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#321821 - 09/30/16 03:56 PM NLF katana
kwakernaak Offline

Registered: 04/29/05
Posts: 572
Loc: Netherlands
Hi Gents,

I have been collecting 3rd reich daggers for nearly 15 years now and its becoming a bit boring. Lot's of documentation around and together with the internet any fool can figure out what they have. Now my interest has turned to ww2 japanese katana's. I was actually spurred on by the "numerous" about this topic here. Been reading a lot lately but quickly have realised than this area of collecting really is not not for "normal" folk. Wow what a lot of conflicting and scarce info online.

Seeing my immature stance of the subject I would like to have your advice. I have been offered what is claimed to be a NLF katana which I would like your opinion on. I have my doubts, otherwise I would not be posting. In my eyes patina is everything..especially when looking at daggers/swords I normally not focus on. Please have a look at the pictures and I would love to hear your thoughts. To me it doesn't look right. I could not find one single picture online which shows this variation. The asking price is very low and to good to be true if it was the real deal. (I did buy two really nice ww2 katana's from the same person last week)..

The tang is unmarked which I find unusual. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your remarks!

PS I'll post the other katana's I got from the same guy soon....muhaha.









Edited by kwakernaak (09/30/16 04:10 PM)

#321822 - 09/30/16 04:07 PM Re: NLF katana [Re: kwakernaak]
kwakernaak Offline

Registered: 04/29/05
Posts: 572
Loc: Netherlands
some more pics..sorry the quality ********...but this is what I need to go on...





#321901 - 10/03/16 10:57 PM Re: NLF katana [Re: kwakernaak]
kwakernaak Offline

Registered: 04/29/05
Posts: 572
Loc: Netherlands
Guess the lack of comments says it all...better pass on this one then....

#321907 - 10/04/16 04:02 AM Re: NLF katana [Re: kwakernaak]
Militarynut Offline

Registered: 04/25/02
Posts: 653
hi sir
thank you for showing your late war 1944 imperial marine landing force katana sword. this sword from what i see in the pictures is the real deal and is japanese machine made blade i have had a few over the years that were not signed at all . these late war swords some times has a seki arsenal mark under the habaki take another look . its a small mark inside of a box the only things i see is the off coloring of scabard paint the missing drag on the end of the scabard and last an extra hole in the tang for what i dont know possibly for remounting the blade . the handle wrapping and screws have been removed so if it is bought cheap buy it at least it not chinese if you want you can all ways e mail me at andy is my name and i will be glad to help if i can with your questions have a nice day andy militarynut

#321911 - 10/04/16 07:28 AM Re: NLF katana [Re: Militarynut]
kwakernaak Offline

Registered: 04/29/05
Posts: 572
Loc: Netherlands
Thanks Andy,

The guy wanted 230 euro for it. Guess that is probabbly a fair price taking into account the missing parts. I sadly already passed on it as he needed an answer pretty quick as he had other interested parties. I ll check with him if it sold or not.

#321914 - 10/04/16 09:33 AM Re: NLF katana [Re: kwakernaak]
Militarynut Offline

Registered: 04/25/02
Posts: 653
hey guy
go for it he is not trying to rob you thats for sure . this is the real deal best of luck whats your name mine is andy when you get a chance post pictures of your outher swords you just bought

#322137 - 10/11/16 07:55 AM Re: NLF katana [Re: Militarynut]
Jareth Holub Offline

Registered: 07/28/02
Posts: 715
Loc: Long Island, NY
This is a late army pattern. Over the years this has been well documented & proven. People have hard time letting go of old labels. Absolutely not navy or NLF!

#322175 - 10/11/16 05:54 PM Re: NLF katana [Re: Jareth Holub]
kwakernaak Offline

Registered: 04/29/05
Posts: 572
Loc: Netherlands
Thanks for the feedback.

I am afraid I missed this one. The guy sold it to somebody else. Win some loose some.

Are there any good internet sites focussing on military katana's? I have a hard time finding good solid info on these things. I have purchased a book, but this pattern was not really mentioned.

