aluminum handle sword

Greetings all! My name is Cameron and I live in Tacoma, WA. I posted on this site a few years back when I accidentally bought a few fake World War 2 swords. Since then I've learned a little bit more and have got some pieces that I wanted to share with you guys. I wanted your opinions on two of them. This is the first one that I have and the little bit that I know about it is that it's a sword that was made in the closing days of the war when resources were scarce.

The handle is made out of aluminum as the title post suggests. It also has a safety catch in the handle that suggests it was a naval sword and instead of a signature under the handle it's got the kanji for east and the numbers 6839. I'm told that it means it was made in a town named Yoko during the war.

My current source is a man who restores swords and is the local expert on the topic and has contacts back in Japan who help him track down information on the cases he has states that there are only about 300 of these left in the world and he places its value at about 80k unrestored. Mine was professionally restored (had the blade stoned) and that should push the value up to about 150k.

My question for you guys: Is this as rare as my contact thinks? and is that a realistic value?


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NCO sword

Hi Cameron,
I am sorry to say this, but you really need to find a new "source". All or most of what he told you is wrong.
This is an "NCO sword". They were mass-produced in the factories that made firearms and bayonets. NCO means "non-commisioned officer". These swords were issued to NCO's that didn't have a "family" blade, or couldn't afford to buy a good blade. The aluminum handle is a standard feature. It is not a late-war feature. The 4-digit number on the blade is a serial number (just like on guns). The mouth of the scabbard should have the same number. The latch is also a standard feature - it does not mean Navy or Army or anything else. The markings on the handle, just next to the guard, indicate which factory it came from. In particular, the one that looks like 4 circles (as I recall, it is Koishikawa, Tokyo).
The value is probably "a few hundred $$", but it only has value to a "militaria" collector. It is not a "Nihonto" (traditional Japanese sword).
The condition is not particularly good - I see a lot of pits from rust damage.
If your "source" sold it to you after telling you all that stuff, then he cheated you.



Update: An NCO sword is probably Army - not sure if they were issued to the Navy or not.
The "4 circles" (really 4 cannonballs) mark is either Koishikawa Tokyo, or Kokura. The arsenal moved during the war from Tokyo to Kokura.



He didn't sell it to me. What is the best way to go about verifying either set of information? You have to understand if there's even a chance that I'm holding a sword worth that amount I'd like to be sure.

I am skeptical though, I seem to come across swords with aluminum handles pretty frequently on online auctions.

Oh, the serial number is also on the saya Pete. I forgot about that.


Don't worry, there's no chance that an NCO is worth Big Money.
Just do a Google search for "Japanese NCO sword".
Or do an eBay search for the same thing, and check the "completed listings". You'll see that there are LOTS of them, and many do not sell at all. The really nice ones sell for $900-1000. Those "best" ones are in almost unissued condition, and/or they are a rare variation, for hard-core militaria collectors.
Also be aware that NCO's are being made as fakes in China.

It is disturbing that your "source" was willing to tell you such big lies. Also, be wary of anyone who claims that they can "restore" a Japanese sword. Almost nobody outside of Japan is qualified, despite what they might tell you (there are 2 or 3 exceptions).