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Hello all, thank you for the responses, I spoke to a Japanese colleague regarding the Z. and he wrote ""Usually 甲乙丙丁(4 grades or class) or 甲乙丙(3grades or class). So yea 乙 means the second in this context. Therefore could it be that this is: 2nd Class(grade) sword. ref: 354. or 2nd batch perhaps."" He knows nothing about swords, but was just referencing the Z character. but could be an interesting take on it all. Although he wasnt very convinced it was a #5. This matches to some extent what @SteveM mentions above in that this Z is just part of the production line reference. Unfortunately my Grandfather is no longer around so unable to ask him how the NCO tassel got attached to the sword. @Bruce Pennington the slider is leather.
Hi John, many thanks for the Reply. I find it odd that it has an NCO 'tassel', yet is clearly an officer's sword. I'll make sure they wipe it down the blade. Hopefully someone can be along shortly and can tell me about the characters! great stuff! Cheers Nick
Hello, first time here finding this all fascinating! i was wondering if anyone could help with shedding some light on what these markings mean. Photos are not great as my sister took them and sent to me so difficult to see the marks clearly. ive yet to get my hands physically on it as still arranging import. The story: Ive just inherited this. Grandfather acquired this sword in Singapore in 1945 at the Japanese surrender. we even have a picture of him climbing back aboard his vsl holding the sword.(see below) (modelling below is my nephew) Apparently they had it made blunt many years ago as worried an intruder might use it... Looks to me like a Army Type 98.officer sword...although the tassel is more of an NCO type... and i think attached to the wrong part at the moment. although its not a tassel as such but a leather thing. But im after anymore information that you can shed on this especially on the characters on the Tang and the handle. im devouring the other threads for further knowledge and info! Many thanks indeed!