Kinmichi 1st generation gimei?

See attached images.
One is of the certificate - which I now know is only a registration document and bears no relation to authenticity.
The second image show the nakago signature on the left from a wakizashi I recently purchased. The two images on the right I found on the internet and would appear to be authentic 1st generation Kinmichi signatures. The two on the right are different blades but signatures somewhat similar. The signature on the left is obviously very different in style and would suggest strongly that it is a different person that engraved/etched it into the tang.

I will post some more detailed images of the blade - incidently, the smallest wakizashi I've so far seen - kami measures only just over 30cms - combined with a very small mihaba and kisane, I may use it for eating steak!?

Having said all that, it's a perfectly formed miniature of a 'normal' sized wakizashi. I believe it is a 'Genpuku' wakizashi.

But unfortunately, it does appear to be a gimei.


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other Kinmichi ?

Hi, perhaps it is simply not a SHODAI (1st gen) Kinmichi? There are a dozen or so possibilities...
I would not be quick to call it a gimei, especially since it is an unusual size.
The registration says that the length is 32.0 cm (using the old formal style of kanji), BTW.

Does it have a standard-shaped kissaki (like a typical katana/wakizashi), or is it hira-zukuri (typical tanto style), or something else?

Does it show other "classic Mishina" features? Things like: sudareba, other 'decorative' hamon features, kyo-yakidashi, Mishina boshi ?

If you need another Mishina blade to go with it, I have this pair for sale (on consignment on Ed's site):
You can buy either or both :-) .
If you're interested, I can discuss offline with you.


1st gen?

Hi Pete,

I suppose I've assumed from the swordsmith pages on this website, that the 1st generation Kinmichi was the only one to sign with just two kanji?
I'll post up some pictures, but basically it is like a standard wakizashi with chu-kissaki and shinogi-zukuri, and defined yokote. All in miniature (to my eye). Very plain hamon - chu-suguha I'd say.


2-char sig.

Hi, my feeling is that many smiths could use a 2-char signature as a default, even if it was not their most common way. And if the smith is a less-famous member of the line, it may not be well documented.
The database on this site, like on most other sites, was originally based on what is found in Hawley's book. Hawley's book is certainly imperfect - it was based on famous Japanese sources such as the Nihonto Meikan, Fujishiro, and Tokuno.
Meanwhile, the data that Stan started with on this site was an import of my "ToShoW" database that I made many years ago. It was about 2100 smiths as I recall. Stan has made many additions and corrections.
So, the history of the data is now: Japanese sources -> Hawley -> ToShoW (me) -> NihontoClub (Stan).

And, on a small blade with a small nakago, the chance of a 2-char sig goes up due to lack of space.

For a given smith, if the ONLY extant examples all use the same set of kanji, then that's an important factoid.

So, I suggest searching the web for any Kinmichi that has a similar "handwriting" to yours, and see where that leads.



Hi Pete,

Thanks - that was my next step - to do a thorough check on the net and see where it takes me.

I take your point about the two characters and space - one thing, the signature is nice and clean, whatever that means - nicely defined. On a previous post where we discussed a mei which read Kunisuke, I was critical of the 'sloppy' signature. I am still not clear if this aspect has a bearing generally or specifically - there can be a number of reasons for 'bad' signatures - age, failing eyesight, illness, done by a pupil/student etc... as well as, of course, it possibly being a gimei. Also, I suppose it's perfectly feasible that an expert swordsmith could be not so expert at engraving/etching - very different skills involved in both.
Anyway, I digress.

Thanks again.



Hi Pete,

Had a look at listings for Kinmichi in Markus Sesko's 'Index of Japanese Swordsmiths'
I'm not much more the wiser of course. Most Kinmichi generations were given honorary titles and some engraved the kikumon on the nakago.
Obviously prior to having a title the signature would be devoid of any titles/characters as such.
So, just based on the Kinmichi list in the Sesko book, it could either be 1st generation or 10th generation most likely, but.....

Added a few more images - one shows the 'Kinmichi' next to my 'Kunisuke?' - just to show scale.




Apologies for quality of images. Haven't quite got the right equipment to take quality pictures.