Original WWII Japanese Battle Damaged Army Officer Katana Sword in Scabbard By Kane Mori - Dated Dec 1943
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a bit different than most of the Japanese Army Officer Katanas that we have offered. Like most, this was captured during or after WWII, but this particular sword did not escape the battlefield unscathed. The handle (tsuka) was completely broken off about 1.5 inches before the pommel, which damaged the binding, though the blade tang itself was unharmed. So we offer this "battle damaged" example for sale, a perfect opportunity for someone looking to get into Japanese swords.
Purchased directly from a collector, this is a late war style (Pattern 1944) mid grade Japanese officer Katana (Shin-Gunto), with an arsenal-made blade. The blade tang bears two characters on one side of the tang, which are the markings (Mei) of Kane Mori, whose Oshigata (information) can be found on page 56 in Modern Japanese Swordsmiths by John Slough. He was a Japanese Army approved swordsmith, making swords in the traditional and factory fashion. Attached to the scabbard is a tag with this information.
The other side of the tang bears the date when the blade was produced, in the standard long form indicating years into the current emperors reign:
: 昭 和 十 八 年 十 二 月. This would be read: SHOWA (current reigning emperor) Jyu Hachi Nen (18th year of reign - 1943) Jyu Ni Gatsu (12th MONTH - AUGUST). There are also traces of red lacquer on the blade, which were used to match it with it's handle and scabbard (saya).
This katana has definitely seen use, as indicated by blade and handle condition. The 26 1/4 inch long blade is still sharp, and has a good edge, but the polish has degraded, and there are stains and finger marks throughout. It was definitely not properly cleaned at some point, though it could definitely be re polished, as there is not any major damage.
The tang of the blade (nakago) is the typical futsu (normal) shape of the period, with a haagari (symmetrically round) tip, with the usual file marks, which help the tang stay secure in the handle. The fittings on the sword are of iron, in the typical late war Pattern 1944 style. The two hole tang is also typical of this period's arsenal forged blades. Originally the setting would have had a lock that held the scabbard on, but that mechanism was lost when the handle was damaged. The scabbard itself is quite nice, with a good amount of the original paint intact, and a great patina.
Offered as is, ready to display as a battlefield pickup or restore.
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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