Original Japanese WWII Army & Navy Late War Katana Set in Marked USGI Bring Back Box

Item Description

Original Item: One of a Kind Boxed Set. Purchased directly from a veteran's family, this is a Japanese War-time production Sword Collector's dream! In 1946, Eugene. B. Hayden, then a Commander in the U.S. Navy (Service No 72506), officially received permission to bring back these two Japanese swords, as stated on the document nailed to the lid of this box. These two Katanas are in excellent condition, and are perfect examples of a late war production Japanese Army Officer "Shin-Gunto" with a double signed blade and Japanese Navy Officer "Kai-Gunto" with anchor stamp and matching number fittings. If you've been looking for a fabulous set to display, this is it! Opportunities like this do not come about often at all, and this is the first time we have had such a compelling set.

The plywood bring back box this set is housed in measures 44" long, 4.5" wide, and 6.5" tall. Originally it was sealed with screws, and has a nice fabric carry handle on the top. Still attached around the handle are the Naval Air Transport and Naval Supply Center tags, with NAS Honolulu and Pearl Harbor Mentioned. Inside the box, there are some original 50's Hawaiian Newspapers used to pad the swords. Inside the lid is the original Certificate of Disinfection dated March 1946 from the Yap Islands, which were held by Japan until the end of the war, after which they were occupied by U.S. Forces. Next to it is the certificate from Yap Island, also from March 1946, indicating that the two swords are legitimate souvenirs of war. The whole set displays very nicely, and the swords are very good examples of their type.

The Army Shin-Gunto is offered in good condition with a clean bright blade, and has seen little use.  Blade is somewhat heavy and the length is approximately 26" and overall length 37". Arsenal forged blade with two mounting holes in the squared off tang.

This sword is mounted in the typical late WW2 setting. Oval tsuba (cross guard) with plain blacked brass cherry blossom menuki (grip decoration), and a steel kashira (End Cap), with one securing peg present (second is missing but easily replicated. The synthetic stingray and wood shrink over time, so some parts of the handle do not line up perfectly anymore.

Has a nice brass habaki (blade collar), and two seppa (spacers) surrounding the tsuba, as well as a cup shaped seppa. The end of the tsuka (handle) where the blade inserts has a nice blacked brass fuchi (handle collar) embossed with cherry blossoms. The Excellent synthetic stingray Sa-Me (grip) with complete Ito (cloth binding). The Scabbard (saya) is steel and in very nice condition with original WW2 paint and functional locking spring.

The Navy Officer Kai-Gunto, is in even better condition.  The blade is in nearly perfect condition with only a few very minor scuffs, it is still sharp and nick free. Blade length is 24.5" and overall length 35.5". Machine forged blade, with one mounting hole in the squared off tang where there is a Naval ANCHOR stamp (stamped somewhat lightly). The blade retains all of the original factory finish, with a machined temper line.

Nice steel tsuba (cross guard) with gold highlighted menuki (grip decoration), and a nice gold highlighted Kashira (End Cap), bamboo securing peg still present. Excellent rubberized fabric "synthetic sharkskin" Sa-Me (grip) with complete Ito (cloth binding) with fine decorative collar. Condition of the blade, scabbard and fittings is superb, indicating that this sword may have never been issued.

Wood scabbard with brass copper and gold highlights has only a few small dents and dings. The Blade, Hilt, and all parts are marked 37, indicating an original matched set made for this specific blade. The blade itself is marked in lacquer 三 七, the Japanese characters for 3 (san) and 7 (nana). The tsuka (handle) is extremely tight fitting, probably due to the lack of use, as well as shrinking due to age.

It has been over one thousand years ago that the art of making swords appeared in Japan. The swordsmiths of the time may not have known it but they were creating a legendary sword. The Samurai sword has seen combat in many battlefields. From the early days of the Samurai warrior to the fierce battles in the South Pacific during WWII.

The Samurai sword has grown to be one of the most highly desired military antiques.

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