Original WWII Japanese Navy Officer P1937 Kai-Gunto Katana Samurai Sword with Scabbard - Matching Numbers
Original Item: Only One Available. Purchased directly 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 only mild use, without much damage or wear.
The blade is very good condition with some scuffing from use, and it is still sharp, with some small nicks and dents on the blade. Blade length is 26 1/4 inches and overall length 37 inches. It has a factory forged blade, with two mounting holes in the standard long tang, which has an asymmetrically rounded (haagari) tang tip. The tang itself is marked 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 is the faded number 492 written on both sides of the tang.
The blade retains most of the original factory finish, with a simulated temper line. With the near total absence of rust, even on the tang, we are fairly certain that this is a stainless steel blade, but we have not been able to verify this. Japanese Kai-Gunto naval officers swords are somewhat rare, given that they usually went down with the ships. This particular example has the higher grade 1937 Pattern fittings with the lacquered sharkskin wrapped scabbard, indicating this may have been made for a front line naval officer.
It has a heavy brass tsuba (cross guard) and the large brass Seppa (spacers) and O-Seppa (Large spacers) around the tsuba are large and highly stylized. The tsuka (handle) has two brass Cherry-Blossom menuki (grip decorations), and a nice nickel highlighted brass Kabuto-Gane (End Cap), with the wooden securing peg still present. Excellent sharkskin (SAME HADA) grip with complete olive-colored Ito (cloth binding) with fine decorative collar. Condition of the blade, scabbard and fittings is very good, indicating light use, though the wrapping on the grip is a bit worn and dirty. There also is some plating loss on the various metal fittings. As typical of the pattern, Cherry Blossom motifs appear on many of the fittings. The handle is tight to the blade, with secure spacers.
The Wood scabbard is wrapped in lacquered sharkskin shagreen, and has all brass fittings, with traces of nickel plating. All of the fittings are still secure, and have not gotten loose over the years. Two hanging loops are present, and the condition is very good, with only a few dents and slight splitting of the sharkskin. There is also some wear to the shagreen lacquering. The fuchi, tsuba, and all of the spacers are stamped with western number 492, and the end of the tsuka is marked 四 九 二, the Japanese numerals 4 9 2. This indicates that this set of KOSHIRAE (fittings) were all made for this specific blade, which has the matching number on the tang. Mixtures of Japanese and Western numbers are typical.
Really a great example of a Imperial Japanese Navy Kai-Gunto with a Stainless Steel blade, ready to display!
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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