WW2 Japanese Army Officer's Katana, Kanemasa,
In overall good but aged condition, a WW2 Japanese Army Officer's
Katana, signed "Toki Kanemasa (saku)", full leather combat
covers and some history.
This is one of two shin guntos bought back from Burma by Rifles
officer Maj. John Campbell. His family say one of them he took from
a captured Japanese officer who was about to commit Seppuku (harikari)
with his sword, but Major Campbell prevented it. The two swords
came to the UK, were put in his attic and stayed there until his
family cleared the home after his death. When we took the leather
hilt cover off, the leather cord just disintegrated. We have enriched
the covers with leather balsam and cleaned the fittings up a little.
The blade is signed "Toki Kanemasa saku", a Seki smith
producing better than mass produced blades, but it is not Gendaito.
other sword can be found here.
The 24 7/8 inch nagasa (cutting edge section) blade is quite wide
and heavy, in aged condition with staining and light speckling,
a small period nick to the cutting edge. Firm in the tsuka / grip.
The fittings all sound / good but aged, e.g. the menuki grip ornaments
have blue tarnished (can be cleaned with care). The leather covered
saya / scabbard is aged but sound. The sword sheathes and draws
This gunto has clearly seen a good amount of tropical combat service.
A really evocative buy; £? (too late, now sold). Please quote
item reference S48 (0656). Further / full sized images available
NB: the leather combat grip cover tie cord can be fairly easily
replaced with simple leather cord / laces.
Below; Maj. John Campbell while serving in Burma.