An intricately carved Japanese Naval dirk (dagger) hangs inside a cabinet in the Second World War Gallery at the Navy Museum. Like all the objects in the Museum it has an interesting story to tell.
The dagger was surrendered to the then LT CDR Davis-Goff on 20 August 1945, at the Yokosuka Naval Base by Commander Yuso Tanno of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Five days earlier, Imperial Japan had surrendered to the Allies signalling the end of the Second World War. The formal surrender was signed on USS Missouri on 2nd September.
Donated to the Navy Museum by Commodore Davis-Goff in 1984, the dagger has a plated blade with a white sharkskin wire bound grip and a black scabbard with gilded metal fittings decorated with chrysanthemums. Naval dirks were worn by commissioned officers in the Imperial Japanese Navy until the end of the Second World War. They were thought to symbolise authority, social status and virility.