Japanese WW2 Presentation Shin Gunto with
Horimono Blade (sold)
A signed, Showa stamped, presentation shin gunto with dragon horimono
blade and two silver mon for a respected, decorated or senior Japanese
WW2 army field officer, perhaps commander.
Mostly likely a presentation shin gunto given to an accomplished
WW2 Japanese army field officer, this is a very rare Showa stamped
(showing it was government / military acquired) katana wth two family
mon (a Tamura Clan Mon and a "Shichi yo Hosokawa" Clan
Mon) which with some research may identify the officer who once
received this very special sword. The tang is signed "Yoshida
Kanekado (made this); this was a respected / documented Gendaito
swordsmith who of course also made Showato blades for the military".
The 66.5 cm (including habaki) blade also, as you would expect,
exhibits a distinctive hamon which is not one of
the fake acid etched examples (see page 214 of Richard Fuller's
/ Ron Gregory's Japanese Military and Civil Swords and Dirks) you
often find on mass-produced war time blades. The blade is in overall
good condition though has stablised rust areas (minor pitting) especially
near the point. You will find a near identical katana with horimono
of a dragon chasing the sacred jewel on page 97 of Japanese Military
and Civil Swords and Dirks; it should be noted it too has a non-standard
(non-military) tsuba. Of these swords expert and book contributor
Geoff Foletta remarks in this "bible" of reference books
"It is most unusual to find a Showa period blade with a horimono";
this is an exceptionally rare and valuable sword.
As stated, the tsuba is non-standard, again befitting and confirming
this sword was held by a very special officer. The leather field
saya / scabbard attests to the fact it was a field officer and one
who carried this sword in battle as the leather chape at the end
of the saya shows a lot of wear. This obviously is either a surrender
sword or one, most likely, taken off a fallen officer.
The other aspects / parts of the horimono are shown in the pictures;
the one below is on the other side of the blade to the dragon (which
appears to be after a bird). Further / full sized pictures available
upon request. Item reference number 103 (89).