Thanks for all the replies. I don't know if he has access to a digital camera, if not it might be a while before I can get to him and take some pictures of it to post on here. He did say last night that there were 2 small pegs, possibley made of bambo, that had to taken out of the handle to remove the handle. I've seen the sword 40 years ago and I remember it as about 4' long and if perfect condition, but it that was a long time ago. He also told me that a few years ago he had a friend that had some knowledge of swords help him take handle off and he said it was all correct, but could not translate the lettering.