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Posted By Thomas L. Buck

I was having just a bit of trouble with this mei…

Basically, the signature itself was pretty easy (OITE TOKIWAMATSU YOSHIHARA AKIHIRO SAKU KORE; see HAWLEY - AKI 43 below), but what had me stumped was the character at the bottom, after the signature. The date was unusual as well, it is obviously SHOWA, but I wasn't sure about the year…

The solutions came from a couple of fellow collectors who are members of the TOKEN KENKYU KAI (, an online discussion group.

Here are copies of the responses that I received.

From Peter Bleed:

Interesting sword! The date is a simply zodiac date. The easiest way to check these (for me) is to look at the almanac at the end of Shinshinto Taikan.
The mystery character is more challenging. I have no idea, but it sure looks like it is a word or something that has been "cut". This sword may truly have been made, as a "cutter."

And, from Chris Bowen:

Yes, zodiac date, 1937....And kakihan, not kanji....

Very cool! Thank you Chris & Peter... 

If you are interested in the study of Japanese Art Swords, but are not yet a member, I would highly recommend this group!  This is one of the best pools of cutting edge (excuse the pun) information from some of the leading experts in the field. 





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Thomas L. Bu...
Duluth, MN

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