JAPANESE ARMY SAMURAI SWORD WWII KATANA - #14 -
The Samurai sword is one of the most sought after military antiques. Its popularity in the movies and
television has helped propelled it into a popular icon. The strength, simplicity and beauty of the blade
have made it a legend.
The item feature here is a WWII period Japanese Katana sword. Outfitted with the classical Japanese Imperial
Army fittings. The scabbard is made of wood and covered in brown leather. This was a typical trademark of the military models. A single brass ring was located on one side. The purpose was to allow the soldier to secure
the sword to the belt of the uniform. In reality this was not widely used. Soldiers would prefer to carry the
sword the traditional way, through the belt towards the front.
The tang of this particular sword is not signed. Not all the swords were signed, even if they were hand
made. A single hole is used to secure the blade to the handle. A wooden peg would be employed for this
task. Some samples would have the arsenal marking stamp on the tang.
This page is a recognition and identification guide for Samurai swords.
Multiple detailed photos of a specific sample are provided. Descriptions point
out clearly defined points that should be noted.
One of the most commonly asked questions is "How much is my Samurai Sword worth?".
A price guide is included here to address this question. The value of the swords is
reviewed over a period of several years. A trend can be observed. The present worth
of the edge weapons in the collector's market is illustrated.
This service is provided free of charge to the visitor/enthusiast courtesy of
a company dedicated to the preservation of military history and to providing quality
military antiques and collectibles to museums, institutions and the general public.
The handle wrapping is also consistent with the method used during WWII. The menuki is a representative
sample of that used by the Japanese Army in WWII. Notice that the shark skin is receding, exposing a little
of the wood of the handle.
The Samurai sword has a very rich history. The sword has been manufactured for several centuries and continues
to be produced today. The sword represented more than just a weapon. It was the soul of the Samurai warrior.
When attempting to identify the type of sword you have It is important to keep in mind that the fittings of
a sword (scabbard, handle, crossguard. etc.) may be identical from one sword to another. The reason why is
because during WWII the same fittings were used in all Army swords, Navy swords, etc. Armed forces are all
about uniformity. They strive to make everything the same.
This is the reason why a sword cannot be identified merely by its external appearance.
Understanding the different components that make up the Samurai sword is the first step in figuring out the
type of sword you have. That is the reason why we have created the
Understanding the Samurai sword section as a means to
provide a novice with the basic knowledge to start the path of determining the questions everyone has;
who made the sword, how old it is nad how much it is worth.
The Tsuba is not typical of the ones used during WWII. This is an older sample. It dates back to the mid to late
1800's. There are three openings. The center one is for the blade to pass through. The other two are strictly
WE BUY JAPANESE SWORDS - All types of Japanese edge weapons. Whether it is a WWII era Samurai sword or an
older type of blade.
The process gets started by you sending us an
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We can tell you what you have, what it is worth and how much we can pay you.
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Since the standard locking mechanism was not used with this sword the replacement was the use of a leather strap
with a male snap. It is attached to the side of the handle. The receiving end is placed on the throat of the
scabbard. It is held in place by the leather cover.
By the Numbers
It is next to impossible to determine the exact number of Samurai swords that were produced and issued to
Japanese soldiers during the war. However, thanks to the record keeping maintained by the US Armed Forces,
it is possible to estimate how many swords were actually shipped home.
There were over 500,000 Samurai swords were brought back home as souvenirs from the war.
There are several caviats to this number.
For example, some soldiers took souvenirs and shipped them home circumbenting the established process.
Some of the swords were brought back inside duffle bags without anyone knowing except for the soldier who
captured the sword. This fact would clearly affect the final count.
The number also does not account for swords that were taken by Allied soldiers from other countries.
Collecting Samurai swords
Collecting Samurai swords is a field that has been growing since the days the GI's rummaged around Asia
bringing back military souvenirs. Japanese soldiers carried many of these swords when they went to
battle. Once the soldier was killed or captured, the Americans would take the edge weapons as war trophies.
Eventually all these pieces came back to the United States where military history enthusiasts began to collect them.
In trying to determine if you should collect Samurai swords there are certain factors that should be
The adjacent table outlines some of the advantages and disadvantages of collecting the Samurai swords.
This Samurai Sword may be currently reproduced.
It is becoming more difficult to be able to tell the fake ones from the real ones because
the quality of the reproductions is improving. The collector must become familiarized with
the construction style and materials employed in the manufacturing of this item.
Attention to the details is critical in order to be able to determine the authenticity of
If you have an interest is seeing other Japanese Samurai swords, you can do so by going to our
Japanese Samurai Swords Price Guide
identification guide. Where we cover Samurai swords from all periods.