sure so that I can hang it with something that says what it is.

Mei search

If you go to the mei search and put in OSAFUNE NAGAYOSHI, you'll get the four smiths with that signature. As to which one it is?

I was under the impression

I was under the impression that the date it was made was part of what was written on the Tang. Does anyone know of someone in the New England area that can identify swords?

no date

The picture you showed is just the signature.
If there is a date, it is almost always on the other side of the tang.


I can't make out anything on

I can't make out anything on the other side, not sure what that means.


It means that it is not dated.
Overall, most blades do NOT have dates.


Okay, are there people out

Okay, are there people out there (maybe on this forum) who can determine when it was made. Possibly from the construction or shape of the blade? If there is anyone close to Massachusetts I would like to hear from them.

Thanks again........Ted

Token Kai


A definitive date can be difficult. A signature can be false, but the sword can't lie. If a sword is in good polish an expert could determine a lot by looking at the features of the blade. With a sword in bad condition a lot is hidden so probably no-one could tell you for sure who the smith is. The shape of the blade however can be a good indication of the era in which it was made. If you post some more pictures of the blade, the overall shape, the tip, the tang, the cleanest areas, measure the sori (curvature from tip to start of tang) someone here might hazard a guess at the era. If you can find someone to take it to that is always best, but don't expect an exact date, and even an expert opinion is still only an opinion.

Not really looking for and

Not really looking for and exact date, but the era would go a long ways to matching it up with one of the four Smiths that have that name. I will try to get some good measurements and pictures posted tomorrow.

Thanks for the help ..........Ted

Okay, I have uploaded some

Okay, I have uploaded some more pictures that might help.

The measurements are: Total length = 88.3 of which the blade is 70 and the tang is 18.3.

The complete bow of the sword from tip of blade to end of tang is 3.1

The bow in just the blade is 2 cm.


I'm not an expert but...

I was hoping one of the other people on here would offer an opinion, they are all more knowledgeable than me. I'm only learning about nihonto. Recognizing the changes in shape of different eras is not easy. I've looked at examples, and from what I can see I'd be inclined to agree with the person who looked at it before. My best guess is late Muromachi, judging by the shape and the hamon. So if the signature is genuine (which it may well not be), NAG139 is most likely of the smiths in the database. If I'm talking utter crap hopefully someone will correct me. If you're able to get it looked at you might get a more concrete opinion. Not much help I know, but it's all I can offer. It looks like a nice sword and worth looking after.

Thanks, any help is a great

Thanks, any help is a great help. It a little ruff in some places but considering the age and that it probably sat around for 70+ years with no care at all it's amazing it is as good as it is.

Thanks again.........Ted