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  1. battlefields is online now
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    Posted On:
    5/09/2010 11:47pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    WWII Samurai Sword

    I was over at a mates house on Friday and while we were having a beer he was telling me about his dad who was in the Navy in WWII. He showed me a Samurai sword that was surrendered to his father. The thing was legit (from what little I know about swords, but mostly what I know about fake swords), he had had the inscription on the blade under the handle translated (mad little button thing that released the handle part to reveal a blade), according to the inscription it wasn't ancient or anything, it was made for that war but it was still pretty cool. Someone had offered him AUS$6000 for it, but it had sentimental value (his dad is long gone) so it wasn't even entertained. Supposedly the navy said they couldn't keep the surrendered swords but his dad did because **** those guys.

    It was in decent condition, so I suggested having it mounted, maybe placed near the pictures of the destroyer his dad served on. The thing that held him back was the fact that it was his home invader protection system. I told him I thought it would be better to get a machette than use an historical artifact as a weapon. My passion on this topic must've persuaded him, but he began by hanging it up next to his front door on a nail. So much for his home protection. Eventually he settled on the idea of putting it on a shelf in a case near pictures of his father.

    I'm not to well versed on weapons, I think that $6000 was a conservative figure because the guy offering it did so immediately, which could hint at much more. But seeing as though I am no expert, I'm just wondering if anyone would have a better idea of its value?

    Do you think I did the right thing by telling him to get it mounted and better preserved?

    How likely is it that a sword wielded by a Japanese serviceman in WWII would have been used in any fatal capacity? Basically I'm asking if it was possible that sword killed someone.
  2. CoffeeFan is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/10/2010 12:23am

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I have seen these swords on sale at blade shows, I could have picked one up for $300 but didn't have the cash. My friend who is into swords says that they made many of these cheaper blades for the service men, however the officers had more traditional and ornate swords. He should really find out what type of sword he has first

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_98_Military_Sword

    As to your second question, yes people were killed by shin gunto swords in WWII

    Possibly NSFW due to disturbing image.
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  3. battlefields is online now
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    Posted On:
    5/10/2010 1:04am

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Where would I start? I probably wouldn't be able to convince him to let it go a-wanderin', however I have internet connection and free time, anywhere that would have pictures of decent quality. I have a nigh on photographic memory so it won't be hard to pick it out from a line up.
  4. stealth_monkey is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/10/2010 6:24am


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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The website swordforum would be able to help out here. For a completely accurate identification the sword would need to be disassembled, which is not something you should attempt as you may damage the blade.

    Gunto generally aren't worth particularly much. In the late part of the war they were mass produced blades with no particular redeeming qualities. Prices tend to go around 300-1000 depending on condition and they're illegal to keep in Japan (they're not even considered katana).

    The second possibility is that the sword was either a family heirloom or an art blade that was mounted in military fittings. If this is the case, the value truly is variable, the thing could be worth anything from 300 bucks to theoretically millions. I'd personally wager more on the 300 bucks side of things, but 6 grand is not something you offer someone on a guess, I'd suggest getting it appraised.

    (mad little button thing that released the handle part to reveal a blade)
    That's a bad sign. Never heard of something like that before. If you could take photos of the blade and handle I could always throw my amateur 2c in

    As for your other questions
    Do you think I did the right thing by telling him to get it mounted and better preserved?
    Definitely. Don't do anything that damages the fittings or blade, but at least keep it out of the dust under your dad's bed. I have a horrible picture of a masamune rusting under some ex-servicemans' bed.


    I have a nigh on photographic memory so it won't be hard to pick it out from a line up.
    Given the thousands of sword smiths out there and no offence but your own admission you have no idea about swords I highly doubt you're going to be able to even tell a thing from comparing it to other photos
  5. Brian R. VanCise is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/10/2010 6:52am


     Style: IRT/FMA/BJJ/BUDO TAIJUTSU

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Interesting post! I would get it appraised and figure out if it is an a gunto or not. Who made the $6,000 offer?
  6. battlefields is online now
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    Posted On:
    5/10/2010 10:25am

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    Fucked if I know who made the offer. From what people are saying here my mate mightve exaggerated the price, not saying it is the case but he probably didn't bank on me checking it out, if so that's pretty funny.
    I'll try to take some photos but I don't hang out with the dude that often, he's older than my dad.
  7. CoffeeFan is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/10/2010 12:42pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by stealth_monkey View Post


    (mad little button thing that released the handle part to reveal a blade)

    That's a bad sign. Never heard of something like that before. If you could take photos of the blade and handle I could always throw my amateur 2c in
    Actually I saw that on the WWII sword that I passed on, I think it's a common feature on them. Pretty much it's a security lock on the handle that keeps the blade sheathed til you push the button that releases the latch that keeps the sword in the scabbard.
  8. money is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/10/2010 1:50pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeFan View Post
    Actually I saw that on the WWII sword that I passed on, I think it's a common feature on them. Pretty much it's a security lock on the handle that keeps the blade sheathed til you push the button that releases the latch that keeps the sword in the scabbard.
    Yeah, I've seen the button thing before, that was a characteristic of some of the military fittings. The furniture doesn't really matter, the blade itself is what matters. While the majority of blades like that were mass produced crap, occasionally some officers did get family blades refitted to be their sidearms.

    To identify it, your best bet would be to slide the tsuka (handle) off and get a really good picture or a rubbing of any markings on the nagako (tang).
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  9. battlefields is online now
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    Posted On:
    5/10/2010 9:54pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Next time I go over to his I will see if I can get a good photo.
  10. stealth_monkey is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/11/2010 5:03am


     Style: Kendo, Iaido, BJJ noob

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    Quote Originally Posted by Money View Post
    Yeah, I've seen the button thing before, that was a characteristic of some of the military fittings. The furniture doesn't really matter, the blade itself is what matters. While the majority of blades like that were mass produced crap, occasionally some officers did get family blades refitted to be their sidearms.

    To identify it, your best bet would be to slide the tsuka (handle) off and get a really good picture or a rubbing of any markings on the nagako (tang).
    That's actually really cool. I've never really paid a huge amount of attention to gunto fittings before.
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