My Uncle Joe’s estate includes many guns, knifes, swords, and other military and related items. They are part of an auction that is running online and that will end with a live auction this Thursday in Berea. More than 200 of the items listed are from his estate, and there are more non-gun items not listed. He was quite the collector.

I plan to go to the auction on Thursday to see how it is run, see how the estate makes out, and also possibly to bid on an item. The only thing I’m interested in at all is a katana. He had several katana’s, but most were Chinese machine made, and aren’t listed for auction. The listed one looks like it could be a real, hand made one from Japan, probably World War II era. It will likely go for more than I’d want to spend, but if it doesn’t, I may make a bid. I don’t have a need for it, but I think it’d be cool to have and something to remember my Uncle by.

I spent a good bit of time trying to find out more about the sword by reading the marks (mei) on the tang. I can read “17 year” in yellow on the one side, but not the two characters before, likely the era. They don’t look like any era I found in this list of eras, including ones that would be likely for a WWII weapon, though I find it very difficult to match the hand drawn symbols to the clean computer characters. The red paint marks look like “1?73”, with the “?” an unreadable blob to my eyes. I couldn’t figure out the writing on the other side. A reddit intro helped me get as far as I did.

The dressing of the weapon appears to be shin-gunto (army officer sword from WWII), based on this information page.