It has some tempering to blade I think I see. Hard to pick up in photos. If professionally polished it would maybe show up more. I do not think it is worth having this one polished up.
I really do like the handmade blades with exotic looking hamon. but the pockets are not deep enough for one of those today's market. I have had this set a long time and did not pay much, and is a good representitive piece. Plus vet brink back, so will just leave it alone.
As far as the heart and imperial Mon in the center of it, im not sure. Most belts i have seen didn't have this, could be a personalization.
It doesn't appear strong enough to hold anything with any real weight. Looks to me like it may simply have been used to hold a Netsuke. Just an educated guess really as i know in ancient times it was common to wear netsuke on ones obi(belt).
This is definitely a Showato in Army Shin gunto mounts and i do believe you in regards to the black paint being original even though not common as the standard issue color was tan or light brown. The black saya paint may have been a special order.
I just went thru one of my books looking for another example of a shin gunto with a black saya and found one, late 1944 again but the black was apparently a special order (just as i suspected) , not standard issue. But just goes to show that there are some around.
My initial suspicion of a repaint later after being bought back was because its quite commonly done by amateurs to hide damage, scratches, rust etc.
Nice find steve, i like it.
Please do post any more pictures you may have, seppa, habaki, tsuba, fuchi, kashira and menuki closups would be great.
I thought i saw that too, is there oil on the blade? It would need a mirror polished to tell for sure but i don't believe its likely to have any activity or temper pattern, still,an attractive blade never the less..Hello Adi, no, not just you, there is no beautiful hamon on this one.
It has some tempering to blade I think I see. Hard to pick up in photos
As for the motif on the side of the sword belt, I have been going thru a number of books i have and cant seem to find a single example of one. Perhaps someone else can shed some light on that?
The only explanation i can think of is like i mentioned before, could be a simple personalization meant to hold a Netsuke.
I agree, bring backs should be left original, the only time i would alter or touch a blade is if it really was in dire need of some attention.
You are correct about the display of a sword on a stand with the handle to the right.. It was not meant as an insult. It was a sign to the person entering the room that he was not trusted. With the handle to the right, the sword could be grabbed and drawn quickly(unless you are a lefty). Of course, I guess it also could be considered an insult. When so mounted, the person entering the room would likely expect to be greeted in such a manner.
I have had a few of these black painted army style mountings over the years. I always considered them to be a variation carried by Imperial Japanese Naval Landing Force officers. The standard naval mounting was not built for wear in land combat. I have also seen a few period pictures of groups of IJNLF soldiers with their officers wearing the army style mount. That said, this sword does retain the army style junior officer tassle.
There is also a little known variation of the shin gunto mount with a nickle coated scabbard. I have only seen one of these over the years. It was likely worn by a special guard unit. I personally bought it along with five true samurai swords from a veteran in the late 60's. It was nothing that had been tampered with and original as found.
LIFE'S LOSERS NEVER LEARN FROM THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS.
Hi Bob, i agree and i too have seen pictures of naval officers with what appeared to be army mounts though it could have been a kai gunto which were exclusive to naval officers of which the mounts are instantly recognized as being such.
But with some old photos its hard to tell for sure. The JIN also had the Kyu gunto and another gunto that one could easily tell apart from an army shin gunto by its tachi type blade.
IJA shin gunto's had a standard issue tan or light brown saya though i have evidence that black was also issued but in most cases was a special order but i would go as far as saying although not as common as the tan and light brown i would bet there is a fair few black ones out there. I have also seen a formal type 98 shin gunto with Green saya, but i should think that would be quite rare.
Some great info Bob, any idea about the leather heart with the imperial mon in the center of it on Steve's sword belt? Im quite stumped on that?? What could it have been used for? I cant seem to find any info or pictures of similar belts.
Could it simply have been a personalization to hold an item like a netsuke?
I have also never seen anything like the leather heart. It is something unique to the owner. As it has a ring, possibly it was to attach an omamori or good luck prayer from a shrine or temple. This is the only thought that came to me.
LIFE'S LOSERS NEVER LEARN FROM THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS.
just to mention
never touch the type of old polish by your self
if you screw the totall polish the valeu is non the less gone
and it has no collectors value any more
this also counds on older blades only let professional polishers
and i prefer the ones in japan as they really know what they are doing whit these blades
i have seen lots and lots of blades in just 2 years that are totally destroid because there was 1 little rust spot just oil it in and dont touch it or have it re polished
did you place the mei on the nakago on a nihonto forum to find out the maker?