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I'm really interested in getting a Japanese Type 98 sword at some point, but don't know much about them. Can anyone recommend some good sources for learning more? I want to be able to spot fakes or forgeries. Also, what should I expect to spend for a Type 98 sword these days? I am about to list a USGI M1 Carbine for sale here and was kind of hoping I could make a trade for one or at least get about enough to possibly buy one with the funds.

Thanks all!
 

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WWII Japanese Samurai swords can be a minefield for those who don't know what to look for.


Sword prices, (just like guns) will vary depending on condition. Expect to pay any where's from 700-1200 for a machine made Shin Gunto.


Hand made blades (Gendaito) will fetch higher prices.


There are some good online dealers. One I know of always has a few Type 98 Shin Gunto for sale.
 

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WWII Japanese Samurai swords can be a minefield for those who don't know what to look for.


Sword prices, (just like guns) will vary depending on condition. Expect to pay any where's from 700-1200 for a machine made Shin Gunto.


Hand made blades (Gendaito) will fetch higher prices.


There are some good online dealers. One I know of always has a few Type 98 Shin Gunto for sale.
Amen to what Panzerfaust said.
I have a book Military Swords of Japan 1868-1945 by Fuller and Gregory but it doesn't use "Type 98" but does discuss Army "Shin Guntos" (new pattern swords). There is a larger, more expensive book by those 2 authors I don't have.
Most Japanese sword books I've seen tend to focus on handmade traditional blades. Many of these blades were shortened and fit into military mountings. Initially they were "kyu guntos" if I understand it which had a guard like the Japanese cavalry sabers but the shin guntos became popular in the 1930s and reverted to a more traditional samurai style sword. Of course, many shin guntos used machine made blades or contemporary hand made blades.
I concluded earlier in my collecting career couple things: you better know what you're doing (never more important if contemplating paying big bucks for a Japanese sword) and that in general, if you got into older Japanese edged weapons stuff you better read Japanese, and possibly older Japanese (I'm no kanji expert but I think it might have evolved over the centuries.) Also that apparently even back in the old days (1600 or before) fakery was going on of the most famous swordsmiths' work.
I think a lot of fake Jap WW2 swords came out of China and other places in relatively recent times. Some of the cavalry swords may not have been "fake" in that they could be military Chinese swords patterned after the Japanese. (But that was internet chatter: sounded logical but not sure how true any of it was.)
Might look at Wikpedia first. That's where I saw "type" breakdowns given of the shin gunto type military swords and probably some good references listed if you could find them. The Gregory/Fuller books probably have some good info if you can find them. There are probably a LOT of books in Japanese about the stuff but I'll bet they concentrate on the older hand made blades like some other books I have: and be photo heavy with somewhat minimal text.
 

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@hannibalbarca,

Thanks for the quick run down! I will look into the Fuller and Gregory books. I am pretty much a blank slate at this point and really want to sponge up whatever info I can. I delved very deeply into Arisakas a few years ago, and now I'm wanting to build that same knowledge base around Japanese swords and pistols.
 

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That link didn't work for me, here it is again: http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/forum/45-military-swords-of-japan/

A GREAT place to learn and read about shingunto is Ohmura's site: http://ohmura-study.net/900.html
Tons of great pictures and pages of information - all free! Browse the IJA officer pages, the NCO pages, and the Navy pages. They all have a different look.

My collecting centered on the WWII shingunto. I have one navy (kai-gunto) with an old familty blade, one WWI era Kyu-gunto, 2 of the Type 32 cavalry swords from 1900; but most of mine are from the WWII era.

Dealers are the safest place to get gunto without fear of buying a fake, but you wind up paying at the high end of the market pricing. Each of the forums - NMB, Here, Wehrmacht-awards, Warrelics - have trader/selling forums where you can feel safe that you won't get taken.
You can find a great list of dealers here: http://www.nihontomessageboard.com/links.html
 

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@hannibalbarca,

Thanks for the quick run down! I will look into the Fuller and Gregory books. I am pretty much a blank slate at this point and really want to sponge up whatever info I can. I delved very deeply into Arisakas a few years ago, and now I'm wanting to build that same knowledge base around Japanese swords and pistols.
Wish I could help more. Looks like some good info from some other correspondents.
Another thought: IF it was possible to pick up a veteran bring back from someone you could trust. Of course, problem is the vets are getting fewer and fewer on a daily basis.
I had a vet bringback sword I believe that had been ground and chrome plated. The ridge lines had been ground off. At the time I got it, I suspect it was probably a real one, but.....
Good luck with your quest. I have 3 Japanese sword now: a cavalry, a Naval parade and an Army parade, neither of the latter 2 with scabbards. One reason for that is they were my time period (I'm more WWI) and the price was more in my line. I actually think at one time I had a rebellion era wakazashi that was real but unfortunately tip was broken off. Bought and sold for $5.00 back in the day. Sort of regret that one a bit but it didn't fit in my main collecting interests either.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I appreciate all the helpful responses here, I’m really glad I have some more materials to study now. If anyone has had good personal experience buying Japanese swords from a dealer, please let me know! I can tell that being able to trust the seller will be very important.
 

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I never delved into swords. I have one. The one my father brought back. It's real and I know it's history. I took it to a show about 15 years ago to have somebody I trust look at it. I didn't get 5 feet into the show and a was swarmed by interested dealers. They were disappointed when I told them not for sale. That was a good sign.
 

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Garand M1, keep in touch with Bruce, he occasionally has a sword for sale and you can trust his judgement.

Chuck.
 

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Nobody needs to waste a bunch of keystrokes on a super long answer for me but real quick, are there any huge differences between army/navy/cavalry/etc. and which are the most desirable?
 

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It is mostly in the look/style. I collected a couple of fair representatives of each. It was my collecting goal. The navy kaigunto are the "prettiest". But then it depends upon what attracts you>
 

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I have a number of gendaito for sale and 1 NCO. I currently have a type 3 in minty condition gendaito, unsigned, nice Type 98 by Nagamitsu, And Tokyo first NCO with brass guard listed. I have more gendaito I want to sell, but will list those once these have sold. I guarantee and offer inspection periods on my stuff.
 
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