Bureau of Waterways and Commercial Fishing Dirk - Unconfirmed The measurements of this Dirk are 15.25" the closest of all to my dirk which is 15 5/8"
Geoff, great find! This confirms what I have observed over the past 2 years of collecting and studying WWII Japanese blades - There are the "official" orders that launch a "type" and then there are the variations and personalizaitons that happened over the course of the war.
I appreciate the purists who study the official documents, but they are just the starting point of where real life begins and variations take place from the starting point to the end of the war.
Still Banging my head against the wall I'm starting to think the only way to ID this piece is by the pattern of engravings I am posting some pics of the main engraved features in the hopes it stirs up some new ideas.I'm Really stumped..The heart shaped openings are also seen on the Navy Cadets Dirk but the pommel with backstrap looks more like a Navy 1883 pattern sword fitting?? The curved saya is really puzzling.
A mystery for sure but still - really gorgeous!
Geoff, check out this dirk posted on the Nihonto Message Board. Not identical to yours but many similarities!
Senior Civil Forestry Official's Dirk Or Dagger - Military Swords of Japan - Nihonto Message Board
Geoff, don't know if you've seen these, but Fuller & Gregory has figures of dirks with slightly curved saya.
Hello Bruce,Thank you for the pics.I do have the book "Japanese Military and Civil Swords and Dirks" by Fuller and Gregory which I purchased for this Dirk specifically "Ouch!!" if you can find one they are not cheap! Good reference books are well worth it though.The closest illustration would be the one marked as the "Senior Foresters (Gilded) fig (ii)
The major differences on mine are the eight grip sections, the pommel /back strap fitting that is rounded without the angles on the grip side, an applique sakura as well as engraved motif on the backstrap,and the barrel style sakura mekugi. I am still of the mind that the key is in the motif of the fittings and that is a challenge as most include sakura and leaves.The heart shaped openings in the fittings at least narrow it down a bit.I am very grateful for all the interest and help from everyone! perhaps more info will come out of the woodwork! Regards,Geoff
Geoff, found a similar flower/leaf pattern on a kyu-gunto. It's the center one with the eel skin saya. You can see it at the top and end of the saya: On The Rack. - Military Swords of Japan - Nihonto Message Board
Does anyone happen to know if there are any records of the Suya company available as to government contracts for edged weapons? specifically dirks, and the various quantities for each organization that were contracted with this company.They appear to be a major producer so I suspect there may be some info in the mounds of records somewhere... any help appreciated.Regards,Geoff