Japanese early second pattern WWII Type 95 NCO shin gunto with matching numbered scabbard.
This sword has a cast aluminium tsuka (hilt) with an approximately 10mm thick ornate aoi-shaped brass tsuba (guard). The fuchi is copper and the sword is secured in the scabbard by a top latch, all of which identifies it as being a second pattern sword (the first pattern being the extremely rare copper hilted model). The low, matching numbers on blade and scabbard, 31229, date the sword to between 1938 and 1939.
The copper fuchi bears a Suya Shoten, private sector manufacturer’s mark, Tokyo First Arsenal inspection stamp and a Kokura Arsenal identification stamp. The Kokura Arsenal did not produce any Type 95 Shin Gunto but over-saw the production of these swords so its identification stamp is often found on Type 95 swords.
The 67 cm (not including the habaki) blade is in very good condition, free from rust and with only a few small pin-pricks of tarnish at the point. The serial number and a Tokyo First Arsenal stamp are clearly marked above the bohi (fuller). These pre-war production Type 95 Shin Gunto were carried by career soldiers, NCOs of the rank of Sergeant, Sergeant-Major and Colour-Sergeant. Traditionally, these men considered their sword to be their primary weapon. The blade retains its fighting edge.
The cast aluminium tsuka (hilt) has lost most its original paint, the wear testifying to its use and service. The scabbard latch is in good condition and works well.
The steel scabbard is in very good condition, free from dents and retaining most of its original green paint. The throat of the scabbard bears a matching serial number, 31229.
This is a great, early production example of a much sought after Japanese NCO’s Type 95 sword that was carried and used by a career soldier in the Imperial Japanese Army.
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