Original WWII Japanese Army Officer Katana Samurai Sword by YOSHISADA with Canvas Covered Wood Scabbard
Original Item: Only One Available. Purchased from a veteran's family, this is an nice condition katana with a wooden scabbard and canvas military scabbard cover with hanger loop. The blade is handmade and expertly crafted by a master sword maker indicated by a few tell tale characteristics that include:
- Single-hole tang.
- Tang is signed by the maker, with 5 character "mei."
- Hole in the tang is punch not drilled. There is also wear around the hole, so it may be older than WW2 era.
- Folded steel blade (fold lines are evident on the spine and body of blade)
- Visible temper line ("hamon") which is mostly straight, with some undulation.
- 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 seen use and has a few fingerprint marks and scuffs, but in general the finish is bright and clear. The temper line (hamon) is visible, and is of the SUGU, or "straight" type, though there are some undulations more typical of the NOTARE or "zig zag" shape. Overall a very attractive active hamon.
Blade length is approximately 26 1/4" and overall length 36 1/4". 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. Interestingly, while while definitely hand-made, there is a "Showa" stamp on the tang above the mei, something usually seen on non-traditionally made blades.
One side of the tang bears the makers name: 石 原 義 定 作, which is read ISHIHARA YOSHISADA SAKU, or "Yoshisada Ishihara Made this". Yoshisada is listed in the Seki Tanrensho Booklet printed in 1939. Their real name was 石原 錠一 - Ishihara Jouichi. It was common for smiths to use part of their real name in their "swordsmith" name.
The TSUKA ("handle") and TSUBA ("cross guard") are quite nice, though not of the typical Army issue design. The cross guard is brass and rounded, with a decorative cast acid-etched type design, while the brass Kashira (End Cap) is plain. There may have been a design on it but it looks to have worn off. The MEKUGI (peg) is still present, though it is wood and not bamboo. Excellent stingray Sa-Me (grip) with complete Ito (cloth binding), and the binding is in excellent condition. The Scabbard (saya) is wood and in very nice condition. It is the more traditional design, but a canvas cover and leather loop with a brass hanger ring has been sewn over it to have it hang edge down, typical of WW2 issue.
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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