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Original WWII Japanese Navy Officer P1937 Kai-Gunto Katana Sword with Scabbard - Matched Number 4 1

Regular price $2,095.00

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Purchased recently at a military show, this is an great 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 only shows signs of light use.

The blade is in excellent condition, with an edge which is still quite sharp. There is just a bit of scuffing and a few minor dents on the edge. Blade length is 23 ¾ inches and overall length 34 ¼ 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 kiri (cut) nakago-jiri. 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 there are the painted Japanese numbers 四 一 (4 1) on the tang.

The blade retains virtually all of the original factory finish and simulated straight (sugu) hamon. There are are just a few minor scratches and scuff marks on the surface. 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 iron tsuba (cross guard) and a single gilt brass seppa (spacer). The tsuka (handle) has two brass Cherry-Blossom menuki (grip decorations), and a nice brass Kabuto-Gane (End Cap). There is no loop or cord through the end cap, and no evidence that it ever had one. It has a very good condition black oilcloth grip with complete lightly worn orange brown-colored Ito (cloth binding) with fine decorative collar (fuchi), which is molded to look like it has a seppa on the top. There is some staining and dirt and sweat on the cloth wrapping, and the condition of the fittings indicates light use, as most of the gilding is still present. As typical of the pattern, Cherry Blossom motifs appear on many of the fittings. The handle is tight to the blade, and the mekugi (peg) looks to be original.

The Wood scabbard has a standard black lacquer finish, and has all brass fittings, with the gilding a bit faded due to wear. Most of the fittings are somewhat loose due to age, as the original glue has degraded, and the wood has shrunk a bit. The black enamel finish on the scabbard is still in good condition, showing some age checking and chips, as well as splitting on the seam. This has allowed the underlying cloth layer to be seen.

The fuchi, tsuba, and seppa are all marked with western number 4 1. This matches the number 四 一 (4 1) painted onto the tang and stamped on the end of the tsuka (handle). There is also the number number 5 - 41 inside the scabbard itself. This indicates that this set of KOSHIRAE (fittings) were all made for this specific blade, and no parts have been swapped out.

Really a nice lightly used example of a Imperial Japanese Navy Kai-Gunto with a lovely stainless steel blade, ready to display!

Blade Length: 23 ¾"
Blade Style: Katana
Blade Shape: Shinogi-Zukuri
Overall length: 34 ¼“
Scabbard Length: 28 ⅛"

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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