In good condition, a WW2 Japanese Army Officer’s Shin Gunto with older tsuba and later blade.
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Where do we start? The saya is of the colour / type made by special order for officers with pretensions. The older plain copper tsuba is believed original to the gunto. The aforementioned both indicative of a pre-war gunto. The blade however is not original to the fittings; a) it is later (dated Showa 17 / 1942), b) has a Seki stamp for a machine made blade (signed “HideToshi”, a very common name on such blades); nothing pretentious about that, and c) it has two menuki-ana, showing it was once fitted into a regular gunto. There is also the defaced remains of a Mon on the pommel (Kashira). We bought this sword from the son of the deceased who owned it; we believe it is an honest, albeit bespoke, war time bring back.
The most likely recent history of this gunto is that the Japanese officer removed a family blade and defaced his family mon to save honour, just before surrendering it as a mass surrender weapon at the end of WW2. Whether he or someone else subsequently adapted a bulk standard gunto Showato blade to fit the “furniture”, who knows?
The 26 inch nagasa (cutting edge section) blade is good but has been western cleaned. Everything mostly firm; a little movement / space between the tsuba and blade (could do with an extra thin seppa washer or a thicker one to replace the thin existing seppa). The saya is aged and worn, clearly pre-war. The tsuba has a superb age patina. Everything else is good.
A REALLY interesting sword and an absolute bargain at only was £? (too late, now sold). Please quote item reference Y93. Further / full sized images available upon request. Tube 1508-118×16 (3.274).