Help with Tanto identification

Hello everyone! I am new member here. I have just bought a Tanto.
Could someone please help me identify the Tanto is real or fake? The smith? the age ? the meaning of mei signature ? etc ..

Thanks for any help!

image1_3.jpg534.23 KB
image2_2.jpg528.2 KB
image4_2.jpg513.36 KB
image3_2.jpg521.49 KB
image5_2.jpg460.05 KB
image6_1.jpg333.36 KB
image7_1.jpg289.12 KB


The signature looks to be "chikushū ju sa".

Thanks for your help. I

Thanks for your help. I searched this mei was made in 1334-1342. I can see the texture on the blade so I am sure it is folged steel. But why I cannot see hamon on this blade? If this mei is real made from original smith? Not somebody add it not that long ago? If it is worth I polish it and make it looks better? Thanks again!


The signature is most probably false (gimei). There are a great many gimei blades and when you see the signature of a famous smith it is unlikely to be real. The blade could still be old and well made. It's hard to see much in the photos but if the blade has been "cleaned" by someone who is not a polisher it may have obscured the hamon. If there is a polisher or nihonto group you could take the blade to they might be able to advise you if it is worth polishing.


Very suspicious.
The nakago (tang) looks like it was made recently. Note how clear and sharp the mei is, and how smooth the nakago is. Every tiny chisel stroke is clearly visible.
Compare to pictures of blades that were made in the 14th century.
Also the "HI" (groove) in the blade is very poorly shaped.
This blade looks like it was made yesterday.



Hi Pete. Do you think it's a modern fake? I had the same concerns but thought it looked too good to be a total fake even if it looked a bit off to be genuine nihonto. Maybe the quality of the fakes is better than I thought. I'd better be more suspicious in future.

Thank you Pete! That is what

Thank you Pete! That is what I am worried about! I wonder who made it? What purpose to make this kind fake? Anyway thanks so much! I will contact seller to ask return.

modern, I assume

Yes, I assume it's modern.
The quality is better than many other fakes. But the main concern (to me) is that there is no pitting on the tang.
It seems like the fakery is improving - the fake gunto often have random kanji, and the kanji seemed to have been stamped in one stroke (no individual chisel strokes).


history of fakes

Hi Henry,
When I was an active collector 20-30 years ago, we never saw the type of fakes that we see today, except for "display swords" that were obviously not real.
More recently (the last 5-10 years??), because of the popularity of eBay, somebody in China is making fakes, and they try to sell them as real Nihonto. Many new collectors are tricked, and may spend 100's of dollars on something that has no value.

Of course, there is also a "gimei". This is a real Nihonto, but the person who signed it used another smith's name.


Thanks a lot!

Thanks a lot!