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Old Japanese Sword?


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Hi everyone,  a friend of mine has asked if I can uncover any information regarding this old sword.

I have no knowledge of its history other than it being found inside a wall of a collapsing abandoned farmhouse.

Attached are some photos.

Any help much appreciated.Screenshot 2020-09-27 at 5.17.41 PM.pngScreenshot 2020-09-24 at 1.48.16 PM.pngScreenshot 2020-09-24 at 1.47.36 PM.pngScreenshot 2020-09-24 at 1.51.52 PM.pngScreenshot 2020-09-24 at 1.48.46 PM.pngScreenshot 2020-09-24 at 1.50.35 PM.pngScreenshot 2020-09-24 at 1.51.52 PM.png

Screenshot 2020-09-24 at 1.49.15 PM.png

IMG_4496.HEIC IMG_4497.HEIC

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Typically, the smith will stamp his/her mark on the tang.  If there's not one you can see on the other side, this might be tough to identify.  To my untrained eye, that looks like a great score, however.  

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What's left of the mounts makes me think WWII Japanese military issue.  The single square hole through the tsuba should have been for a scabbard latch.  It's pretty rough, I would not think that that there is much to recover.  Steve Shimanek  is the pretty knowledgeable on this stuff, hopefully he will weigh in .

 

Geoff

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I think Geoff nailed it.  Looks like a Type 98 shin gunto tsuba with extra-thick seppa.  That doesn't mean the blade wasn't decent at one time.  

 

Here's what the bare tsuba would look like cleaned up:

 https://www.ebay.com/itm/WW2-Japanese-Sword-Shin-Gunto-tsuba-/333417058321

 

and here is where to get better answers, but be prepared, these guys are serious:

https://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/11852-gunto-tsuba/

 

 

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Thanks Alan, that led me to find out that mine is a Shin Gunto Type 95, it has a cast aluminum hilt painted with brown enamel to look like traditional tsuka and is finally starting to appreciate in value (I bought it in the 70's when I was 14 from a flea market for 65 bucks). Prices are all over the place but mine is in great shape and similar ones are going upwards of $1500.00 - $1700.00, cool. I haven't researched it in possibly 20-25 years and at that time all I could find out was it was a mass manufactured sword for NCOs and police forces worth a couple hundred bucks. Thankfully no one ever tried sharpening mine on a hard wheel grinder which I've seen before, horrendous and heart breaking!

 

I was hoping looking closely at the rust on the blade of the poster's sword might yield any idea if it was homogenous modern steel.

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The tsuba is from a Type 98 koshirae, from the habaki that looks like a cast brass type probably this blade was machine made and with no signature originally. Unfortunately in this state even if it was as traditional made one it would be impossible to restore

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Condition issues place this in the artifact realm, unable to be restored; it is possible based on what remains of the shape that it was an older pre WW2 sword, but hard to say definitively due to corrosion. The fittings were WW2 era. Cool rusty relic.

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Thank you all for your knowledge and sage advice. It's really appreciated.

As a footnote, I've been offered $1000 NZ for it, as is........which has only served to confuse me further lol.

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Never underestimate the zeal that collectors have for pieces! Even as is, to many it represents a powerful time in our history. Look at the Ulfberht swords. They are pitted and worn out slabs, some of them so degraded they can only be displayed in climate controlled display cases or they would turn to a pile of rust. But the are priceless because they represented a time that so many are consumed with!

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