I was asked relatively early on in my path of providing translations for and writing books on Japanese swords to produce something on gendaitô. I then always promised to do so but kept postponing such a project, on the one hand because I was so occupied with providing information on older swords, i.e. kotô, shintô, and shinshintô, and on the other hand because I did not yet have an idea about how to tackle this topic in the first place. Several relevant books had been published that deal with the post-Meiji sword world and the most important smiths of that era so I didn’t want to ruminate and write the same thing just with other words. Listening to inquiries I get on a regular basis on gendaitô however, it emerged that what was mostly needed was information on these smiths and references of their work. Thus I decided that when I am tackling the topic gendaitô, it should be more a database with CV’s of swordsmiths etc. rather than a history book.

In this sense, I started to collect gendaitô-related data and announced on several platforms, e.g. my website and the Nihonto Message Board, that I was looking for relevant references. This was in summer of 2014. Planned was a book that introduces in an alphabetical order as many as possible gendaitô smiths but then throughout 2015 and up to early 2016, I had received so much data that I started to think of a two-pronged approach. In other words, there is no way to fit all these gigabytes into a single physical book and I also didn’t want to have important references rot on my HD. Thus a comprehensive online database suggested itself which is easy to extend and which also allows corrections and amendments whenever new data comes in.

Long story short, there still will be a book (and an eBook) that lists all the gendaitô smiths I have in my records so far and what is known on each of them (as mentioned, as comprehensive as possible). There will be references in the form of oshigata and blade pictures and also portrait photos of some of the smiths will be provided. Parallel to that, I want to create the mentioned online database which should look something like seen here and here. For doing so, I need funds to cover the time necessary to feed the database over the coming months and to maintain it in the years to come. I thought that the database should be free and accessible for everyone who is looking for relevant information and that is why I decided to tackle this is a one-time crowdfunding instead of a pay to play or an individual subcription approach. And this is why I need your help to create the most comprehensive database on gendaitô smiths and to preserve information on them for future generations!

I am leaving for Europe this Thursday to work on a museum project and as soon as I get back, I will start an crowdfunding for the Gendaito Project. There will be giveaways and perks for donations, for example eBooks and books of mine of choice, the finished Gendaito book, and even some tsuba for those who want to contribute a little more. So please stay tuned and share with your gendaitô friends that the campaigns is going to launch around March 1. Thank you!

11 thoughts on “GENDAITO PROJECT

      • Have u had time to look at the NTHK papers I sent for my friend.
        U can bill me when your done
        Thank u

        Sent from my iPhone

      • Hello my friend,

        I hope all is well and this email finds you. Congratulations on the wonderful job you were doing for the Met. I follow your post things on YouTube and you have truly transformed the collection they have and been able to share such beautiful information with us all. I would like to hire you for a few jobs at your convenience and with no time expectations. I have some translations on older Hon’ami papers, sayagaki and some historical information found on a few swords sayagaki. I know you are incredibly busy so please if you are able to accept these jobs take your time. I will pay you in advance.

        Take care my friend and if you’re ever in Florida I insist that you pay me a visit in Florida Keys for a day or two of on the water in fresh Fish. Best, Joe Forcine

        Sent from my iPhone


      • Hi Joe, so good to hear from you, it has been a while! Please mail me everything that needs translation/attention to and I will check it out and get back to you via email. Thank you for your kind words and I will certainly let you know when I am in Florida the next time👍 Cheers, Markus.

  1. geoffrey j ward used Amazon Drive to share with you. View it here:

    From: Markus Sesko To: Sent: Tuesday, February 7, 2017 6:41 PM Subject: [New post] GENDAITO PROJECT #yiv9392511029 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv9392511029 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv9392511029 a.yiv9392511029primaryactionlink:link, #yiv9392511029 a.yiv9392511029primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv9392511029 a.yiv9392511029primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv9392511029 a.yiv9392511029primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv9392511029 | Markus Sesko posted: “UPDATE AND WHAT HAPPENED SO FAR:I was asked relatively early on in my path of providing translations for and writing books on Japanese swords to produce something on gendaitô. I then always promised to do so but kept postponing such a project, on the ” | |

  2. Markus- I have a Gunsui gendai , a “grass writing” tanto example of Horii
    HideAki dated Taisho 10, and a Mikasa HideAki tanto with NBTHK papers
    if interested in oshigata.


    dave meinhart

    • Hi Dave, I am interested. Please send me the pictures to “” at your convenience. Thank you very much for contributing to the project!

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