Japanese early second pattern WWII Type 95 NCO shin gunto.
This sword has a cast aluminium hilt with a 9mm thick ornate brass guard with pebble finish. The sword is secured in the scabbard by a top latch which identifies it as being a second pattern sword dating to around 1938 – mid 1941. After mid-1941, the guard and hilt ferrule were made of unadorned iron and the latch mechanism for securing the sword in the scabbard was moved to the side of the hilt.
The hilt ferrule 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 over-saw the production of these swords so its identification stamp is often found on Type 95 swords.
The 67 cm (not including the blade collar) blade is in excellent condition, free from rust and with only a couple of tiny spots of tarnish. The serial number 58488 and a Tokyo First Arsenal stamp are clearly marked above the fuller. These pre/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 some paint, with a wear pattern testifying to its use and service. The hilt is firm on the tang. The scabbard latch is in good condition and works well.
The scabbard is in very good condition, retaining some brown paint. The scabbard is free from dents and has the beautiful patina of old iron. The throat of the scabbard is without a serial number. This is something that I have seen before on other Type 95 from this same private sector manufacturer.
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 great example of a much sought after Japanese NCO’s sword that was carried and used by a career soldier in the Imperial Japanese Army.