Koto or Shinto?

Hi, I was sent these pictures and was wondering if anyone would be willing to give an educated guess as to the era? The blade is unsigned and suriage. The sword featured in the documentary “A Doctor’s Sword” which is a fascinating story. The pictures might not be ideal but any feeling, even if only Koto or Shinto would be a help. Many thanks.

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Hi Adam, It's very hard to

Hi Adam,

It's very hard to make a judgement based on these photos but the tang suggests it's a low grade shinto sword. Or maybe late koto at best.



Thanks Stan. I know it was a bit of a long shot to hope for much from the photos. The rust doesn't help either.

shinto or even newer?

I note that the edges of the nakago are rather sharp and crisp. To me, this implies "newer", not "older".

My "wild guess" is 19th or 20th century.



Thanks Pete. I agree that the nakago looks quite recently done. I suppose it's possible it was cut down when it was put in to the gunto mounts for the war, which could explain the freshness and less than brilliant workmanship. Looks like it going to remain a bit of a mystery. Thanks again to Stan and yourself for your help.

another hint?

Also, I just thought of this:
Assuming that the lower (smaller) hole is the "original", it could be examined to see if it was done with a drill (rather than a punch). A drilled hole is modern, I believe.
In the picture, the small hole looks suspiciously "clean". The other hole looks rougher, but that may be just because it's the one that had a mekugi in it for decades.


Thanks Pete, if I ever get a

Thanks Pete, if I ever get a chance to look at this sword I'll pay close attention to the holes. It would be a great help if I could see it and take better photos, but I doubt that will be possible. The sword has a great story attached to it and it would be nice to add a bit to that story by knowing more about the blade. If at any point I can get more info or pictures I'll update this thread.