I know I am a little ahead of myself... please excuse my premature enthusiasm!
If a moderator would like to close this thread because I do not have the sword in my possession yet, please do not hesitate to do so!
The Japanese rifle I brought to a local woodworker really peaked his interest and he remembered that his father left an old sword in their family barn. He said that he knows I will appreciate the sword, so he is going to give it to me!
All I know right now is that the sword looks "very fancy... for an officer" looking and has a wooden scabbard. Unfortunately, poor storage in the barn has caused the leather (shark or ray skin?) cover on the wooden scabbard to become damaged/ fallen off. The woodworker mentioned that the blade is in great condition and is still very sharp.
I know this is an absolutely small amount of information to go off of... BUT I thought maybe starting a thread would generate the discussion that will ultimately help me identify this sword.
Any help is greatly appreciated! Stay tuned!