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Several years ago I bought this SAMURAI from a Command Sergeant Major on our Base. He said it had been in his Family for years but couldn't remember if it was from his Dad or his Uncle.
I asked if he'd ever researched it by removing the Handle ..he didn't have a clue and said it's been in the Attic untouched since 1945.
I had a feeling it was an old Blade but because of our schedule , I didn't have the time to research it so, I put it on the side.

I decided to bring it with me to the Max show and thought it would be more interesting (and fun) to share pulling the Handle for the first time with other Collectors around.
We removed the Dowel and tried pulling the Handle ..it wouldn't budge
I did start to worry a little when several Collectors tried by pointing the Sword up in the Air and smacking the Handle upwards.
All I could picture was the Blade "Launching" itself and flying across the room Eek
That would have been a memorable Max Show sight huh ?

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Several tried but , that Handle didn't want to move ..Bill Rannow told me to bring it to his Table where he had the Tool for the Job ..it finally came off and the Tang was marked.I have to admit ..it was kinda exciting not knowing how it would turn out.
Bill ID'ed the name as --
"Yoshihisa" and said it dated around 1550
I was lucky ..

I just tried taking the Handle off again to get a shot of the Tang but ...guess what ? It's stuck again

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another angle--

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I kept tapping it and it finally came off

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2

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3

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The worst case ..we would have removed the Handle and it wouldn't be signed ...that would have been like that Heraldo show when they opened Al Capone's Safe and it was empty. In this case though ..it turned out a lot better. Signed Blades are a good thing WinkThanks to Bill Rannow for his help on this ..another Gentleman who excels in his field Smile

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MIKE-
CAN YOU POST A CLEARER PICTURE OF THE SIGNATURE?
SIGNED BLADES HAVE IMPORTANCE ONLY IF THE SIGNATURE IS CORRECT FOR THE BLADE.AT TIMES, AN UNSIGNED BLADE OF HIGH QUALITY WORK CAN BE WORTH FAR MORE THAN A BLADE WITH A FALSE SIGNATURE. A NICE SET OF MOUNTINGS WITH LEATHER HANDLE WRAP.
BOB


"A man needs to know his limitations" Dirty Harry
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Don’t quite know what to say here Bob …I was really happy with this untouched example but for some reason you now put it in a bad light and publicly cast doubt on whether or not the signature is a copy. Thanks for that. If there was an issue with this Blade , Bill Rannow and others at the Max would have known.

Glad you like the leather.

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I decided to “Clarify” things so others don’t get the wrong impression and think there’s a problem with this Sword …it’s not a Chinese Post War Ebay Sword. What I think (hope) Bob was referring to is the fact that some OLDER Blades did have the wrong Signature placed on them so they would sell for more or maybe status thing or whatever. So , the Blade could be from the 14 or 1500’s but , might have a fake name on it. I believe they dealt harshly with this practice back then but ..it was done.
So …I hope Bob wasn’t inferring that someone marked the Tang post war because that is not the case here. And as I said before , if there was an issue or any Red Flags …I’m sure Bill Rannow would have spoken up since it was in his hands and he was the first to remove that Handle in over 60 years.

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A few better closeups --

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#2

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In my opinion, the information provided by Bob was meant to be helpful and not a slam on this sword. Many blades had gimei (fake) signatures applied to them to increase their value. This practice goes back hundreds of years and was very very common. Without putting the blade through a Shinsa (formal appraisal) it would be difficult to say if the signature is fake. The signature was read by Bill however, did he give you an opinion as to if he thought it was genuine? I’m guessing not as it would be next to impossible to have done so. He would have needed oshigatas of genuine Yoshihisa blades in order to compare the mei (signature) and other traits of the nakago (tang). I think his point was that just because it’s signed, doesn’t mean it’s worth more than a mumei (unsigned) piece. Especially if the signature is gimei. Each blade needs to be judged on its own merits first and signature second. In any event, a very nice looking sword that deserves more research.

