Ryujin Swords

Star stamped gendaito by Kunimitsu in Landing Force Mounts



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Blade

Period: Showa.

Mei: Oshu sendai ju Kunimitsu with star stamp. The obverse of the nakago dates the sword to 1943.

Sugata: Shinogi-zukuri, tori-zori, iori-mune.

Overall length: 33.86 inches (860.00 mm).

Nagasa: 25.47 inches (647.00 mm).

Nakago: Ubu, 8.39 inches (213.00 mm). Kiri yasurime with kesho, ha-agari kurijiri nakago-jiri, one mekugi-ana. The numbers on the end of the tang are not a serial number, but part of the Imperial Japanese Army's internal accounting system. The paint marks relate to the sword being assembled with its koshirae.

Kissaki: Chu-kissaki, 1.39 inches (35.40 mm). O-maru boshi.

Moto-haba: 1.32 inches (33.50 mm). Saki-haba: 0.91 inches (23.00 mm). Moto-gasane: 0.30 inches (7.70 mm). Saki-gasane: 0.24 inches (6.00 mm).

Sori: 0.56 inches (14.30 mm).

Hamon: Chu-suguha mixed with notare. Deep ashi and some sunagashi.

Hada: Itame.

Blade condition: In good recent polish.

Mounts:

In unrestored but near mint 1944 pattern Landing Forces koshirae. The saya is black lacquered wood. The tsuka is bound with the usual katate-maki. The locking mechanism is relatively unusual, in that it has two buttons, though this is known from other 44 pattern mounts. The habaki and the menuki have also been blacked, presumably to reduce reflection. Even small reflections can carry a long way at night at sea.

Comments:

The smith is Miura Kunimitsu (Hawley KUN536, TK216).

This is a traditionally made sword. The presence of hada and a water-quenched hamon is obvious. The star stamp indicates a blade made by swordsmiths of the Rikugun Jumei Tosho (Army Certified Swordsmith). To become Rikugun Jumei Tosho, a swordsmith had to pass tests and examination of his blades. If the smith passed, he was given a regular allocation of tamehagane with which to make sword blades. A complete list of Rikugun Jumei Tosho swordsmiths was published in Showa 17 as "Rikugun Jumei Tosho Meibo". The NBTHK is on record as papering star stamped gendaito.

References

Hawley W M (1998), Hawley's Japanese Swordsmiths 3rd Edition, W M Hawley Library, Hollywood, USA.

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