an unexpected gift

I have been given ,as a gift,a sword.I believe it is a WW2 military Katana ,I have done a little reading around the subject,It has fairly standard Tsuba and grip,( forgive my terminology,) I am not a collector or a dealer.
I think the tsuba is mid 1930s as it is the cutaway version of later solid models,I cannot see anything outstanding about it ,and the blade has seen better days,it appears to have been used and polished though possibly not in an attempt to restore it,I think maybe just to keep it serviceable during its working lifetime ,other than that I am delighted to have been given it.The tang has what appears to be 2 characters,and I was wondering if anyone might be able to translate for me,I do not have any high hopes of owning an expensive or rare katana,just curious,and pleased to be its new owner.
many thanks and best wishes to you all.

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having gone through the

having gone through the swordmakers register the 2 characters seem to be similar to Tomotsugu ,but look like a copy ,so Until I am reliably told otherwise I will assume I have a standard WW2 katana with a forged signature.
Any comments would be very gratefully received


Well done - it does indeed look like "Tomotsugu".
I would NOT say that it's a "forgery". WWII-period blades are mostly lower quality, but the signatures are authentic (other than modern Chinese-made fakes). A small percentage of wartime blades are actually high quality, but I haven't heard of one with a false signature.

The tsuba indeed looks like the higher-end version of the common WWII style (which is modeled after a very old design). Does the tsuba have an markings, such as a small stamped symbol? It would be under the SEPPA, which are the oval washers on either side.

On the blade, also look carefully for a small stamped symbol (about 1/8" to 1/4" in size), generally in the area "above" the signature, closer to the tsuba.


Thank you Pete

Thank you Pete,I will do a strip down tonight,I may have missed something,I am ,being a bit of cynic not one to jump to conclusions and believe I have been gifted a rare katana.I will endevour to find out as much as I can ( with help from folks like you) and if it seems worth it may have the blade restored properly but only if it is genuinely of benefit to the katana.
Many thanks,will look for other markings and report back

new images

Hello Pete,I have some new images if you are interested.There does not appear to be any additional markings on the Tang.There are two holes drilled the furthest from the tsuba is the one being used and the file marks across this hole appear newer and shinier .
The hole closest to the tsuba is slightly smaller and the file marks look much older.
I can only assume there has been an earlier mounting.
The tsuba and associated hardware are stamped 78.
does this help
all the best


Yes, it appears it may be an older blade, but was modified somewhat crudely to use the WWII mountings.
The most unfortunate thing is the "grinding" that I see in your first picture.
The "78" is an assembly number, to match the fittings to each other.
I would suggest that a blade like this is not worth a restoration, because the cost would be much more than the blade is worth.


Thank you Pete,I noticed the

Thank you Pete,I noticed the grinding,and thought it had pretty much ruined the blade regardless of its age,a real shame but thank you for your interest
best wishes