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Trying to find details about a sword

Article about: My grandfather brought this sword back from Japan after his tour in WWII. I know he was part of the occupying force stationed somewhere near Mt Fuji. I am pretty sure its a Type-95 NCO Sword

  1. #1
    cdburkhart
    ?

    Default Trying to find details about a sword

    My grandfather brought this sword back from Japan after his tour in WWII. I know he was part of the occupying force stationed somewhere near Mt Fuji.

    I am pretty sure its a Type-95 NCO Sword, although for years we had been calling a Japanese Samurai Officers Sword. Which leads me to my first question, is calling it a samurai sword a misnomer, or is along the lines of calling a M-16 a assault rifle?

    I found one site (Military Swords of Imperial Japan (Gunto)) which was fascinating for the parts I could read, and I learned the specific name was gunto---however again I refer back to my earlier question as whether 'samurai' is a class of swords.

    There are some other things about this blade I don't understand, for example the yellow cord. Does the signify anything special or did grandpa just tie something on to make it look more Japanese (he was only 19 at the time).

    I am really curious about the stamp of the three interlocking rings, is that a smith make or what?



    Here is one side of the hilt, yes my grandfather did engrave his own initials. While I know that does detract from the 'collectors price' I believe it adds more value as a family artifact.



    The other side




    The full blade with scabbard and yellow cord



    Blade detail, I believe that grease is original



    Serial Number 141809, yes the thumb print was removed prior to returning the sword to storage



    Not that I am planing to let this piece out of my hands, but I was also wondering what is the value of a piece like this? I looked through ebay and I found a bunch a fakes. I also found a site with officer swords from the period start at $1,100, just kinda curious
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  2. #2
    cdburkhart
    ?

    Default Re: Trying to find details about a sword

    I also tried to remove the sword from the hilt, in order to see if anything was on the tang, but I didn't want to pull on the blade too hard for fear of damaging it or fear of it damaging me (it is still fairly sharp)

  3. #3

    Default Re: Trying to find details about a sword

    The mark with the interlocking circles is the Kokura Arsenal.

    I think you have a Japanese NCOs sword - mass produced with an all metal hilt rather than the traditional design.

    Technically it isn't a "Samurai sword" although it is of course similar to the design of the katana which was the sword carried by Samurai.

    I stand to be corrected as this is not my main field of collecting but it might be a start for you.

    Regards

    Richie

  4. #4
    cdburkhart
    ?

    Default Re: Trying to find details about a sword

    Richie, thanks for the starting point.

    I forgot one detail, there is a leaf (or possibly stylized cherry blossom) directly to the right of the interlocking circles. You can faintly make it out on the picture of the hilt next to a dark spot.

    Would that also be indicative of the Kokura Arsenal?

    I found this site Markings on Japanese Arisaka Rifles and Bayonets of World War II, but the only thing similar to the unknown mark is Tokyo Juki Kogyo in the rifle section.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Trying to find details about a sword

    You definitely have a NCO sword. There is no reason to take the sword apart as the blade is machine made and will not have any signature. The yellow cord is something added to hang the sword on the wall by your grandfather. A nice piece.
    BOB

    LIFE'S LOSERS NEVER LEARN FROM THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS.

  6. #6
    cdburkhart
    ?

    Default Re: Trying to find details about a sword

    Is there any way to trace the sword's date through the serial number?

    Also, where abouts is Kokura Armory? I did a search in Google maps for Kokura, but I couldn't find a city with that name.

    Thanks for the info on the yellow cord.

    Also, do you have any information on proper display of the swords of this type? I am planing on creating a display using this sword, grandpa's old winchester rifle (Model 1890) and some other interesting pieces he has brought back (like a bow from the Amazon region). I am trying to figure out how to display all these things together.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Trying to find details about a sword

    Kokura arsenal was in Tokyo, the leaf you are referring to would be a sub contracting sword company, if I had to guess the value of this sword, maybe $450-$650 depending on who sees it. There is really no way to know how old it is, but judging by the tsuba, I would say it is early to mid war.

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