Original WWII Japanese Army Officer Katana Samurai Sword in Scabbard By TAKEHISA - Dated Spring 1943

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Purchased directly from a collector, this is a very nice wartime production medium grade Japanese officer Katana (Gunto). The blade bears the markings of TAKEHISA, who operated in the "Showa-Aichi" province during the war, as per Modern Japanese Swordsmiths by John Slough. He was predominantly known for his medium-grade showato, which comprise the vast bulk of his wartime output. This sword is typical of his work, and is also marked with the date of manufacture: Spring 1943. The blade is arsenal-made, with some machine work, combined with hand work. It has the following features:

- Single hole tang with original file marks present.

- Tang is signed by the maker on both sides with date!

- High Polish mostly straight blade without any visible grain (hada).

Offered in good condition with a clean mostly bright blade, this sword has definitely seen use, as indicated by blade and handle condition. The cutting edge has some small nicks up and down the cutting edge, and there is a bit of surface rust near the hilt.  There does not appear to have been any post-war sharpening of the blade however, and it is still sharp.  Blade is somewhat heavy and the length is approximately 26 1/4" and overall length 37 1/2".

The tang of the blade (nakago) is the typical futsu (normal) shape of the period, with a kengyo (symmetrically pointed) tip, with some file marks. The maker is marked with two characters: 武 久- TAKEHISA. The opposite side of the tang is marked with the date, which is in the standard Japanese format: 昭 和 十 八 年 春 (Showa Juu Hachi Nen Haru). This date system is based on the year of the current reigning emperor, so this sword was made in the 18th (Juu Hachi) year (Nen) of Showa Emperor Hirohito's reign, 1943 in the western calendar, in the Spring season (haru). This was considered most auspicious time for forging swords.

The blade mountings are the classic WW2 era Army style. Round brass tsuba (cross guard) is of the typical army type, with cherry blossom decorations. The fuchi (blade collar) is gilt copper. The tsuka (handle) has brass Imperial Army cherry blossom menuki (grip decoration), and a nice Kabuto-Gane (Pommel Cap), with the bamboo securing peg still present. It has an excellent stingray Sa-Me (grip) with complete Ito (cloth binding), though the cloth is slightly stained from use.

The cross guard and pommel cap have matching cherry blossom motifs, which are also found on the scabbard fittings. There are 3 Seppa (spacers) around the cross guard to keep the fit tight and they are inleted for the scabbard lock. The Scabbard (saya) is steel with a wood interior, and is in good condition, though it is missing some of the original brown paint. It matches and locks into the scabbard.

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.

Each hand-made Samurai sword is unique because it is forged from steel stock. A tremendous amount of work is dedicated to creating these pieces. They were an instrument of war as much as a beautiful artifact to adorn a room.

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

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