Original WWII Japanese Army Officer P-1944 Type 3 Rinji Seikishi Shin-Gunto Katana Sword with Scabbard
Original Item: Only One Available. Purchased recently at a large military auction, this is a very nice late war style mid grade Japanese officer Katana, with an arsenal-made blade. It is in the standard 1944 pattern fittings, offically known as the 臨時正式 (Rinji Seikishi) or "Special Contingency" version of the Type 98 Shin-Gunto (九八式軍刀 kyūhachi-shiki guntō) setting, sometimes called the "Type 3".
These fittings, while often called the P-1944, were in fact designed in 1938, but didn't really see much use until 1940. They were designed to be more robust than the regular Type 98 fittings, as well as less expensive and time consuming to produce. However the standard Type 98 fittings continued to be produced concurrently until almost the end of the war.
A Shin-Guntō (新軍刀, new military sword) is a weapon and symbol of rank used by the Imperial Japanese Army between the years of 1935 and 1945. These are not made as carefully or to as high of a standard as the earlier blades, which makes them a very economical way to get into Japanese sword collecting. This is a very nice example, and appears to have seen very little use in combat, though there is some staining on the blade from storage and oxidation.
The katana itself measures 36 3/4 inches overall, with a 25 3/4 inch arsenal-made blade. The blade is most likely not traditionally made, as it does not show any lamination lines or grain, and does not have the correct polish for a hand-made blade. It has a standard bright finish to it, with a faux hamon (temper line). The blade is unsigned 無名 (mumei), or "anonymous", with just some faded paint markings visible. This is quite common for the late war type.
Condition of the blade is very good, showing very little use, and the edge has just a few tiny nicks on it. There is some scuffing and swirl marks on the surface, but no major removed past oxidation or staining. The tang of the blade (nakago) is the typical futsu (普通 normal) shape of the period, with a Kuri-jiri (symmetrical rounded) nakago-jiri (tang tip). The tang is also notable for the "hand hammered" appearance, possibly because the arsenal made tangs were not available due to the late production, so one was fabricated on the spot. There is also only one hole in the tang (mekugi-ana), instead of the usual two for this type.
The blade mountings are the typical Pattern 1944 era Army style. Round iron tsuba (cross guard) with no decorations, a copper habaki (blade collar), with an iron fuchi (grip collar). There are two seppa (spacers) surrounding the tsuba, properly inlet for the scabbard lock, which is present but non functional due to the end hook breaking off.
The tsuka (handle) has black painted copper Imperial Army cherry blossom menuki (grip decoration), and an unadorned black Kabuto-Gane (Pommel Cap). The Tsuka (handle) has an excellent stingray (Sa-Me) grip panels, covered with complete Ito (cloth binding), which is in very good condition, but not wrapped traditionally, which is typical on the P1944 Setting. The wrapping has been painted with brown lacquer to protect it from the elements in the field, as seen on RJT Katanas. There is a replacement mekugi installed to hold the grip on, as the original was lost long ago.
The scabbard for this katana is in very good condition, with the correct original brown paint and late war blacked steel fittings. It matches the handle, and is of the correct 1944 pattern style. It really is in great shape, with very few scratches, and no dents that we can see.
A great chance to pick up a real Japanese WWII Shin-Gunto, brought back from the Pacific Theater by a USGI and ready to display!
Blade Length: 25 3/4"
Blade Style: Katana - Shinogi-zukuri
Overall length: 36 3/4“
Scabbard Length: 28 1/2"
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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