WWII Officer Shin Gunto Sword Nagamitsu
A World War II period Japanese Imperial Army officer’s sword, signed by the swordsmith who created the sword. The blade is approximately 24 1/2 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 brown fabric in the traditional fashion. The standard military menuki of three cherry blossoms are beneath the wrap on each side. The gilt finish of one of the menuki has a green verdigris over about 1/2 of its length. The sword has a brown painted scabbard with the original paint approximately 95% intact. The gilt tsuba is is the solid style with cherry blossoms in relief. The blade is quite bright and clean with a very distinctive and visible wavy temper line. There are a few minor spots, and there is a small chip to the cutting edge and it appears that there was an effort was made to repair the chip. The spot is quite small, approximately 3 centimeters wide. The tang of the sword has painted on one side “SU-248” and it is signed on the opposite side: “Nagamitsu”. The following information about Nagamitsu is from the website “japaneseswordindex.com”:
“It has been established that Nagamitsu was a participant in the first Army Shinsakuto Exhibition held in 1944, in which he entered under the name of Ichihara Nagamitsu. Nagamitsu resided in Okayama and is mentioned in the Tosho Zensho by Shimizu which lists him as a Rikugun Jumei Tosho (Army approved swordsmith) and as a member of the Rikugun Gunto Gijutsu Tenrankai. He was awarded the Kaicho-sho prize at a sword competition held by Riku-gun Gunto Sho-rei Kai before the war.
On May 20, 1984, a Nagamitsu blade was awarded Shinteisho origami by the NTHK. Nagamitsu blades have also received Hozon origami from the NBTHK in Japan. This attests to the high regard that these blades are currently getting in Japan and the fact that they are judged to be true gendaito. Swordsman Saruta Mitsuhiro, head of the Musashi Dojo Ryuseika of Osaka, used a blade made by Ishiryushi Nagamitsu to perform kabutowari (helmet cutting). The blade successfully cut several centimeters into the iron plate helmut without sustaining significant damage, thus demonstrating the excellent quality and resilience of Nagamitsu’s swords.
From www.japaneseswordindex.com/naga.htm, with footnotes omitted.
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