Signed 1943 Japanese Army Officer Shin Gunto Sword
A very good example of a World War II period Japanese Imperial Army officer’s sword, signed by the sword smith who created the sword and dated in October of 1943. The blade is approximately 26 inches long, with the sword having an overall length of approximately 38 1/2 inches when within the scabbard. The wooden handle is covered in ray skin and wrapped with dark brown fabric in the traditional fashion. The wrapping, which was dark brown to begin with, has some age toning and some darker areas where the officer’s hands held the grip. The two standard military menuki of three cherry blossoms are beneath the wrap, one on each side. The gilt surfaces of the menuki are somewhat toned with age and exhibit a bit of verdigris. The sword has an olive brown painted scabbard with the original paint approximately 70% intact. The tsuba guard is the solid style with cherry blossoms in relief. The blade is generally bright, with some typical light scratches and a few small dark spots, primarily near the tip, and there is a subtle chip at the tip of the blade that may have been the subject of an old repair, but there are no cracks or active rust, and overall the blade is quite nice in appearance. The tang of the sword is signed on one side: “Kiyo’nobu” (Possibly “Osamura Kiyonobu”, also known as “Nagamura Kiyonobu”). The opposite side of the tang is marked “Showa 18 year, 10th month”, meaning that the blade was forged in October of 1943.