Japanese Army Officer's Shin-gunto sword and scabbard

Place Asia: Netherlands East Indies, Celebes
Accession Number REL38896
Collection type Technology
Object type Edged weapon or club
Physical description Brass, Copper, Leather, Steel
Maker Kanehiro
Place made Japan
Date made c 1930s
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Japanese Army Officer's Shin-gunto sword and scabbard with leather battle guard. The hilt has the standard army style gilded brass shin-gunto fittings, brown cotton binding tape over the rayskin grip and cherry blossom menuki on each side of the handle. The solid guard (tsuba) is rectangular in shape with cherry blossom motifs in the corners and has two spacer plates on each side. The pommel (kabuto-gane) is complete with a loop (sarute). The single edged blade has a zigzag harmon temper line and a copper collar (habaki). The tang, with a single peg hole is signed indicating that the sword was made at Seki by the sword smith Kanehiro using the name Goto.

The lacquered wooden scabbard has a 70 mm copper throat fitting, with an incorporated hanger, attached to which is a length of cotton cord. Stuck on the throat is the remains of blue and white inspection label on which the words in English, 'JAPAN' and 'SEKI' are visible, together with a series of Japanese characters. Japanese characters indicating patent details are stamped on the throat above the label. There is a leather battle guard on the scabbard.

History / Summary

Associated with the service of VX106854 Private M D Duncan, 2/14 Battalion, AIF. With the surrender of the Japanese at the end of the Second World War, 2/14 Battalion formed part of the occupation forces in the Celebes (now Sulawesi, Indonesia) and it understood that Private Duncan acquired the sword during his service in that theatre, between October 1945 and January 1946. Born at Coburg, Victoria on 13 August 1923, Maurice Dolan Duncan enlisted in the AIF on 15 September 1942. Duncan served with 2/14 Battalion throughout the war and was discharged on 22 October 1946.