WWII SAMURAI KATANA SWORD 55 - KANETOMO
This is a Japanese Katana Samurai sword. As produced during WWII. The fittings are all consistent with the Imperial
Japanese Army. The handle displays the traditional wrapping with the three flower Menuki. The Tsuba is of early war
construction with the cutout style.
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 and most of the spacers are marked with the number "1". This characteristic is known as being matching numbers.
As mentioned earlier the Tsuba is the cut-out type, indicating an early war production. Each corner of its design is
adorned with a Chrysanthemum flower.
The throat piece, known as "Fuchi" is also adorned with the same type of flower and a leaves to each side.
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
We will respond to your inquiry normally within 24 hours and in many cases much faster.
We can tell you what you have, what it is worth and how much we can pay you.
One sword or an entire collection -
Email Us .
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 pommel of the sword, known as Kashira, is of copper color. It is adorned at the front, back and top with the Imperial flower.
The entire body is lightly pebbled. A plain wire lanyard loop is also present.
These photographs also illustrate the well define bumps of the white ray skin which covers the handle.
The spine of the blade is in the shape of an inverted "V". The Habaki is made of brass and is well fitted to the balde. Its
design is plain.
The tang of the sword is marked on both sides. The following photo shows the side with the date. The sword was manufactured on
the Showa period on the year of 1943 and the month of June. The file marks on the tang are also nicely visible. The tang has a
The other side of the tang is marked with additional information which contains the name of the swordsmith, which was Kanemoto.
There are a total of five characters on the tang. They read as follows:
1 - Seki
2 - Ju
3 and 4 - Kanetomo
5 - Saku
The tip of the tang has the shape of a type "Haagari".
The blade shows swirl patterns most likely created by a buff wheel. In addition, oil has been added to the blade and it dried up.
Not a good idea to do this as now it has to be cleaned which is not as simple as wiping it out.
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.