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The Japanese sword has earned a high regard in the military collectibles world. The history of the sword, the strength and simple beauty of design has made it a very desirable military antique.

The Wakisashi was introduced during the Momoyama period of Japanese history. It was meant to be a companion to the Katana (longer sword). The purpose of the Wakisashi was to allow the warrior to fight in confined areas, such as inside a house. In conditions such as these it would have been more difficult to wield the katana.

The sword featured here is a a hand-made Wakisashi blade. Produced in the 1800's. Mounted in formal presentation fittings. The scabbard retains some of the original black lacker.

The blade shows some surface rusting and pitting. Some of the manufacturing defects are starting to appear. It is important for the sword collector to understand how to handle their sword to avoid damaging the blade and reducing the value ofthe sword.

Some tips on handling are:

  1. DO not touch the blade. Oils in your hand are destructive to the blade.
  2. Do not oil the blade.
  3. Wipe the blade clean with a soft cotton rag.
The fittings show a great deal of detail. Most of them are done with gold inlays. The workmanship displayed here is very good.

The photo below shows the Habaki. A checkered design with circular accents towards the bottom. Of copper construction. The Habaki served form and function. Its wedge shape was designed to help keep the sword firmly secure in the scabbard during motion. The blade sat loosely inside the scabbard so as to not get scratched when putting in or pulling out.

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

The menuki are matching and appear to portray a type of floral design. The shark skin that lines in the the wooden handle retains good color, texture and is in overall good condition. The handle remains tightly woven.

The tang is not signed. Not all of the swordsmiths signed their swords. The final product had to meet the strict requirements of quality before they were signed. The shape and size of the tang help determine the school that produced the sword.

A single hole has been drilled near the base of the tang. The sword has not been shortened. It retains the original size as when it was made.

The tip of the sword shows the most amount of damage. The tip itself is broken and a small section is missing as illustrated in the photo. A good polisher could re-tip this sword.

This is a picture of the top of the handle. Nice workmanship still present in the metal part.

The Tsuba shows great detail in the gold inlay flower pattern. The manufacturing date for the Tsuba is around the mid 1800's.

The underside of the Tsuba is also adorned with a smaller, gold inlayed, flower pattern (perhaps cloves?).

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 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Value $450.00 $600.00 $650.00 $670.00 $700.00 $750.00 $700.00 $700.00 $650.00 $600.00 $550.00 $500.00 $450.00 $400.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Availability Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare
Invest Grade B B B B B B B B B B B B 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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