Original WWII Japanese Navy Officer P1937 Kai-Gunto Katana Sword Made by TAKEYASU with Tassel - Matched
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, and shows only mild use, without much damage or wear. It still has the original brown tassel, which was used for all Naval officer grades.
The blade is very good condition with some minor scuffing, and it is still sharp and just has a small nick about 5 inches from the blade tip. Blade length is 26 1/8 inches and overall length 36 1/4 inches. It has a factory forged blade, with one mounting hole in the standard 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). However, it also bears a signature (mei), something we usually don't see on these blades. It is signed 武 泰 作 - TAKE YASU SAKU, which means "Made by Takeyasu." We have not been able to find any information regarding this smith, however those at the major arsenals were often not recorded.
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, it is possible 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 slightly higher grade 1937 Pattern fittings with real sharkskin on the grip, instead of oil cloth.
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 gold highlighted Cherry-Blossom menuki (grip decorations), and a nice gold highlighted Kabuto-Gane (End Cap), with the wooden securing peg still present. Excellent sharkskin with complete brown-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 oxidation 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 painted with black lacquer, and has gilt brass fittings, though they are now faded, and all of the fittings are a bit loose, as the glue holding them in place has degraded over the years. Two hanging loops are present, and the condition is very good, with only a few dents and slight splitting of the scabbard glue line. The tang, fuchi, saya, tsuba and all 4 of the spacers are stamped with western number 2 0 3, indicating an original matched set made for this specific blade. Additionally the tsuka (handle) and blade tang are marked with Japanese numerals 二 〇 三 , or 2 0 3. This is definitely an all original matching set.
Really an excellent example of a Imperial Japanese Navy Kai-Gunto, in great condition with great markings. These are getting hard to find in any condition.
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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