Japanese/Chinese prison sword

length: 33"
blade: 25 3/8"
blade width: 1"
grip: 7 1/2"
tsuba: 2 9/16" x 2"
weight: 1 lb 15 oz

A relatively modern Chinese reproduction of a Japanese katana, often advertised as "prison swords". This sword is a forgery. Chinese forgers have been using ebay to flood the US with fake swords purporting to be antiques, so much so that the rule of thumb among sword collectors is that if it's on eBay and it's being shipped from China, it's a fake, period. Don't be fooled. It is known that there were World War 2 era Japanese military swords made by Japanese supervised Chinese swordsmiths in Manchuria and in Beijing, but this isn't one of them. Modern copies are made in the Chinese province of Shanxi. The engravings on the side with the flag are in Chinese, and read as "Heavenly Emperor", referring the late Japanese Emperor Hirohito, with the serial number 46127. The engravings on the other side are a Japanese name, ostensibly the "smith" who would have made the original. The scabbard is marked "Showa 15th year" which I believe is 1941.