JAPANESE Type 32 Ko CAVALRY Saber for Enlisted and NCOs of the CAVALRY
Hardwood Grip & Iron SCABBARD
Here we present a Japanese Type 32 Ko Cavalry Saber, manufactured circa the early 1900s. These sabers were adopted on August 3, 1899 (Meiji Dynasty year 32) and were intended for issue to all enlisted men and NCO’s of the cavalry. All of the Type 32 swords were manufactured at the Tokyo Artillery Arsenal (simply the “Tokyo Arsenal” after 1923) and the production of the swords ended in 1936. Even though the production of the sabers was ended in 1936, the swords were never removed from the authorized equipment regulations, and they remained in service through the end of the World War II. Like all Imperial era swords that were arsenal produced, the Type 32 was serial numbered. Numbers appear on the reverse ricasso and on the reverse scabbard drag. About 80,000 of the Ko sabers were produced between 1899 and 1936, with the lowest reported serial number being 1175 and the highest one being 83390.
Japan is internationally renowned for its traditional swords, but comparatively little has been written about the swords of the Imperial period, which include both traditional, hand-made examples and modern, machine-made types. After Japan was “opened” to the West in the 19th century, a period of rapid modernization saw the adoption of European-style military arms, uniforms, and accoutrements. This was also reflected in changes to military swords, which closely echoed Western designs, albeit with a Japanese twist, until a period of resurgent nationalism in the 1930s that continued through the Second World War.
After World War II, Japan incorporated a law that caused sword ownership to be illegal. Most of the Japanese soldiers and citizens surrendered their swords and complied Many of these swords ended up being destroyed by American soldiers, as they didn’t want the general population to re-arm. Although, somehow, a few of these made their way back to the United States.
The overall condition is very good. Bright blade with some surface pitting. Solid hilt. The scabbard is good. Numbers on the scabbard and ricasso match.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Overall length is 31 inches.
Blade length is 25 inches.
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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