Tang = NAKAGO (in Japanese)
Usually tang has a signature of the maker.
And sometimes the date or other things, prayer, owner's
name, result of cutting test and etc.
"Bishu Osafune ju Kage...." The last one character was
"Genkou gan nen 12 gatsu" (1331 December)
"Higo Dotanuki Munehiro"
"Ansei 4 nen Hachigatsu nichi" (1857 August)
On much shortened blades, the signature has been removed
by the work.
This blade is shortened and filed to make new tang in
Sometimes such blades have some kinds of letters on its
A gold inlay of smith's name is maker's name that was
done at the same time of shortening the blade, being sorry the signature
Names that written with lacquer are attributed name.
A red lacquer is on the original unsigned tang. A gold
lacquer is on the shortened tang.
Result of cutting test in the tang
It says that two persons, Urano Masanaga and Tomita Yaichizaemon
Shigetsuna, cut bodies many times.
Generally tang condition is important on Japanese blades
to see the age.
I understand such idea that wanting to remove rust and
clean tang. But traditionally we respect the ageing of things in Japan.
Please keep the tang condition, naturally ageing deserves to be appreciated.
When the rust condition on the tang is not natural, we
can treat it as fake even if the signature is genuine.
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