Jump to content

Help Identify Sword Passed Down From Grandfather


LonnieJ
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have been looking to learn more about this sword. I am 47 now and can remember this sword being in his gun cabinet since I was a child. He fought on Okinawa and this is a bring back from there. I cannot find any stamp or serial number and I do not know how to remove the handle to look at the tang. Any help will be greatly appreciated. post-4621-0-54302800-1535316388_thumb.jpegpost-4621-0-25617700-1535316419_thumb.jpegpost-4621-0-66253400-1535316497_thumb.jpegpost-4621-0-05783900-1535316547_thumb.jpegpost-4621-0-67502500-1535316594_thumb.jpegpost-4621-0-88834900-1535316648_thumb.jpegpost-4621-0-60400800-1535316703_thumb.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steve is right, Late War type 95 NCO sword.

It is the last of the eight patterns to be found in this model.

 

These have been getting high prices over the last few years as they are reasonably rare.

Yours also has the composite leather Combat cover over the scabbard.....nice!

I have one with a suede cover.

The ito wrap on the handle was also available in two colours - a reddish brown like yours(usually faded to a pinkish brown) and a dark green (possibly a faded black)

 

In Dawson's book he speculated that it could have been for officer use because of this wrap.

 

The Late War Patterns came with wooden scabbards instead of the metal ones commonly seen.

I've added a photo for you to see the different Late War patterns.

All type 95's came with serial numbers on blade and scabbard, when the wooden scabbards were introduced, they stopped putting serial numbers on the scabbards, but continued with Arsenal inspection stamps. The last pattern to have serial numbers on the blade was the knurled 'pineapple' wooden handled blades - which is the bottom one in the photo.

 

The inspection mark to look for is "He" and it is shaped like the letter 'L' but rotated 90 degrees clockwise onto its side. It is normally found on the blade or fuchi (collar) at the end of the handle near the guard.

You probably won't see it on your scabbard because of the leather cover, but it would be on the drag and the sides of the pressed metal throat which incorporates the hanger.

Hope this gives you the information you were looking for.

 

post-1868-0-24839600-1535324891_thumb.jpg

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the information, you have answered many questions I had.

 

Steve is right, Late War type 95 NCO sword.

It is the last of the eight patterns to be found in this model.

 

These have been getting high prices over the last few years as they are reasonably rare.

Yours also has the composite leather Combat cover over the scabbard.....nice!

I have one with a suede cover.

The ito wrap on the handle was also available in two colours - a reddish brown like yours(usually faded to a pinkish brown) and a dark green (possibly a faded black)

 

In Dawson's book he speculated that it could have been for officer use because of this wrap.

 

The Late War Patterns came with wooden scabbards instead of the metal ones commonly seen.

I've added a photo for you to see the different Late War patterns.

All type 95's came with serial numbers on blade and scabbard, when the wooden scabbards were introduced, they stopped putting serial numbers on the scabbards, but continued with Arsenal inspection stamps. The last pattern to have serial numbers on the blade was the knurled 'pineapple' wooden handled blades - which is the bottom one in the photo.

 

The inspection mark to look for is "He" and it is shaped like the letter 'L' but rotated 90 degrees clockwise onto its side. It is normally found on the blade or fuchi (collar) at the end of the handle near the guard.

You probably won't see it on your scabbard because of the leather cover, but it would be on the drag and the sides of the pressed metal throat which incorporates the hanger.

Hope this gives you the information you were looking for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're welcome Lonnie,

By the way, i personally wouldn't remove the handle by unscrewing the two retaining screws, as there is not much to see really.

These were all machine made and are not considered valuable in the nihonto sense, that is, traditionally (or non-traditionally ie. oil quenched etc) made by a smith who signed the blade and dated it. The blades have no characteristics of some of the officer blades which were generally privately purchased or family blades re-fitted into war time mountings.

If you do remove the handle, you may find an inspection stamp and that's about it. These are not made by smiths and as such, are not signed or dated at all.

You have the remnants of a company grade officers tassel on yours.. blue/brown, this is not uncommon as there was a materials shortage and sword shortage in the late 30's which persisted throughout the war. To alleviate this shortage for officers, the IJA had basically introduced a contingency plan where officers could rent or buy a type 95 issued sword-  so these would have the company grade tassel instead of the normal NCO leather tassel.

There is a post by Nick Komiya over at the War Relics forum which discusses this, i think that it is on this forum somewhere as well.

This contingency plan saw the introduction of the incorrectly termed 'Type 3' or 'NLF'  late war, sword for officers as an alternative to the more expensive type 98 mounts, which was made in 1940 according to Japanese war archive notes.

Here's a link to Ohmura's site for some great general info on all types of Japanese Military swords:

http://ohmura-study.net/900.html

I think you'll find it a great read and no doubt get some more answers to questions you may have.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ernie! Good to see you!

 

A couple of thoughts: Since this is a very late-war style, it seems that the gunto shortage early in the war would not explain the officer tassel on this one. Officers were buy/renting Type 95s in the late 30's and early 40's, whereas this one was made very late in the war.

 

At face value, this one seems to support Ohmura's guess that the cloth-wrapped tsukas were made for officers. The fact the the tassels were cut off is along the lines of what some officers did when surrendering their swords at the end of the war. Clearly, Lonnie's grandfather could have found it without a tassel and grapped the officer one from a pile, so the evidence is not positive proof; but it at least tentatively supports Ohmura.

 

But in the end, just speculation!

 

Very nice expample Lonnie!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Brannow. I appreciate the information and help from everyone on here. This is a very informative site.

 

 

Hi Lonnie,

 

No need to removed the handle on this one.  It wont reveal anything.  As stated its a very nice last ditch sword and these are very collectable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

A quick scan of the web shows late-war Type 95s, asking price, ranging from $1,200 to $1,800 USD.  Yours is a tough one because it's so late, it's not as "pretty", yet it's very nature as a possible officer sword made from NCO gunto manufacturers makes it, to me, more unique and therefore more expensive in value.  But it will have to connect with the right guy that likes these late-war items.  I know they are out there, and several of them frequent this forum.

 

It also makes a difference if you're looking for top-dollar, or just want to move the item.  If you want a quick sale, you price it below what everyone would expect.  They get a good deal and you get a quick sale.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your Pattern 8 sword was made by Jinsen Army Arsenal in 1945.  It is more likely to have been obtained in Korea during the postwar occupation.  The US Army stationed two divisions in Korea immediately after the war.  The inspection mark that is referenced in post #3 will look like this ヘ.  Below is a link to another Pattern 8 sword showing the various locations of the ヘ inspection mark.

Questions about "late war", NCO swords

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...