Japanese early third/middle pattern WWII Type 95 NCO shin gunto produced in early 1941. Prior to the attack on Pearl Harbour in December 1941, the Japanese government ordered that production of swords for the military be increased but that costs be cut and materials such as brass and copper be reserved for other war effort projects such as munitions.
This sword has a cast aluminium tsuka (hilt) with a 4mm thick plain iron tsuba (guard). The fuchi (collar) is copper and indicates that this sword was produced at the beginning of the cost cutting changes while stocks of pre-manufactured parts were being used up. The use of iron for the tsuba, along with the top latch for securing the sword in the scabbard identifies this as being a third, or middle pattern sword dating to early 1941. After mid-1941, the latch mechanism for securing the sword in the scabbard was moved to the side of the tsuka and the fuchi was plain iron.
The fuchi bears a private sector sword maker’s stamp for the Ijima Token Seisakusho factory, Tokyo First Arsenal inspection stamp and a Kokura Arsenal identification stamp. The Kokura Arsenal did not produce any Type 95 Shin Gunto but oversaw the production of these swords so its identification stamp is often found on Type 95 swords. Interestingly, the obverse of the fuchi also bears a Tokyo First Arsenal inspection stamp. This is probably due to an initial inspection being conducted when the part was made with a second inspection carried out when the sword was assembled.
The 67 cm (not including the blade collar) blade is in excellent condition. The serial number 119497 and a Tokyo First Arsenal stamp are clearly marked above the fuller. These early war production Type 95 Shin Gunto were carried by career soldiers, not conscripts and were considered by many as a primary weapon. The blade retains its fighting edge and shows no sign of post-production sharpening.
The cast aluminium hilt retains much of its original paint. The hilt is firm on the tang. The scabbard latch is in good condition and works well.
The matching numbered scabbard is in excellent condition, retaining over 95% of its original green paint. The scabbard is free from dents. The throat of the scabbard bears the matching serial number, 119497. The shoe of the scabbard is stamped with a Tokyo First Arsenal inspection stamp. The sword sheathes and draws smoothly and is held firmly within the scabbard.
Japanese WWII swords are amongst the most copied/faked of all swords and prospective buyers should beware.
This Type 95 is guaranteed to be genuine and is a fantastic example of a much sought after Japanese NCO’s sword that was carried and used by a career soldier in the Imperial Japanese Army.
I am 18+ I have read and agree to the terms and conditions of sale and shipping