looking for help with WWII sword

by Ken Burke
(Northport NY)

My Dad passed recently and I am trying to research a sword he collected in China and returned with after WWII. I believe it was made in a sword manufacturing city named Seki from one of the markings. I have included pictures and hope you can recommend someone who can help me with more information.I am on Long Island 40 minutes outside of NYC.

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Gunto Katana
by: Paul

Hi Ken,

Sorry to hear about your fathers passing, my condolences..

To answer your question, it seems to me that he picked up what is commonly known as a "Guntō" 軍刀 (military sword) which were indeed mass produced in Seki City for the Imperial Japanese Armed forces. You can see in the linked wikipedia article a picture which shows an almost identical sword - the Shin Gunto, with leather covered scabbard.

In your picture it shows a brown tassel attached, which suggests it was issued to a sergeant, sergeant major or corporal. It is a little hard to tell from the picture, but from the tassel and the seki city reference, chances are it was mass produced rather than a very old blade, but you never know.

This website has many pictures you can use to further research what type of sword you actually have (bear in mind it is written by a Japanese person, so the English is not quite native at times) but it is still very helpful.

For a valuation you might want to contact Art Swords - depending on the blade, it could be worth between $500 to $3000 on average. So best to contact someone who specializes in them and get some additional feedback. Locally you could try this company, Kwakstrading - they are based in Bellmore, NY and may be able to offer an in person appraisal.

Hope this helps.
- Paul

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