Introduced in 1899, they were used extensively in World War II. This example, in its scabbard has been struck by rifle fire, shattering the grip and deforming the guard. A second impact, on the scabbard below the locket. Many Japanese swords as well as 16th century armor and other things, provided targets for idle GIs dwelling on vengeance. It is surprising that once mutilated, this sword survived rather than being scrapped. A rare insight to the Pacific Theater of the period. WWII is probably the hottest collecting market today.