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This is a Japanese Imperial marine mounted sword. This type of sword is known as Nihon-toh or Katana in Japanese. According to the markings found on the tang(Nakago) which is under the handle(Tuska), this sword was made in April of 1944. The craftsman(Katana shokunin) is Takamasa. The real name of Takamasa is 安田 芳太郎 which Google translator states is Yasuda Yoshitaro. The sword was brought to the U.S. by PFC. John P. Nieuzytek whose commanding officer at the time was 1st Lt. Thomas C. Finnie of the 66th Engineer Topographic Company(see the bring back paper below). I purchased the katana from Stewarts Military Antiques in Mesa Arizona on April 2nd 2004. When I received this item the handle had already been removed. The entire package included the sword, scabbard(Saya) and bringback paper.

Please accept my apologies as I am working on the text for this page.

The picture on the left is of the side of the tang when the sharp edge of the blade is facing down. On this side of the tang is found a small Seki stamp and the date the sword was made. The Seki stamp probably indicates that this sword’s manufacture was non-traditional in some way. The date of the markings on the tang are read from the top down. The first two characters are the period(nengo) and indicate that the sword was made during the Showa period (1926). The Western calendar equivalent date of the Showa period is found by adding the next characters found prior to the year stamp on the tang to the year preceding the beginning of the Showa period. That year would be 1925 as the Showa era began in 1926. This would mean that the above sword was produced in 1944. The math would be as follows: 1925 + 10 + 9 = 1944. The next chisel mark is the Japanese character for the number 4. After that we have the Japanese character for month. Putting all this together tells us that this sword was made in April of 1944. The black paint is the Japanese characters for the number 524. The number 524 is also found on several of the smaller parts on this sword. This number is also written on the inside opening of the handle and can only be seen when the handle is removed from the blade.

More and better text is coming soon.

  

  

Text coming soon

WWII Japanese sword capture papers.

  

References:

Richard Stein's Japanese sword guide website

Militaryitems.com

Military rifles of Japan by Fred Honeycutt and F. Patt Anthony

Military pistols of Japan by Fred Honeycutt

The Japanese Naval special type 99 rifles and carbines by Francis Allan and Carl Goddard

  

  

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