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Weird showa-to with seppa latch/lock

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Saw this listed and was curious about what it is exactly. (Not my photos)

Said to be signed “Fujiwara Yoshiomi” on the listing. Looks to be a non-traditionally made WW2 showato with showa stamp.


Never seen a seppa lock like that, and the saya looks unfamiliar to any WW2 sword I’ve seen. Is this a mismatched piece-together? Or perhaps a super late war sword? @Bruce Pennington

I’ll pm the link to the auction if requested. 

All opinions welcome,
















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I've never seen one like it, although there has been a lot of "interesting" gunto koshirae coming out of Japan recently. 


I'm curious whether the saya is wood or metal, there seems to be a outline of a missing reinforcement band on the saya.20240417_193136.jpg.cfedd48ee3de054cf1a6681af98dd5fd.jpg


The hanger is also mounted for the blade to be worn edge up. Its possible it got swapped around though. I have also not seen a hanger quite like that. 


The tsuka is also strangely carved away to fit the fuchi? Either ways its an interesting piece. Seems like a bit of work to go with this mod instead of a simple snap button and leather combat cover. 


Thanks for posting.

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13 hours ago, Tensho said:

The hanger is also mounted for the blade to be worn edge up.

Good eye, didn't notice that before!  This is the third one I've seen this year mounted that way, though I don't recall what type of fittings the other 2 were.


Smith is Yoshiomi, and the Showa stamp should mean the blade was made in '40-41 plus or minus.  So if these are late-war fittings, which they seem to be, the blade must have been re-fitted into this.  The alternating folds of the tsuka indicate it was Japanese made.  Many of the low quality fittings we see from occupied territories have the Chinese style folding, going one direction.  I'd guess this was something done in the last year of the war.


Working from memory, I believe both Dawson and Fuller have examples of creative variations that this item would fit quite naturally in with.

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Thanks for the input y’all. The auction ends today and it will be interesting to see what it sells for.

Bruce, you got my nose into my books this morning. Maybe it’s a variation of one of these in Jim Dawsons book, perhaps? Page 280*



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