Pattern: Type 98
Product Description: This Japanese Type 98 Army Shin-Guntō officer’s sword is an excellent example with wonderful eye appeal. The beautiful, 22.5-inch blade is in a very strong excellent condition, nice and clean, with a nice, distinct temper line. This blade is seated through a multi-piece closed tsuba, with the tang secured with a bamboo peg. The tang is well-marked, with stamped and painted characters. The military-style hilt on this attractive sword is typical officer quality, complete, and all original. It is constructed of a wood base, covered in ray skin with the traditional 3 brass cherry blossoms all wrapped in original brown cloth tape with a twist. The kabuto-gane, (pommel) is copper/brass. The scabbard (saya) is steel-based, and retains nearly all of the original olive paint, with a couple of minor dents. The ornate copper/brass ashi is in place for carrying, with minor scratches and marks from normal period wear. As is most often the case with these scabbards, a spring clip retention system is employed. This works fine, but there is some play. Overall, this Japanese type 98 is in really nice, above-average condition, with a stunning blade.
Historical Description: It has been suggested that the Japanese military made more use of swords in WWII than the armed forces of any other nation. Officers in WWII and the pre-war years were required to have them. For many Japanese soldiers and officers, the sword was a connection to traditional samurai mythology. Some of the swords carried by Japanese soldiers, sailors and airmen were ancestral heirlooms, some of them hundreds of years old, often in new, military mounts. Others bought or were issued swords made specifically for Imperial Japanese Army or Navy use. Some of the military swords used traditionally made blades, while others used production shortcuts that arose from the need to produce the massive quantities of swords required by the growing military. There were many variants of swords used by the Japanese military in WWII, including the old style Army sword- the kyū guntō- and several models of the shin-guntō, which was made between 1935 and 1945. Swords used by the Japanese military in WWII, including the ancestral Samurai blades, the traditionally made military blades, and even the most inferior quality late war machine made pieces, are all collectible today for their historical value.
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