Help with signature

I recently came across a Showa period katana. I am having difficulty deciphering the maker's signature. I attended an antique arms show and showed it to a dealer who said he was unable identify the maker with certainty. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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March 1944

The signature is written in a difficult style (for me). I think the second "word" is Yokota, and perhaps the name is Masa-something.
The date (on the back side) is easy - it is March 1944.


smith name

Thank you, Pete.
I found a katana on auction on a japanese website with the same signature using the information you provided. The smith listed as Yagumo Yokota Masatome Saku. The sword on auction had a "Shrine Stamp". I'm not versed enough to know what that means. Is "Saku" a rating? The name came up on a database of smith ratings from 1944. Thank you much for your help.


OK, very good. I see the one you found, on the Aoi Japan site.
What they're calling a "Minatogawa Shrine stamp" is a design called a "Kikusui", which means chrysanthemum on water.
The "Saku" means "made by".


Minatogawa smiths

See this:
The first poster on the thread, Chris Bowen, is a bona-fide expert on 20th-century smiths.

What I've just read (briefly) is that Masatome is NOT a Minatogawa smith.