Original WWII Japanese Army Officer Shin-Gunto Katana Sword by YOSHITADA with Scabbard - Dated 1945
Original Item: Only One Available. Purchased directly from a collector, 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 Shin-Gunto setting, and is dated February 1945 on the blade tang. 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.
The katana itself measures 37 inches overall, with a 27 inch arsenal-made blade. The blade is most likely machine made, as it does not show any lamination lines or grain, and does not have the correct geometry or polish for a hand-made blade. It has a standard bright finish to it, with a faux hamon (temper line). Condition is very good to excellent, with just a bit of wear and staining due to age and transportation.
One side of the tang bears the Mei, or signature, of the smith it was made by: 義 忠, which is read as YOSHITADA. There is very little information out there on this maker, which looks to only have made late war blades such as this.
The other side of the tang bears the date when the blade was produced, in the standard long form indicating years into the current emperor's reign: 昭 和 二 十 年 二 月. This would be read: SHOWA (current reigning emperor) Ni-Juu Nen (20th year of reign - 1945) Ni Gatsu (2nd Month - February).
Round tsuba (cross guard) with menuki (grip decoration), and a nice Kashira (End Cap), one bamboo securing peg still present. Excellent stingray Sa-Me (grip) with complete Ito (cloth binding). The Scabbard (saya) is steel and in very nice condition with original WW2 paint and functional locking spring. The Marking 308 is written on the inside of the scabbard, the wood of the hilt, and in red paint on the tang of the blade. These were so that the scabbard and hilt could be matched with the blade once they were done being produced.
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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