Wednesday, February 3, 2010

General Officer Katana

Greetings my fellow katana krackpots. First I must apologize again for a long delay in updating my web site. I have no good excuses other than just being outrageously lazy, which is something we all know I am strangely proud of. I will try to make up for it a little by throwing out a nice bit of eye candy for you.
Recently out of the woodwork I present this minty Gunto by WWII sword smith Kanetoki. What makes it particularly interesting is the perfect condition General Officers tassel that is original to the piece. There are gajillions of Guntos out there but very few General officers tassels. In fact the tassel is probably worth more than the sword, even a sword as nice as this one. Together they are spectacular! The blade was made circa 1940. Blade length is 26 5/8 inches or 67.5 cm. It features a muji hada and a very flashy and distinct sanbonsugi style temper outlined in strong and very bright nioi typical of well made Showatos. The signature says " Seki ju Kanetoki saku" which translates to "Kanetoki a resident of Seki city made this". The blade also has a Showa arsenal stamp above the signature.
Here is a little background info on this maker taken from John Scott Slough's wonderful book, An Oshigata Book of Modern Japanese Swordsmiths 1868-1945. If you ain't got it, get it. It seems that Kanetoki later signed his works by the name Kanemichi (which he is much better known as) and was a Rikugun Jumei Tosho rated at 2 Million Yen. He is also known for using Yasugi steel. Yasugi is an ancent steel making center locate in Shimane Japan. Yasugi steel has always been regarded as some of the best and steel is still being produced there today.
Kantetoke (Kanemichi) produced High Grade Showato and Superior Grade Gendaito. This sword is one of his Showatos. Overall quality is quite high and condition is excellent with the blade in essentially full polish and much of the gilding still present on the fittings. Just like a beautiful woman, fun to look at and a pleasure to hold.
More stuff soon!

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