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SARGE

Style 3 Police Short Swords & Daggers

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The Japanese Police utilized four (4) distinct styles of short swords for lower ranks according to Jim Dawson in his book, "Swords of Imperial Japan 1868-1945". Dawson shows these four styles of short swords in Chapter 24 of his book and calls them Police Bureau Swords for Patrolmen (junsa) and Sergeants (junsa-bucho). Bear in mind that these Japanese Police swords are very diverse and not yet fully understood by collectors.

 

I will use Dawson's nomenclature and show two Style 3 Police Swords/Daggers. The first short sword is similar in style to other Patrolman and Sergeant rank swords. The brass hilt does not contain a Police badge and does not have a full D shaped guard as does the Style 4 short sword. The Style 3 and Style 4 swords are differentiated by the full D shaped guard on 4 and partial guard without a knuckle bow on 3. Some Style 3 swords will have markings indicating they are the property of a city police department along with a serial number. The brass hilts often show signs of gold plating and can have sharkskin or leather grips. The short blades are typically machine made or reworked from older blades. The steel scabbards are nickel or chrome plated. The sword knot is the standard brown leather knot seen on other NCO swords.

 

This short sword has a marking on the underside of the guard indicating it was made by Toyoda. Also notice that the scabbard has a removed second ring mount indicating this early style was brought up to date by removing the secondary suspension ring.

 

 

Japanese Police early sword.JPG

Japanese Police early sword hilt.JPG

Japanese Police early sword Toyoda mark.JPG

Edited by SARGE

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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The second Style 3 that I will show is actually not a sword but a dagger. This dagger is not shown in Dawson's book but these are generally considered to be worn by Officers and not by Patrolmen or Sergeants. This dagger follows the form of the Style 3 sword but has a short straight blade and a short straight nickel plated steel scabbard with one suspension ring.

 

These sword styles are very difficult to find today.

Japanese police sword & dagger.JPG

Japanese Police sword & dagger hilts.JPG

Japnese Police Dagger hilt 2.JPG

Japanese Police early dagger.JPG

Japanese Police early dagger hilt.JPG

Edited by SARGE

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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Are the guards all the same style and angle or are some were they bent by age or accident....or are they all different due to the different manufacturer ?

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Are the guards all the same style and angle or are some were they bent by age or accident....or are they all different due to the different manufacturer ?

 

 

These police swords were rather rough and tumble affairs with them being worn for eight hours of duty every day. No doubt they sustained some damage by being knocked about in the course of arresting miscreants and such so it is hard to tell. There are some differences by manufacturer of course but from seeing a lot of these swords with this sort of partial guard I suspect damage plays a role on most of them.


"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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I should point out that while Dawson does not cover daggers or dirks in his sword book they are shown in the Richard Fuller and Ron Gregory book, "Military Swords of Japan 1868-1945". Fuller and Gregory show examples of a "Style 1" Police dagger as plates 87-89 on page 66 in their discussion of Police Swords. They indicate "The first pattern may have been a short hanger or dirk introduced in the beginning of the Meiji era." I suspect that Dawson's nomenclature of Style 1 to Style 4 is simply a convenient way to differentiate them one from another and not an indication that 1 came before 2 in a time line. Fuller and Gregory believe this dirk may have evolved into the similar longer short sword but again these Police swords and daggers are little understood even today.

 

The short sword shown above with a maker marking was manufactured by Toyoda (Toyoda Automatic Loom Works Ltd.) located in Nagoya. Toyoda manufactured many edged weapons for the Japanese Military and Government. It is unknown when it was made but the swords of this Style 3 appear to have been items of issue. That is because they are strong practical edged weapons and some are Police property marked with rather large serial numbers. Dawson cites two with serial numbers of "2734" and another with "3573" so these would have been issued out in large cities. When found these swords appear to have served over a long period of time and endured heavy usage.

Edited by SARGE

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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Photo of a Japanese Police squad standing in formation for inspection. Notice the presentation of short swords by the squad as well as the fact that the inspecting officer is wearing the longer Kyu-gunto style Police Officer sword with a D guard.

 

 

Japanese Police Inspection.jpg


"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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