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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This was unexpected - the knife I posted about a couple days ago - just took off the wood and there is writing underneath !!! Need translation please, I hope my sucky photos are good enough.
 

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Okha's got it spot on. It is without question 忠吉 (Tadayoshi).
The originality of the signature is somewhat quesitonable since there were so many Tadayoshi gimeis made.
 

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This will not put a smile on your face, but comes from a bit of experience with Japanese blades. For this particular blade, there is little value without a complete repolish of the blade by a professional polisher. It has been hit hard with abrasive sharpening and poor maintenance by its previous non-Japanese owner. Many older blades were put in shirasaya (resting mounts) because they were worn out to begin with. Repolish will cost $100 per inch or more. The determination to make that investment requires expert appraisal of the signature and blade quality as a basis for polish. Finding someone with the credentials to do the appraisal will require a bit of work and coordination (and cash). If you are looking to sell, this is too much risk/work/investment for most folks. So you essentially have a ragged out blade that does not present well and most folks won't pay much for. Now, as a starter blade for a collection, it is good if you got a bargain on it. I once bought a waki in similar condition from Bungo province for $50 and got more than that for the tsuba after I outgrew it.
 

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Like edokko and brad said, signature must be verified (also many generations). But also tadayoshi/ tadahiro blades (if genuine) are hizen blades. Hizen swords are very thin skinned. Meaning that if polished they are easily to open up the innner core. Openning and exposing the inner core makes the blade tired. One must have a excellent polisher that has experience with Hizen blades. On a good note, when Japan openned up to the western world in the late 1860's a gift of two Japanese swords were given from the Emperor to the President of the U.S. via Commodore Perry. I seen the two in private showing at the smithsonian, two wakizashis (short sword). One was a Sukehiro of Echizen, the other was a either a tadahiro/tadayoshi of Hizen. The early generations of Tadahiro and Tadayoshi are very famous and expensive blades, but like Edokko says many false signatures. This could be a latter generation of tadayoshi however. Just curioius however, is the temper visible? If so is it a straight relatively even temper. The reason I'm asking is the straight temper is relaitively a common pattern used by these schools. Sometimes you see the more dramatic wavy temper, but not too often.
 

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Just looked at your sword again, has this sword been buffed? I don't see the distinct ridge lines (shinogi gi) nor the tip tri-section (yokote) lines? If so the temper maybe obscured out and not visible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I learned a lot about it today, both here & at the gun show in NC I took it to. Ed Hicks examined it, also said it was Tadayoshi, 18th century. It has not been over polished, and no signs of aggressive sharpening. He made an interesting offer on it, but I took it home. Also ran into 03man, always nice to see him at the shows. I will look at the ridge lines and make better notes of condition, maybe shot and post some better pictures. This is a really cool little piece, especially for how I found it, and what I have into it.
 

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Rick,
you didn't run into me today; been home all day!

Wonder who it was?
 
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