Gary

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Hi Gary ..Thanks for chiming in. I’ve always been very careful and tried my best not to be Vague when voicing my opinion on an item ….we MUST keep in mind that other Collectors could read a Post and easily misunderstand what’s been said .
I would not have had a problem if Bob had clarified what he said and posted an explanation so a novice wouldn’t walk away from this thread thinking that this Sword had a Fake Signature . But the way he worded it didn’t help with a first impression –
Quote --“SIGNED BLADES HAVE IMPORTANCE ONLY IF THE SIGNATURE IS CORRECT FOR THE BLADE. AT TIMES, AN UNSIGNED BLADE OF HIGH QUALITY WORK CAN BE WORTH FAR MORE THAN A BLADE WITH A FALSE SIGNATURE.”

And the only good thing he had to say about it was re the Leather and Mountings ..that insinuates there’s a problem with everything else —
Quote --“A NICE SET OF MOUNTINGS WITH LEATHER HANDLE WRAP.

If someone posted a named Political Leaders Tunic on a Thread and I replied in ALL CAPS –
“SIGNED / NAMED TUNICS HAVE IMPORTANCE ONLY IF THE TAG IS CORRECT FOR THE TUNIC. AT TIMES , AN UN-NAMED/LABELED TUNIC OF HIGH QUALITY CAN BE WORTH FAR MORE THAN A TUNIC WITH A FALSE LABEL”

How do you think that would sound ? What impression would that give the reader ? …Most would read that and think I was implying that there was a problem with the Uniform and someone had attached a named Label on it post war.

My point is clear …there’s no “wiggle” room here ..it was a mistake and I took offence.
What happens when maybe years from now I decide to sell it ?? If a potential buyer finds this Thread and get’s the wrong impression , think he’ll still buy it ?

This is a perfect example of how or why many are hesitant to post things or share items with other Collectors …being Vague can cause problems.
To some , I’m sure it’s a game they enjoy …I’m sure that was not Bobs intention and he probably took for granted that everyone reading his Post would understand what he was saying …but I Did want to “fix” this and clarify things before it became an issue.

At this point …IMO this thread is trashed ..it’s taken a new direction and the Sword no longer seems to be the main topic.
Maybe the Moderator could remove the whole Post and we can move on.

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quote:
Originally posted by mike peters:
The worst case ..we would have removed the Handle and it wouldn't be signed ...that would have been like that Heraldo show when they opened Al Capone's Safe and it was empty. In this case though ..it turned out a lot better. Signed Blades are a good thing Wink


Mike, Yes, signed blades are a good thing, but I really think Bob was trying to respond to your comment which somewhat implied that an unsigned blade would be a big disappointment. Many experienced collectors (I'm sure Bill and Bob are among them) can tell when, what school of swordsmiths and often by whom a blade was made soley by viewing the color of the steel, curvature of the blade, the temper line, the blade point, etc. - before ever looking for a signature. Many important Japanese blades are unsigned. I did not get the impression that Bob was belittling your nice Katana. Just my humble opinion.
BTW, Bob nearly always types in CAPS. I always used to consider that being the same as SHOUTING.
That is, until a friend with poor eyesight told me it was easier to read for him.


WANTED TO REPURCHASE!! Walther pistol Model PP - ac code - Ser. No. 382000P - REWARD FOR INFO ABOUT THIS PISTOL!!
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Thanks Denny ..I had 3 Emails from other Collectors this morning who also took it the wrong way as well as 3 phone calls about it ...so I wasn't the only one reading it that way. As I mentioned before , if he had only clarified his comments there would have been no room for any mis-understanding.
That's ok ..it's a dead issue now and (in a way)so's the sword.
We gain nothing by alienating a fellow Collector.
I firmly believe that we should re-read everything we write BEFORE we hit that “POST” button to ensure that we don’t insult anyone or our words can be Vague enough to create a mis-understanding. It’s not what you know or have that defines you as a Collector …it’s the type of person you are and how you treat others that’s remembered long after you're gone.
I decided to keep the Sword and use it to cut Pizza’s now ..I think Belushi had the right idea and it might be a great marketing tool when we re-open our Restaurant someday.
Big Grin

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Mike, I've never met Bob but my take was he was trying to be helpful.Your reaction would of been appropriate had his response been added to a Sword For Sale post on another board. That wasn't the case. If & when your sword is ever sold all potential, serious buyers will judge the sword/blade on it's own merits not photos & I doubt this post will detract anything from that future sale. Consider this thread closed.


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