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Jukka Hiiro




Location: Finland
Joined: 24 Jan 2014

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri 24 Jan, 2014 5:07 am    Post subject: Katana / Shin Gunto: Information needed         Reply with quote

Hi,
I was offered an affordable change to buy a sword which the seller claims to be authentic Japanese army katana (actually shin gunto) from WW2 era.

As I have studied the internet I think it just might be one of those WW2 shin guntos which had metallic handle and scabbard. But as I really can't be sure all opinions and/or help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

-J-

(The sword is the one below)



 Attachment: 232.54 KB
Katana6.jpg

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Eric S




Location: new orleans
Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 803

PostPosted: Fri 24 Jan, 2014 8:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You need to post some better / more detained pictures but at the most it is a machine made NCO sword, could be a Chinese replica.

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Jukka Hiiro




Location: Finland
Joined: 24 Jan 2014

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri 24 Jan, 2014 8:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks.
If I have understood everything correctly unfortunately most Japanese WW2 army katanas were machine made. They were given to lower rank officers who didn't want to take their family heritage (katana) to the battlefield. Only highest officers got hand made katanas from military, but those are extremely rare, or at least much rarer.

I don't have that katana at hand. It's still at it's owner. I have few more pictures though so maybe I can post some.
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Christopher Treichel




Location: Metro D.C.
Joined: 14 Jan 2010

Posts: 268

PostPosted: Fri 24 Jan, 2014 9:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It looks like a Chinese copy of a WWII Japanese NCO non comissioned officer sword. The giveaway are the acid etched characters on the blade. The origionals were not marked that way. The origionals also were numbered above the habaki and on the scabbard. The blade geometry also does not look correct.

try this page for some more information...http://seaox.com/nihonto/ebay_swords.html
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Jukka Hiiro




Location: Finland
Joined: 24 Jan 2014

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri 24 Jan, 2014 12:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I know. Thanks. Those markings on the blade are one reason I'm worried, but the blade is numbered: number is 40127. And those small details here and there look not only old but also quite accurate to my eye.

I attach one close up I have at hand. Please, your opinions are still appreciated.

-J-



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Katana1.jpg

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Jukka Hiiro




Location: Finland
Joined: 24 Jan 2014

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri 24 Jan, 2014 1:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've been comparing this to those here, and the blade for example is quite similar...

http://japaneseswordindex.com/military.htm
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Norman McCormick





Joined: 17 Jan 2007

Posts: 117

PostPosted: Fri 24 Jan, 2014 2:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi,
This is definitely a 100% Chinese FAKE. There are many sellers of this item on a well known international internet auction site. This is maybe not what you want to hear but I wouldn't like you to waste your money on an item such as this.
Regards,
Norman.
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Eric S




Location: new orleans
Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 803

PostPosted: Fri 24 Jan, 2014 2:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jukka Hiiro wrote:
I've been comparing this to those here, and the blade for example is quite similar...

http://japaneseswordindex.com/military.htm


It is not Japanese from what I can see.

This may help.
http://members.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?View...d=greyguy0
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 1,494

PostPosted: Fri 24 Jan, 2014 2:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jukka Hiiro wrote:
I've been comparing this to those here, and the blade for example is quite similar...

http://japaneseswordindex.com/military.htm


Modern Toledo wallhangers can look similar to Medieval European swords. Superficially. In the same way, this sword looks superficially similar to shin-gunto. As it should, since it's a replica of such swords. You need to look at the details; the details are what will tell you it's a fake. It doesn't matter if they get 15 details right - 2 great screaming signs that say "FAKE!" mean it's fake. It's where the details are wrong that matter.

Good photos of genuine shin gunto are good to look at for comparison. Jim Dawson, "Swords of Imperial Japan, 1868-1945" is the best easily available reference. It's also worth looking at fakes, to see what the usual fakes look like. Check out the many on offer from the "many sellers of this item on a well known international internet auction site" mentioned above. Also look at replicas, since these are sometimes artificially aged and sold as fakes.

As already said, one clear sign of "fake" on this is the acid etching. The other is the lack of habaki. If you follow the link at the bottom of the website above, there is some information on common fakes: http://japaneseswordindex.com/repro.htm , where you will find both of these mentioned as signs of certain fakeness. The better fakes are harder to spot, lacking such obvious signs, but this one is clearly fake.

I don't think this one is close enough to the originals to be worth buying as a cheap replica. (If cheap enough, it might be worth buying as a cheap sword, but you never know about things important to quality like heat treatment until you have bought it.)

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Jukka Hiiro




Location: Finland
Joined: 24 Jan 2014

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri 24 Jan, 2014 2:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ok, even though it makes me sad it also makes me happy, because the truth was what I was looking for. I don't wan't to pay even 1/3:rd for repros or fakes.
So thank you!
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Jussi Ekholm




Location: Tampere, Finland
Joined: 16 Jun 2004
Reading list: 38 books

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Sat 25 Jan, 2014 5:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum Jukka.

I am very happy that you decided to ask before bidding on the sword. I noticed it being listed at Finnish Internet auction site few days ago, I thought of commenting on it on the site, but I just let it go because I think people should do research like you are currently doing. Happy

In reality it's quite horrible fake. Of course in the beginning they are bit hard to spot. Once you get more experience they become a lot easier to spot.

If you are intrested in Japanese NCO swords, these will get you started on Type 95.
http://ohmura-study.net/957.html
http://ohmura-study.net/792.html
http://ohmura-study.net/791.html

There are some good fakes coming out of China, but usually most are quite far from being the real thing, the devil is in the details.

If you are intrested about Japanese swords in general you can PM me, and I can offer my help, my own intrests are in older blades but I've learned a thing or 2 about Japanese WWII items too. We have couple collectors in Finland but we are few in number.

Jussi Ekholm
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