Identification of Swordsmith - Help Please!

Help Please!

I have recently purchased a WW2 Japanese Officers sword on which the tang is marked with a makers name.

The blade is in superb condition. has a gorgeous hamon and appears to be of extremely fine quality.

However, as I cannot read Japanese I have been unable to identify the maker.

If anyone can assist I would be extremely grateful.

See attached photo.

Many thanks


katana_1.jpg1.88 MB
katana_2.jpg545.15 KB


The name is Masakazu. At a glance, I can't read the first two kanji, but in this context they are probably the smith's real family name. But "Masakazu" is the more important part.
In a quick search online, I don't see any WWII smiths that used these kanji, but there are lots of obscure smiths that are not well documented.
Note that this signature is NOT "Tsukamoto Masakazu", who is a well-documented WWII smith. The kanji are different.

There is a "Seki stamp" just above and to the right of the hole. This means that it was made in war-time, and made with "shortcuts" to speed up production. For example, it may be oil-quenched instead of water-quenched, and it is likely single-piece construction.
Therefore, it is not a "Nihonto" from a collector's view. Rather, it is "militaria". In Japan, it is a "weapon", and not "art".
Also note the "22" stamped next to the hole - probably an assembly number. The same number may be found on other major parts, such as the tsuba.


Hi Pete. Thank you very

Hi Pete.

Thank you very much.

I'll see what else I can discover about the maker.



Info on maker

Hi Pete

Found this info online. (see photo in original post.) I guess this must be the guy?



Masakazu, not Masakatsu

No, that's MasaKATSU, no MasaKAZU.