Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Another mystery has been uncovered and The Sabaku Samurai is asking all readers for help in solving it. Into our greedy little fingers has been delivered a marvelous sword in wonderful Efu Tachi mounts. The blade is an excellent quality koto period piece that is suriagi (slightly shortened) but still measures 26 1/2 inches. It sports a two character signature that says "Ieyoshi". So far a nice package but nothing really unusual right? But wait! There's more!

The tachi lives in a battered old box missing one end with Japanese writing all over it. Since the Sabaku Samurai has an inquiring mind and a deep burning desire to know, the trusty ol' Japanese character dictionary was sent for and mad ciphering was begun. In a reasonable amount of time (I'm not going to define "reasonable") a somewhat sensible translation was obtained. We all know that the Sabaku Samurai is not necessarily the sharpest knife in the drawer (in fact sometimes I suspect I'm actually a fork) so I will confess that the translation might be open to debate. But, this is what I came up with. The outside of the cover of the box says "Congratulatory gift to the Chief of the General Staff". The inside of the box says the sword's signature is Ieyoshi and that it is a Kenuki gata (Hair tweezer) style Efu Tachi. It goes on to say that the blade was made about 500 years ago and the koshirae is 120 to 130 years old. The last line seems to say that this type of sword was used for full dress court occasions for the Daimyo or Royal Family. Whoa! Pretty damn cool!

OK, so what's the mystery you ask? (yes you asked, I heard you) I want to find out who the hell this thing was given to, from whom and when. I have no background on the sword at all. I assume that it was brought back to the US as a WWII souvenir but I don't know that for sure. Was this a gift from the Emperor? Was it given in the 1800s to a Japanese Chief of the General Staff during the Japanese Russian war or during WWI or WWII? Was it a gift to an American Chief of the General Staff during the post WWII occupation? I JUST GOTTA KNOW!

If any one out there has a clue or advice on how to find the answers to these perplexing questions or has come up with a solution to that whole "what is the meaning of life" thing, please let me in on it. Check out sabakusamurai.com. I am over and out. Buhbuy

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