Thanks Peter Jan

Edited by kwakernaak (10/11/16 05:55 PM)

#322182 - 10/11/16 06:39 PM Re: NLF katana [Re: kwakernaak]
Militarynut Offline

Registered: 04/25/02
Posts: 653
hi peter
the book for japanese swords to start out with is swords of japan by gregory/fuller cheap price buy good reference book to have if you want to ever ask me some questions on japanese swords e mail me at best andy

#323580 - 11/19/16 09:17 PM Re: NLF katana [Re: Militarynut]
Stu W Offline

Registered: 07/27/06
Posts: 17
Loc: US
As Jareth says this is a late war Amy sword. One needs to be careful with some of the old reference books as they can contain information that wiht the passage of time has been proven incorrect.

Jim Dawson's updated reference book is a great source of information ...

J.Dawson (2007)

and can be purchased here if one so desires ...

scroll down to see photo.


#323582 - 11/19/16 09:24 PM Re: NLF katana [Re: Stu W]
Stu W Offline

Registered: 07/27/06
Posts: 17
Loc: US
Further to my last, these are not machine made in the same sense as are the IJA Type 95 NCO swords. These are perhaps better described as being partially machine made with hand finishing and while the vast majority are Showato (collector usage) there are occasionally fine Gendaito found in these mounts.


Edited by Stu W (11/19/16 09:25 PM)

#323584 - 11/19/16 09:32 PM Re: NLF katana [Re: Stu W]
Stu W Offline

Registered: 07/27/06
Posts: 17
Loc: US
For those not familiar with the terms Showato and Gendaito here is some information. Credit to Dr. Richard Stein and his Japanese Sword Index site as linked here ...

"The terms gunto, gendaito and showato are commonly used in reference to Japanese swords of the WW II era; but they used in different ways to convey concepts which are not strictly contained in their definitions.


Gunto - "military sword" (this refers to all swords in military mounts, not to whether the blade is handmade or not.)

Gendaito - "modern sword" (this refers to the sword having been made between 1876 and 1945, not to whether the blade is handmade or not.)

Showato - "Showa era sword" (this term refers to any sword made during the Showa era, 1926 to 1989, not to whether it is handmade or not.)

These are the literal rendering of the terms, but to collectors and students of Japanese swords, these terms carry specific connotations sometimes differing from the literal definitions of the terms. In the arena of Japanese sword commerce, these terms are routinely used interchangeably by those not familiar with their specific usage in sword circles. This leads to great confusion and at times unintentional misrepresentation of the sword in question. Any perspective buyer of a Japanese must know how the seller is using these terms or risk being very disappointed with their purchase.


To Japanese sword collectors the term "gunto" is used to refer to mass produced, mostly machine made or assembly line production, blades of the WW II era. It is a term of derision. "Gunto" are thought of as low class, poorly made swords having no artist value and of interest only as war relics. Even in Japan, this term is used to describe swords of no value. According to current Japanese regulations, "gunto" are not allowed to be imported into the country either for sale or restoration.

The term "gendai or gendaito" on the other hand is used by collectors to refer to traditionally made blades; those which have folded steel and are water tempered. The Japanese require that for a sword to be "gendaito" it must be made of tamehagane or oroshigane even though it is impossible to tell what a sword is made from after the sword is finished and polished. Swords made of forge folded commercial mill steel look the same as those made of tamehagane after they are polished although some collectors feel that swords made of tamehagane are more likely to have active hamon and more prominent hada than those made of folded mill steel.

"Showato" is used by collectors to also refer to non-traditionally made swords of the Showa Era. It also implies a lower grade of blade not usually of interest to Nihonto collectors.

To be a wise purchaser, one must know how to tell the difference between these types of swords regardless of how the seller is using the terms. This is not always an easy task. Two things to look for in distinguishing a true gendaito from a Showato or gunto (using the terms as a collector would) are the presence of visible hada and an active hamon. It must may emphasized that this is NOT an exact science - even advanced collectors will disagree on whether a sword showing these characteristics is truly gendai or not.

#323591 - 11/20/16 06:35 AM Re: NLF katana [Re: Stu W]
Militarynut Offline

Registered: 04/25/02
Posts: 653
hi stu
great presentation on japanese swords cant thank you enough for explaining to us here on the japanese sword forum i try and help where i can been collecting japanese swords for atleast fifty years and i still cant touch your knowledge or jareths knowledge on japanese head gear he is something else he has educated me on head gear for years great guy to have in our corner well i say this to every one here god bless happy thanks giving andy militarynut


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