Shinto Tanto : trying to find if mei is legit / smith generation

Hi everyone, here's a french newbie asking for help to authentify a blade !

I bought this unokubi zukuri tanto, former Norbert Michaud collection, at an auction in Hôtel Drouot (Paris) 2 weeks ago.
The mei reads 河内守國助 , Kawachi no kami Kunisuke, and comparing it with other signatures found on the web, I wonder which generation it could be and if this signature is even legit...

Could anyone please have a more expert look on this ?

Hi Kiko Shuro, I checked the

Hi Kiko Shuro,

I checked the pictures and also reached out to another experienced collector to provide his judgement.

Firstly, we both agreed that unfortunately it looks like a gimei. Here are some points:

  • The top 3 kanji (it's the title, Kawachi no Kami, 河内守) were added later. This is evident because a different tool and method were used writing Kunisuke and Kawachi no Kami
  • The bottom 2 kanji (國助) run too close to the edge. It usually indicates the nakago was reshaped, but it feels that it was just added sloppily, or to imitate nakago reshaping (or both reshaping and a sloppy signature)
  • The nakago-ana appears to be newly drilled, potentially by a machine (a disclaimer: while it's likely, making these observations based on photos is difficult).


Hi Stan, Thank you very much

Hi Stan,

Thank you very much for your help ! I'm not very surprised by your judgement, I already had a bad feeling about this mei. Well, I guess that's the game, the blade shape and hamon were appealling to me and probably decided to quickly.

Anyway, thanks again ! Best regards,