help in translation of mei

Dear reader(s),
I purchased a while ago a sjowa-to, with original war koshirae, but i thought the blade was no tamahagane. now it seems it is, and it is in a bad shape, it was like this when i found it. now i am looking for the translation of mei so i can find out how old it is and wgo made it. some people say it says "kaneshige Murayama" but i dont recognize the letters on the examples found here on the nihonto-club/swordsmiths. if the smith is good, or i can find age or more info, maybe the restoration of thousands of dollars is valid, a good idea and responsable to do. if you want to help, please send me mail so i can sen picts. my email is
thank you very very much


Kaneshige is right. See this link
So it is a Showa sword, if it is traditionally made or not may be hard to determine. Unlikely to be worth the cost of a good polish, and probably best left as it is.

Showa stamp

I agree - it is not worth the cost of a polish.
Note that it has a "Showa stamp" (the cherry-blossom shaped stamp above the mekugi-ana). This means that it was not made completely with traditional methods. It also means (I believe) that it cannot be sent to Japan for polish, because it is a "weapon", and not "art", according to Japanese law.

As a militaria item, it is probably better than the average "Showa-to".
The age would be late 1930's or early 1940's.


thank you for your

thank you for your assistance. especialy the info on it being a "war" sword and not antique katana category. now i dont waste 2000dollar on polish, but can spend them searching for that one piece in my collection, worthy of calling a nihonto..

to Looper and saipan59

to Looper and saipan59 THANKS., ne polisher told me the showa to would be worth 6000 euro after polish... which is not the truth then? commercial trick? thanks to you guys i didnt fall for it


Hi, I very much doubt that any Showa-to could be worth that much. And for a Showa-to, a polish would perhaps NOT increase the value. Many militaria collectors would say "it must be in original WWII condition".

For blades made near WWII, the blades that can possibly be worth that much are made by the Yasukuni Jinja smiths. About 25 years ago, I owned one made by Ikeda Yasumitsu, made in 1937. I sold it for $1400 at that time. Of course, it did NOT have a Showa or Seki stamp - the Yasukuni blades are traditionally made, and are high quality.

If you are interested in owning a good-quality traditional blade, I have this pair of swords for sale:
Available as a pair, or individually.
Both were made in the mid-1600's, were polished in Japan about 35 years ago, and have kanteisho (authentication papers) from Japan.
The short sword was made by the son of the maker of the long sword.
The long sword is KAN1403, the short one is KAN1404.
Let me know if I can answer any questions.