Shapely katana signed ‘Kanemitsu’ with multiple mekugiana and koto koshizori wrapped in WWII Gunzokuto (civilian under military authority) koshirae. The black lacquer over wood saya had an ashi (hanger), but it is missing as is the leather combat cover. The lacquer is in good condition with a bit of tape where the ashi once was. It looks to be more recent in application... most likely a well intentioned effort to tighten the fitting to the saya.
The tsuka is wrapped with a deep teal colored cloth ito over same with marumenuki in a take (bamboo) motif. The kabutogane (endcap) is of simple, sturdy steel with the iron fuchi (retention ring adjacent to tsuba) boasting the low relief design of clustered chrysanthemum blossoms bordered by finely carved gilt twisted rope along with tiny gilt dots at the center of each blossom.
The tsuba (guard) is plain, smooth iron with hitsuana (holes) for the kozuka/kogai (knife & pin).The smaller sized tsuba is what is commonly found on this type of sword, as the tsuba is less likely to be a bother when carried on duty. The habaki (blade collar) is of brass with a silver wash and fits quite snugly around the blade, which is in good solid condition with the exception of several small nicks, and the need for a polish.
Both hada (grain) and hamon are obscured. The color and shape of the nakago (tang) indicate older construction. Probably late Koto to early Shinto period and the piece is signed "Kanemitsu".Overall this is a very nice example of a Gunzokuto. The shinogi zukuri blade measures 25" with the nakago measuring 8" in length. The width at the habaki is 1 1/4".
An original signed and hand forged antique blade pressed into service during the country's greatest conflict.