Original WWII Japanese Navy Officer P1937 Kai-Gunto Katana Samurai Sword with Scabbard - Matched Number 98
Original Item: Only One Available. Purchased recently from a collector, this is a very nice wartime production Japanese Naval officer Katana in the Pattern 1937 Kai-Gunto setting. A ;Kai-Guntō (海軍刀, naval sword) is a weapon and symbol of rank used by the Imperial Japanese Navy during the WWII Period. This is a very nice example, complete with scabbard, and shows light to moderate use, with some wear to the blade edge.
The blade is in very good condition, with just a few nicks on the blade, which is still very sharp. It does look to have been sharpened post arsenal, and there is some scuffing and dried sap near the edge, so this looks to have been used to cut through brush at some point. Blade length is 24 3/4 inches and overall length 35 1/2 inches. It has a factory forged steel blade, with a single mounting hole in the standard long Futsu 普通 (regular) shaped Nakago (tang) with a Kuri-jiri (rounded) nakago-jiri. The tang itself is marked with a Naval ANCHOR stamp, indicating manufacture at Toyokawa Naval Arsenal (豊川海軍工廠, Toyokawa kaigun kōshō). There is no signature (MEI), as is usual for later war pieces. There there are the painted Japanese numbers 九 八 - (9 8) on the tang.
The blade retains most of the original factory finish, with a simulated temper line. There is also a simulated yokote, and given the total absence of rust on the blade, we believe it to be made from Stainless steel, which was popular for the rust-inducing ocean environment. Japanese Kai-Gunto naval officers swords are somewhat rare, given that they usually went down with the ships. This particular example has mid grade fittings, which are quite nice, but not the same level seen on the higher end examples made for command officers.
It has a heavy brass plated iron tsuba (cross guard) and two brass seppa (spacers) surrounding it. The tsuka (handle) has two brass Cherry-Blossom menuki (grip decorations), and a nice highlighted brass Kabuto-Gane (End Cap), held in place by a short rope. It has an excellent condition black oilcloth grip with complete olive-colored Ito (cloth binding) with fine decorative collar (fuchi). Condition of the scabbard and fittings is very good, indicating light use. There is some plating loss on the various metal fittings due to age. As typical of the pattern, Cherry Blossom motifs appear on many of the fittings. The handle is tight to the blade, with no cross guard wobble.
The Wood scabbard has a standard black lacquer finish over a fabric gauze wrapping, and has all brass fittings, with much of the original gilding. The fittings are somewhat loose due to age, but they are still held in place party by the original glue. Condition is good, though there is wear to the paint, and splitting along the wood seams on both sides, which happens over the years as the wood expands and contracts due to temperature and moisture. This has allowed some of the fabric wrapping to be seen. The fuchi, tsuba, and one of the spacers are all marked with western number 98. This matches the number 九 八 - (9 8) painted onto the tang, and written on the end of the Tsuka. This indicates that this set of KOSHIRAE (fittings) were all made for this specific blade.
Really a very nice example of a Imperial Japanese Navy Kai-Gunto with a stainless steel blade, ready to display!
Blade Length: 24 3/4"
Blade Style: Katana
Overall length: 35 1/2“
Scabbard Length: 29"
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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