~ A 16th Century Japanese Wakazashi Sword With WW2 Officer’s Fittings ~
This sword, as with many other WW2 ones, was passed through generations from hand to hand, the only modifications made being the grip and tsuba, in accordance with the military specifications of that era and the emperor’s marks.
The blade of this wakazashi was forged in the Bishu – Osafune province c1530-60 in the Koto period c1430-1596. Part of the sword master’s signature was lost due to the cutting of the tang, in order to meet the necessary specifications of the WW2 pattern. The tang has three ana.
The sword comes with the traditional bamboo made scabbard, covered in brown leather instead of the usual metal, brown painted factory scabbard.
The blade is made in the ‘shinogi-kukuri’ pattern.
Its mune (blade back) is shaped in the 'Ihori' style and its kissaki (point) is ‘o’ (long).
The hamon is shaped in the ‘Sugu’ (strait) pattern and the boshi (tip) hammon pattern is omaru (large circle).
The swords fittings are made of brass, steel and copper and decorated with cherry blossom flowers.
The habaki (blade locket/ferrule) is made of copper.
The early cast gilt brass tsuba (guard) is decorated with cherry flowers.
Three of its four seppa (spacers) are made of steel and one of copper. There is an extra spacer on the grip side made of leather, acting as a safety catch.
The fushi (sleeve) is made of copper and brass and decorated with embossed cherry flowers.
The tsuka (grip) is made of bamboo covered with white rayskin and brown woven silk. The gilt menuki (ornaments) are in the form of three cherry flowers, the emperor’s Hirihito mark.
The saya (scabbard) is made of black lacquered bamboo fitted with one kurikata (knob/suspension ring) and a brown military leather cover.
The leather cover bears two Japanese marks, as seen in the images.
~ Dimensions ~
The blade length is 22 inches (56 cm), the grip length is 10 inches (25.4 cm) and the sword with scabbard length is 34.2 inches (87 cm). The complete weight is 1.19 kg.
~ Condition ~
The blade has some barely visible nicks on the edge and minimal areas of pitting, as expected for its age and active use.
The hamon is clear.
The woven silk is shiny from wear but remains tightly bound.
All its fittings are in great condition.
The scabbard is in tidy order with tight stitching.
~ Postage ~
UK postage is £20 or it can be collected from our shop in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.