Original WWII Japanese Army Officer Katana Samurai Sword by KANEMUNE with USGI Named Leather Scabbard Cover
Original Item: Only One Available. Carlos H Esparza Army Serial number 38583395 was assigned to the 3608th Ordnance Heavy Maintenance Company (Tanks) during WW2 in the Pacific Theater. He brought this Japanese Katana home as a trophy of war. He marked on the leather sword cover with his company and serial number along with the places he was stationed and some dates. The dates begin in October 1943 which is when he enlisted and continue as follows:
Buna ORO BAY - New Guinea
3608th Tank Maint. Co.
A.S.N. 38583395 Kobe, Japan Sept. 1945
Jan 11, 1946
Purchased from a collector, this is an nice condition katana with a steel army scabbard and leather scabbard cover.. The blade is handmade and expertly crafted by a master sword maker due to a few tell tale characteristics that include:
- Single-hole tang.
- Tang is signed by the maker, with 7 character "mei." Most likely it gives the name of the smith, as well as the region.
- Hole in the tang is punch not drilled.
- Folded steel blade (fold lines are evident on the spine and body of blade)
- Visible temper line ("hamon").
- Clear grain (hada) on the blade, with lamination lines visible.
Offered in good condition with some areas of light staining, it is still sharp and mostly nick free. The blade has seen use and cleaning, which have removed a good deal of the blade polishing. There are also areas of light surface rust. Blade length is approximately 25 3/4" and overall length 36.5". Handmade blade with signed semi round tang. Temper line (hamon) is somewhat visible, though the staining can obscure it. Hamon is of the straight type. Grain on blade is visible, along with some blade inclusions typically seen in handmade blades. Blade is in good condition, though a professional Japanese polish would definitely improve appearance.
The tang of the blade is signed 濃 州 住 兼 宗 鍛 之 - NOSHU JU KANEMUNE KITAU KORE. This translates to "Kanemune forged this in Mino Province (Noshu)". There were several smiths working during the WWII Period using the name Kanemune using these specific Kanji forms, however only one is listed as working at seki: 福本 小市 - Fukumoto Koichi.
Round brass tsuba (cross guard) with brass Imperial Army menuki (grip decoration), and a standard army Kabuto Gane (pommel cap) with ornate loop and tassel, one bamboo securing peg still present. The Excellent stingray Sa-Me (grip) with complete Ito (cloth binding), though the cloth is stained from use. The Scabbard (saya) is painted wood with brass fittings, and in fair condition with original paint. Over the scabbard is a nice leather sword cover in fair condition, which bears the history of the USGI who carried it.
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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