Good evening! I am new to the forum. I collect knives and guns and while on Christmas break, a friend of my mothers offered me a Japanese officer's katana that her grandfather won in a poker game in 1947. I was wondering if anyone could give me any information about it. What I know so far: I believe it to be a family blade and not a factory Katana due to the leather sheath cover as well as the leather covering the handle. I realize the handle will have to come off to ID the piece with any accuracy, but, I am not feeling up to taking off the leather protective cover. I tried to take a few revealing pictures: the crossguard appears to be retrofitted and has hand chiseled horseshoe-like symbols. Where the leather handle has ripped a bit, there appears to be flowers painted on the handle. The tassle points to the owner as a company grade officer and the sword belt chain is in impeccable shape! Can anyone shed any light on the symbols/seen one like this before/any idea on the age save for taking the handle off? Any help you could afford would be greatly appreciated!! Cheers!