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Japanese army officer's sword


A Japanese army officer's Shin Gunto sword and leather-covered wooden field scabbard. There is a plate attached to the scabbard engraved with the words: 'Presented to Captain D.B. Smith by HQBMA Malaya 1945'. 

Captain D.B. Smith was a Canterbury University educated civil engineer who was working for the Public Works Department in Malaya when the Japanese invaded. He managed to escape by ship to Colombo, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), and then India where he joined the Indian Army. In 1945 Smith returned to Malaya with the Headquarters British Military Administration (HQBMA). After the war he returned to New Zealand and bought this sword back with him.

The sword is currently on display at the National Army Museum in Waiouru.


Image courtesy National Army Museum Te Mata Toa
Accession Number: 2006.427
Permission of the National Army Museum Te Mata Toa must be obtained before any reuse of this image.

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Japanese army officer's sword, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated