Thought I'd throw in another sword with puzzling characteristics for my 2nd post. On the face of it a standard Type 95 but with some strange issues. To start
Original catalogue entry from auction house:
Japanese NCO's Alloy Hilted Shin-Gunto Sword. 271/2 inch single edged blade with narrow rear fuller. Rear serial number ''8822''.Brass tsuba. Copper ferrule (fuchi)with armoury stamp. One piece alloy grip with false binding and pommel with floral decoration. Contained in its khaki brown painted steel scabbard with darkened brass floral decorated mounts. Minor dents to scabbard. Some service wear.
Weight: sword only 2lb 4oz (1.02kg), with scabbard: 3lb 3oz (1.44kg)
Length overall: 36'' (92cm) Blade: 26.25'' (66.25cm) tip to mune-machi Sori about 0.6'' (1.6 cm)
POB: 5.5'' (14cm) from tsuba.
Profile taper 1.14'' (29.1mm) in front of habaki, 1.02'' (26mm)at mid blade, 0.81'' (20.7mm) 2 inches from tip.
Distal taper 0.27'' (6.9mm) in front of habaki, 0.23'' (5.9mm)at mid blade, 0.18'' (4.8mm) 2 inches from tip.
Tsuba 2.89'' (73.5mm) by 2.31''(58.6mm), 0.35'' (9mm) thick
No discernible hamon on blade which is machine made. Serial number 8822 at rear side of blade together with a stamp for Tokyo. Nakago is unsigned and has no stamps only slight file marks. Copper Fuchi is marked with stamps Suya, Tokyo and Kokura. The tsuka is worn , false same is painted a faded dirty white while some dark brown paint remains on the false ito but mostly it has worn down to a paler undercoat or to bare metal.
1st puzzle; look at the saya... it is an officer pattern but fitted to receive the NCO pattern lock. The saya fits exactly and does not appear to be a latter lash up/replacement. In my research I found this information:
This article by Nick Komia
''1937 Officers had to make do with Type 95 NCO swords due to a worsening shortage
The only shortage problem that Ohmura-san’s site refers to is the long ago case of 1931/32 when shortages of officer swords required the arsenal to sell prototype type 91 NCO swords to officers. He failed to notice that by 1937 new officers found that they could not get hold of any swords to complete their outfits as per regulations. So in desperation, they turned to the arsenal, asking that they be allowed to purchase the Type 95 NCO swords as a substitute. On 29th July 1937, their request was granted and it was agreed to let them buy Type 95s at a price of 33 Yen a piece. They were to fill in the private purchase application forms as provided in the July 1937 memo and apply to Kokura or the Tokyo Arsenal directly with the money. Not only officers in the field, but also vets back home were allowed to buy these NCO swords. The army thus ended up with many officers equipped with the wrong swords. ''
Would the the serial number would seem to fit a sword produced around 1937-8?
The ha and mune machi do not line up. I know this is often the sign of a Chinese fake which allows the use of a cheap habaki. However, the habaki on this sword is properly constructed with a machigane for the ha-machi to but up against, something not normally seen on a Chinese fake. ( I have tried to photograph it but not too successfully)
So fake or real?, NCO or Officer making do with an NCO pattern sword? All suggestions and opinions gratefully received.