Japanese WW2 Pilots Sword. Heirloom Wakizashi Blade

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This is a rare WW2 Japanese pilot or tank officer’s short sword (wakizashi). Pilots and tank officers worked in confined spaces so were permitted to carry shorter, non-regulation length swords. It is likely that this wakizashi belonged to an officer from a family with Samurai heritage. The beautiful heirloom blade is old. The tang (nakago) is unsigned but the patina indicates that the blade is Edo period or earlier.

The fact that pilots and tank officers carried swords is testament to the enduring Samurai traditions and Bushido code in Japanese culture and particularly within the Japanese Military.

The heirloom blade is in good original polish showing a bright active Gonome-Midare hamon and a jihada (grain structure) with clear Nie (Martensite) crystals. The cutting edge (Nagasa) is 552mm with a blade curvature (sori) of 11mm. The tang (Nakago) is unsigned (Mumei) and has a single peg hole (Mekugi-Ana).

The WW2 hilt (tsuka) is of standard Type 98 military pattern and is in excellent condition with minimal wear, as one would expect from a sword carried by a pilot or inside a tank. The sarute on the kabuto-gane (pommel cap) is interesting in that it appears to show clasped hands.

The wakizashi is complete with its original lacquered wooden scabbard (saya) with a single brass suspension ring. The blade sheathes and draws smoothly from the scabbard.

This is an excellent example of a rare WW2 Japanese pilots’ sword with a beautiful heirloom blade.