Original WWII Japanese Army Officer Katana Samurai Sword with Steel Scabbard and Canvas Cover- Ancient Handmade Signed Blade
Original Item: Only One Available. Purchased directly from a collector overseas, this is a nice condition katana in standard Shin-gunto setting, with matching locking steel scabbard. The blade is handmade and expertly crafted by a master sword maker during the 1800s, or Shinshinto era of swordmaking, indicated by a few tell tale characteristics that include:
- Single-hole tang.
- Tang is signed by the maker
- Hole in the tang is punch not drilled. There is also wear around the hole, indicating great age.
- Tang shows significant age and past removed rust and wear.
- Folded steel blade (fold lines are evident on the spine and body of blade)
- Clear grain (hada) on the blade, with lamination lines visible.
Offered in very good condition with some areas of light staining, it is still sharp and mostly nick free. The blade has however seen use, and unfortunately improper cleaning and oxidation have removed almost all of the original blade finish. Only by removing the blade collar (fuchi) can the original polish and temper line (hamon) be seen. Due to the wear on the grip and scabbard cover, this sword may have seen long service during the war, causing corrosion and damage to the blade. However, the overall condition is still solid, and makes a great display piece. Blade length is approximately 26.5 inches, with an overall length of 38 inches. The tang retains the original file marks, and is of the semi round shape. Grain on blade is visible, along with some blade inclusions typically seen in handmade blades.
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 copper, and is of a style typical of much older blades.The tsuka (handle) has brass Imperial Army cherry blossom menuki (grip decoration), and a nice Kabuto-Gane (Pommel Cap), one bamboo securing peg still present. The cross guard and pommel cap have matching cherry blossom motifs, which are also found on the scabbard fittings. There are 2 Seppa (spacers) around the cross guard to keep the fit tight. These are inleted for the scabbard lock. Excellent stingray Sa-Me (grip) with complete Ito (cloth binding), though the cloth is slightly stained from use.
The Scabbard (saya) is steel and in excellent condition, with almost all of the original paint. It matches and locks into the hilt, and the great condition is mostly due to the field ersatz canvas and leather cover. This cover is not a standard issue, and was made in the field, most likely to allow the scabbard to be gripped more easily with the leather collar. Overall a great display piece with a lot of history and totally correct.
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 multiple pieces of folded 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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