Ryujin swords

Gendaito by Takehisa in shin-gunto mounts

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Period: Showa.

Mei: Takehisa saku. The blade is dated 1943. One 'W' stamp.

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

Overall length: 34.69 inches (881.00 mm).

Nagasa: 26.30 inches (668.00 mm).

Nakago: Ubu, 8.39 inches (213.00 mm), one mekugi-ana, sujikai yasurime with kesho, ha agari kurijiri.

Kissaki: Chu-kissaki, inches ( mm), o-maru boshi.

Moto-haba: 1.26 inches (32.10 mm). Saki-haba: 0.85 inches (21.70 mm). Moto-gasane: 0.31 inches (7.80 mm). Saki-gasane: 0.22 inches (5.60 mm).

Sori: 0.62 inches (15.70 mm).

Hamon: Chu-suguha.

Hada: Difficult to see, given the wartime polish, but ko-masame that's almost muji. You need a magnifying glass.

Blade Condition: In good condition. It would probably need a polish before you used it for tameshigiri, but otherwise it is fine.


Shin-gunto mounts with special order metal fittings.


Takehisa is predominantly known for his medium-grade showato (see Slough) which comprise the vast bulk of his wartime output. However he is also apparently known to have made fine gendaito. That said, given Slough, I was originally tempted to play safe and list this as a non-traditional sword until, on spending some time examining the sword closely, I found evidence of hada. The nakago has been finished carefully, the yasurime are disciplined and have kesho, the signature has been carefully carved and the hamon is suguha rather than the ubiquitous gunome found on the majority of the period's non-traditional blades.

There doesn't appear to be any information about 'W' stamps even in Slough. They appear in profusion on some blades, such as Mantetsu. One person commented that Slough records that they are only found on blades by Takehisa. However, I cannot find the passage referred to and in any case, it is incorrect since I have seen them on the blades of other smiths.

W stamps certainly don't appear to be arsenal marks. They may represent some system internal to the military workshops where blades were checked or mounted in their koshirae, or they may represent some sort of checking system peculiar to a group of smiths.

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