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The Kanemoto Japanese Sword

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Momoyama period (1573 ~ 1603 AD) or earlier Katana

  • Ancestral Ogasawara Sword remounted with Showa period Tsuka and retaining original habaki, original tsuba and original saya.
  • Yakiba (temperline) is sanbonsugi (three cedar zigzag) and indicates a Kanemoto blade.
  • Boshi hamon is also zigzag pattern with a turn back.
  • The Nakagojiri (tang end) appears to be a subtle example of Ha agari kurijiri which is both slightly rounded and slightly slanting.
  • Yasurime is Kiri
  • The tang has no signature or Mei
  • Tsuba carries an Akiyama, Atobe, or Ogasawara family crest (mon)  comprised of a triple stacked diamond in the shape of a stylized pine tree in silver. on the tsuka side of the tsuba.
  • Tsuba also has a carving of Paulownia flower pattern (go-shichi-no-kiri) on both sides. The kanji for Shichi translates as "quality" in English  and no-kiri translates as "big cut" so perhaps the Paulonia motif is a metaphor.
  • Habaki is silver foil cat scratch pattern over copper.
  • Saya also appears to have a variation on the pine emblem repeated in black at intervals through out the red lacquer.


This sword was taken from a Japanese officer during the battle of Okinawa by an American service man during the closing days of World War Two. The serviceman returned to California after the war and brought the sword with him. The Serviceman went on to pursue life as a toy dealer once demobbed. When he died at some time in the 1980's his daughter sold the sword to a martial artist whose day job as a Typist resulted in a bad case of Tunnel Carpel Syndrome. As a result the sword was sold on to its current owner around 1993. The Kanemoto is a very high quality blade. Rumor has it that a US training film demonstrating the Nihonto cutting capability used a machine gun barrel as a test piece.  The sword cut through the barrel with ease.  The sword was reported to be a Kanemoto similar to the one we see here.



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The Kanemoto Japanese Sword
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