WW2 JAPANESE SUICIDE PILOTS KNIFE
This knife came in a collection of Japanese Tantos which I recent purchased, it came to me as a WW2 Japanese suicide pilots knife. I have done a lot of research on Pilots suicide knives and have come to the following conclusions:
There is no set pattern that the knives conform to as they were not a standard issue they were privately purchased by the pilot himsel or was given to him as a gift.
Every example is different, some have a blade inscription (hardly any), some had a lether scabbard cover like the swords have, and most do not have a signed Tang. But there is a couple of common features amongst them, they are:
The end of the scabbard is rounded and there is a hole in the top of the handle for a string so that the knife can be worn around the neck, the hole has a steel or brass collar or grommet. I have included a reference from the book 'Military Swords of Japan 1868-1945 by Richard Fuller and Ron Gregory which shows a known example of a suicide pilots knife.
The example for sale here has the rounded end to the scabbard and the hole in the handle with a brass collar or grommet to the hole. The blade is highly polished with a pronounced Hamon. The Tang is not signed. The Japanese pilots suicide knives are rare as most are at the bottom of the ocean with only some surviving when pilots were actually in training or not mission assigned at the end of WW2.
I have no doubt that this is a WW2 Japanese Pilots Suicide knife.