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The following pictures illustrate a fine example of an older Katana blade mounted in the traditional WWII fashion. The blade on this sword is in pristine condition and has an overall length of approximately 28 inches.

Sword 3

Sword 3

Sword 3

Sword 3

The handle of the sword has been removed in the picture below.

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 picture on the left is the pommel (Kabutogane) of the sword. Notice the detail of the decorations adorning the sword hanger.
The picture to the right depicts the (Menuki) which is a collection of three cherry blossom. These blossoms are standard symbols of the Japanese army of WWII.

Sword hanger


The pictures below are a clear illustration of how the sword was secured to the scabbard. The tip of the locking mechanism tends to break when people force the sword out. Notice the fine workmanship and and detail of the sword fittings.

The picture on the left shows the Habaki. Usually constructed from copper. Its main purpose was to secure the sword once inside the scabbard. The blade fits loosely inside as to not be scratched when the Samurai moved around.

Blade and scabbard locking mechanism

Locking mechanism

This is a top view of the scabbard. The whole to the left of the main opening is where the locking tab connected to the body of the scabbard. The inside of the scabbard is lined with wood to provide a better fit and to protect the blade of the sword.

The tang of this sword is signed on both sides. These signatures often contained information such as dates, family name, school name and the name of the maker.
The name of the maker/school is important because some of them are highly desirable. However, there is a problem in determining the authenticity of the signature because in many cases they have been forged. Some of these forgeries back to the 1700's. Some experts believe that up to 80% of the signatures may not be authentic.

Scabbard inlet

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 MilitaryItems.com, a company dedicated to the preservation of military history and to providing quality military antiques and collectibles to museums, institutions and the general public.

  1. FAQ's
  2. Samurai sword examples
  3. Samurai sword periods
  4. Samurai Swordsmith schools
  5. Samurai sword anatomy
  6. The Menuki
  7. The Tsuba
  8. The Samurai blade tip
  9. Reading the sword's signature
  10. Samurai sword care
  11. Identifying sword reproductions
  12. Ready to buy a sword

Tang signature

Tang with signature

A closeup picture of the hand guard or Tsuba follows. This piece is painted gold and has a cherry blossom in each corner. The guard has an opening to allow for the locking mechanism to go through. Also notice the washers on top of the guard.


The washers are removed from the hand guard. The Habaki is placed between the Tsuba and the neck of the blade. The washers help secure the fittings.

Tsuba and mounting pieces

Tsuba and mounting pieces

A closeup of the Tsuba and the washers reveals the number 40. Each piece is matching which helps ensure the authenticity of the period. The washers are called Seppa.

Numbered mounting components

Numbered Tsuba

The picture to the left of the screen provides a close look at the scabbard band. this piece is known as the Semegane.
The picture to the right depicts the suspension mount. Again, this mount is typical of those produced for the Japanese Army of WWII. The name of the suspension mount is Shin-Gunto.

Semegane (Scabbard band)

Shin-Gunto (Suspension mount)

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 Email . 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 picture shows the front of the pommel. note the cherry blossom witht leaves on top and bottom. This picture alsoprovides a different view of the sword hanger.

Pommel close up

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 considered.

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 the collectible.

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.


The value for the Samurai sword and other military antiques and collectibles is provided as a means to educate the collector community and individuals who have a general interest on the field. The following is an estimated value. Prices may vary in every state and every country. This service is provided courtesy of MilitaryItems.com. The source for military antiques and collectibles in the web.

Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Value $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Availability Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare
Invest Grade B A A A A A A

While the item featured here is not for sale, similar items like it are available for purchase in our website MilitaryItems.com

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