Sorry if my first post will be a bit longer than most others, but I would want to also tell the story of how I had stumbled across the item which I want to show here. And also as a prequel, since I'm a firearms collector who has never dealt anything with knifes or whatever types of blades, I'm a complete novice to this topic and therefore please forgive me if I'm telling something wrongly or need to ask several times to make sure I understood it correctly. Plus of course, English is not my native language.
At the end of March I've been attending a local court auction. They are selling all kinds of items there which were seized from thefts where the owner could not be found, items used in crime, or items which were seized when the owner got a "gun ban" (which happens if you threaten someone or injure someone and can either be done by police or by authority). The particular auction was said to feature firearms and was rather closeby, so I nevertheless thought I should attend it in case there is something of interest there. When I came there, it quickly turned out of the few "arms" most were blank firing pistols, only very few rifles of which most were cheap and modern .22 rifles with little value. The other items, such as mobile phones, clothing and bicylces were of no interest to me, so I only went in for the very few gun items. I got outbid on nearly everything which went for crazy prices as well, I therefore also paid attention to two other lots of blades. One lot consisted of a modern made Katana (easily identified as being a recent and cheap piece by the engraved (or stamped?) devlis head inside the blade, and the second lot consisting of a sabre, a small knife and an ugly looking Katana (at least I thought it looks like one). I thought that there are collectors for sabres out there, so I went for this lot and got it for € 100 (where the starting bid was at € 50). So in the end I threw these blades together with the three metal parts consisting mainly of rust which formerly were WWII rifles in the trunk of my car and drove back home.
A friend of mine identified the sabre as being a Prussian Infantrieoffiziersdegen 89 with a value of around € 100, so I was quite satisfied already that I didn't loose any money on it. I then took some mobile phone pictures of the Katana and sent these to a friend of mine. These were the following pictures:
The friend of mine who I for whatever reason remembered for having an interest in Katanas said he thinks that my blade has a value somewhere between € 100-400 (but he wouldn't buy it at that price!), that it does look old but the condition is extremely poor. He told me that I can take off the handle by removing a wooden plug since if there are any markings one might be able to tell who made it and when it was made. Well, I followed his instructions and did find a few markings. I took out some chalk to fill in the markings and made the now following pictures:
I've sent those to the friend of mine and asked him if he could now tell me something on the blade. He said these should tell on the smith, blade and origin, but he does not speak Japanese and doesn't have a contact to a translator any more. I suggested asking on a forum, and he said I could try the Wehrmacht-Awards forum.