View Full Version : Jalanese world war II Sword help

September 27, 2008, 09:33 PM
Hello All,
I came across a nice ols sword today and was wondering if there is anyone who could help me out with more info, and or history.
I was told it could be a japanese officers sword ???
These day's who knows but it feels good and seems to be of good quality.
Best Regards,Troy

September 27, 2008, 09:35 PM
More pics.

September 27, 2008, 09:37 PM
Couple more

B. Lahey
September 27, 2008, 09:38 PM
Got a pic of the blade?

Jim Watson
September 27, 2008, 10:17 PM
Somebody will be along shortly to tell you it is a wartime mass produced sword of little value. Don't believe him, ALL this stuff is going nowhere but up in value as the really nice items get squirrelled away in rich men's collections.

September 27, 2008, 10:21 PM
I was told that the Japenese never stamped the serial numbers on the brass section of the blade.
It is a good chance that the sword is a Chinese forgery.

But I'm sure that someone with more knowledge on this subject will respond to your request.

September 27, 2008, 10:29 PM
More Pics
They didn't take I will try again

September 27, 2008, 10:31 PM
This has some neat looking buttons interlaced into the grips. It seems to be of good quality.
Best Regards,Troy

September 27, 2008, 10:35 PM
The gentleman has a few more but they are alot heavier more plain and have a metal sheath.
Thanks for all the help I am tempted to go and buy the rest if they look good to you guy's.
There was another person who bought one from the estate while I was there and he seem to have some knowledge of swords and he thought these were good one's and I bought on hi's advice ???

B. Lahey
September 27, 2008, 10:49 PM
General info:


Looks quite a bit like this Army commissioned officers Shin-Guntō 1938-45:


The first site says the leather on the sheath was probably added later for field toughness, and as much as yours looks like the 2nd website Shin-Gunto, it probably has that WW2 metal scabbard underneath the leather.

I am not an expert, I just have the internets.:)

Dunno about the serial number, the interwebs say the numbered ones had the number on the blade, this one is on the habaki. The blade looks kind of like the fake acid-etched ones too, but I don't know enough about this stuff to say for sure. It could be one of the "non-traditional handmade" wartime blades or something else entirely...

September 27, 2008, 11:03 PM
It is metal under the leather as my magnet stuck, You can see it in pics. It is painted brown. To tell you the truth when I held it was a very powerful feeling in the balance and power of the sword and whatever it is I like it and the price was good. I am just wondering if they are legit I could get more but
they are green metal scabbords no leather and for some reason heavier than this one.
They did have the same style of grips though.
Beast Regards,Troy

B. Lahey
September 27, 2008, 11:06 PM
Here's a fake sword info page:


If it's fake, it's a better fake than the ones on that page, but the blade looks kind of like the acid-etched (fake) blade photo.

September 27, 2008, 11:22 PM
Here's one on E-Bay, the seller is in China. And the serial number (06086) contains the same numbers as the one your looking at (08068), but in a different order!

Wow, I bet that this sure is rare !


September 27, 2008, 11:29 PM
I'm not impressed with the blade.

Every Japanese blade I've seen has been beautifully tempered and of an even hue back towards the spine. Granted, most of the swords I've been exposed to have been post 1960 and later products from artisan swordsmiths who cater to the Iaido crowd.

The chrysanthemum seals all over your tsuba and hilt are an imperial decoration. Due to that, your sword was most certainly made after 1868, the Meiji Restoration of imperial rule from the Tokugawa Shogunate.

Given the appearance of the serial number on the brass plate above the tsuba (a strange place for a serial number as that plate is certainly not integral to the sword), I'd say the sword is wartime production, either for the Sino-Japanese war or WWII.

I also don't think you have an original blade. The handful of WWII blades I've seen also have not been etched like that. You may have an exported hilt that has been attached to a european or south american etched repro blade.

You really need to have the sword taken down to a bare blade and examine the tang for any Kanji markings. They should tell us more about the manufacture of the blade.

September 28, 2008, 12:06 AM
Most likely a Chinese forgery. The blade should be much smoother than what I see. It could possibly be one of the factory made blades in which it will have arsenal markings beneath the handle. Knock the bamboo peg out of the handle and have the kanji interpreted. There's quite a bit of info on the web about these swords. I did quite a bit of research on them years ago as I came into possession of the one my great-uncle brought back from WW2. Mine is a Showa Koa Isshin Mantetsu blade made around 1941 from a special steel they found in Manchuria. Would like to see a full pic of blade as well as the tsuba and the menaki. Tsuba is the guard and the menaki are the brass items embedded in the handle wrap. If it is a factory blade it should have the standard military mounts.

September 28, 2008, 12:30 AM
Thanks guy's but I got suckered on this one. I found the identical handles and hardware on Ebay serial #s and all. It is a very good fake. I will be returning to the show tomorrow as this was misrepresented. The guy is a member of an association that will not tolerate this. He said it was the real deal and so on. That would be fine if he said it was a repro. but he had said that he researched them and gave me the line. Hopefully I will get my money back.
Thank You very much for all the help.
This is why these forums are so important and keeps the
industry as legit. as possible.
Best Regards,Troy

September 28, 2008, 08:53 AM
I returned to the show first thing this morning and got my 300.00
back. What a scam if they sell 10 a day it is alot of money as they could probably be bought in bulk for 100.00 or so.
Thank You All for the info.
Best Regards,Troy

September 28, 2008, 12:17 PM
Glad to have helped you out. Original Japanese swords are out there, just do a little research before you jump into a deal.:)

September 28, 2008, 07:04 PM
Thanks Clem,
I just got home from work.
I went to the sale before work today and got my money back.
I looked on Ebay and these repro. swords are all over the place.
They sure had me faked out.
I have to think there are alot of people who have fallen for this and if it was
presented as a repro. and a fair price paid then it is a good bargain.
This was a total misrepresentation.
The guy saw me coming and was reaching for hi's wallet another lesson learned.
Best Regards,Troy

September 30, 2008, 10:05 PM
It used to be that the tatami cutting crowd sneered at the gunto from WWII.

Then they realized how well that manchurian rail steel kept an edge....

Now even gunto have knock offs.

The best bet for a good using sword is a Paul Chen made from Swedish Powder steel. The fine grain structure gives them good impact resistance and edge retention. That and a new one will cost you less than most fakes.


B. Lahey
September 30, 2008, 10:16 PM
These also look nice:


Top-quality carbon or spring steels handcrafted with an extremely careful, time-consuming, labor-intensive process (see video on site), and they aren't even that expensive.

Don't know what the connection is with the Paul Chen fellow, but with that name, I would think there is some association.

Jim Watson
September 30, 2008, 10:34 PM
I'm confused.
Why fake a common, mass produced sword instead of a nice one?

B. Lahey
September 30, 2008, 10:51 PM
Even the non-traditional mass-produced ones seem to go for at least a couple hundred bucks. Sounds like a good profit if you can bang one out in China for $2. On top of that, nice ones seem harder to fake.

October 1, 2008, 12:14 AM
Fake swords of all kinds have been a real problem since the internet made buying and selling swords so easy. Cheap Pakistani and Chinese knock offs have flooded the market.
Know what you're buying before you buy it and even then be suspicious.

One thing about this sword that should have told you to be careful is that it looks pretty darn clean. A sixty plus year old anything, rarely looks that nice.