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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.

Japanese WW2 Shin Gunto with Horimono BladeHorimono Dragon

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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".

Tamura Clan Mon

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.

Shichi yo Hosokawa Clan Mon

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).

Dragon

Yoshida Kanekado Saku (made this)

 

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