Inherited item in will with no historic context. Looks to be Japanese WWII era. Family was in military for many years living abroad but no knowledge of time in Japan. The handle appears to be sting ray and adorned with a peacock.
Approximately 26 inch blade. 42 inches with handle.
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Based on the images and information you provided, this item is:
A Japanese WWII Sword. The choice of materials and design elements reflects the artistry and symbolic significance inherent in Japanese sword-making.
The tsuka, or handle, made from stingray skin, is a traditional and practical choice. Stingray skin provides a unique texture, ensuring a firm grip and adding an element of durability to the handle. The meticulous craftsmanship involved in securing the stingray skin to the handle is a testament to the skill of Japanese swordsmiths.
The addition of a peacock motif to the handle introduces a layer of artistic intricacy. Peacocks in Japanese culture often symbolize beauty, longevity, and good fortune. The presence of this motif suggests a deliberate choice to infuse the sword with positive and meaningful symbolism, emphasizing its significance beyond its utilitarian function.
Given the likely association with WWII, this sword may have been crafted during a period of historical and cultural flux. Swords from this era often exhibit a blend of traditional craftsmanship and adaptations to the wartime context. The sword becomes a tangible artifact, representing the martial history of Japan during a transformative period.