WW2 sword from Japan

Ernie1980

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Apr 19, 2012
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I just wanted to share this with people who would appreciate it:)
My dad has had this sword hanging in his garage for as long as I can remember. I have always admired it, more for the family history than the sword itself. My grandad fought in Okinawa during WW2, and brought this back. Like others, he never talked about what happened over there. I went to visit my dad the other day, and this was sitting on the counter. He said that it was time for it to go to my workshop! I haven’t hung it up just yet, but will be choosing a perfect spot for it soon. :thumbsup:
The scabbard is metal, and the handle of the sword is checkered wood (maybe rosewood?) overall, I think it is in good condition for its age. Thank you for letting me share!

 

SouthernComfort

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Dec 8, 2011
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508
Yes, a Type 32 Army sword.
They are referred to as the type 32 as they were released in Meji 32 (1899). These swords were produced by the Tokyo Arsenal from 1899-1936, though they remained in service with the calvary until the end of WW II in 1945.

There were two models made, the “Ko” and “Otsu”. The longer “ko” model was made for NCO’s and the calvary. The shorter “Otsu” was for NCO’s, MP’s, Transportation Corps, Infantry Master Sergeants, engineers and artillery.

They are basically the same with the only differences being the length and the size of the drag. The drag on the otsu model was heavier as it was for foot soldiers.

Your sword should have serial numbers on the ricasso and the drag. Originally, they were matching but occasionally they do not. These swords belonged to the government, not the soldiers, so it was not uncommon for them to be refurbished at the factory for further use. Some have the numbers re-matched. During factory refurbish when blades without scabbards and vice versa were put together, they would re-stamp the drag to match the number on the ricasso. Some have arsenal stamps added as well.

There should be a series of arsenal stamps located on the guard which can help further date the sword.

Hope this helps.
Ed

Reference: Imai, Akio, Nippon no Gunyo-Token 1868-1945 Nen, Rikugun-Hen, 1990.
 

Jerickson

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Mar 6, 2021
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100
Really cool! Thank you for the ID posts too, guys. It's very interesting.
 

SouthernComfort

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Dec 8, 2011
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A finger loop on the guard of the longer cavalry sword.
Yes, the older models were issued with a finger loop, but at some point they discontinued this. Apparently no one liked them. You rarely see one with the finger loop outside of a book. I don't ever remember seeing one.
 

Ernie1980

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Apr 19, 2012
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Apparently there were quite a few made- my research says over 80k! I need to gently clean mine a little to read the numbers, but I certainly don’t want to overdo it.
 

SouthernComfort

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Dec 8, 2011
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508
Apparently there were quite a few made- my research says over 80k! I need to gently clean mine a little to read the numbers, but I certainly don’t want to overdo it.
I would recommend that you do nothing more than wipe it down with a light machine or gun oil. They made a specific clove oil for swords, but for this sword I wouldn't worry about that. If if has any serious crud or gunk like old dried cosmoline, you can clean it with a soft rag and denatured alcohol, then wipe it down oil on a soft flannel cloth.
 
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