I picked up an interesting kai-gunto yesterday...blade ordinary, but it has the details of both the Australian officer who obtained it in 1945 and the Japanese Naval Ensign who owned/surrendered it. It had the surrender tag and brown rank tassel as one would expect to see (FYI...it also has the extra protruding type scabbard ishizuke (chape) as illustrated in F&G "Japanese. Mil. and Civil Swords and Dirks" pp.70 & 129).
My question however relates to the little "tassel" attached to the top scabbard suspension ring. I just don't know exactly what these are. I have seen about 3 over the last 45 years and wonder if anyone knows something about them. Apart from this one on this scabbard, I have seen them twice on navy dirks, also hanging from the suspension ring.
They are brown, good quality "cord" with a plaited/woven "ball"...also of good quality like the usual quality tassels seen on navy and army swords.
Anyone know anything?