A Guntō has two kinds, the sword for an officer (personal equipment
article), and the sword for a noncommissioned officer and a private
(government-issued supplies). When national army was founded, the
military swords (Guntō) of an army and a navy which received military
instruction of France (army) and the U.K.(navy) was a saber
Manufacture of a Japanese sword was decreased at a stretch by
"the law which forbids carrying a sword" in 1876 (Meiji 9). And the
iron man-ufacture which smelts a "Tamahagane (Japanese steel)" was also
Although consumption of a Japanese sword continued by Nissin and
the Russo-Japanese War, World War I, Shiberian intervention, and the
Great Kantō Earthquake, Barely, the Guntō was provided with the blade
of the stock made by the early stages of Meiji. In the meantime, the
"Murata-tō(sword)" which used the steel for sabers was developed as a
cheap Guntō for officers. and it was used for Nissin and the
This blade was an excellent practical use Guntō strong to rust
and turned off well.
Although the blade which an officer supplies had the example of a
certain time, a Western blade, the Murata-tō, etc.,
it was a Japanese sword fundamentally.
The saber system of an one hand grip did not adapt itself to the
form of the tang of a Japanese sword, and Japanese sword usage, but the
hilt(Tsuka) of a saber was changed by the both-hands grip.
It was the mounting (Koshirae) alteration for uniting with a
Saber type Gunto (both-hands
The Guntō of a noncommissioned officer and privates (a cavalry
trooper, a military police, etc.) is a blade of sword steel of an army
standard, a machine forge, and oil hardening. There is each form of 32
models (saber type Kō and Otsu),
32 model advanced type (only a hilt and a tang will be improved in
Japanese sword form in 1932, and a scabbard is a saber type), and
Type-95. All have a combination of the hilt of a blade and metal
strongly made of the mass-production Guntō with which the blade and the
mounting were standardized completely. Just this can call it a special
a "Guntō". These noncommissioned officer swords were manufactured to
Meiji - the end of the war by the army arsenal.
establishment: Army Type-95 Guntōo ( for noncommissioned officer )
Since Japanese sword stock decreased in number extremely by
outbreak of a Manchuria incident in 1931, it schemed for revival of the
Japanese sword by the army, the sword community, and a private sector
cooperator, and the "Nihontō
Tanren Kai (Japanese Sword Forging and Tempering Society)" was
established by Yasukuni Jinja in 1933 (Yasukuni-tō).
The "Tatara" steelworks revives again, a private sword factory is
also born in various places in the same year, and
the forging of a sword was begun. In order to forge the Japanese sword
which an officer carries, the sword factory of
an army and the navy was prepared. It appealed for the army to the
private sector swordsmith, and it provided the
"Army Commission Sword-smith system". The swordsmith was raised, and it
became government-and-people one to forge the Japanese sword for
officers, and it was promoted. In this way, the new sword made in the
sword factory of an army(or navy), Yasukuni-tō, the new work. Japanese
sword of traditional forging by the commission-swordsmith of an army
and private sector swordsmith , etc. were dedicated to the
The officer of an overwhelming majority followed the substance which
carries a Japanese sword, and the army enacted the Japanese style Type
mounting for officers in 1934, and the navy was enacted in 1937(common
name: Army Type-94 and Navy Type-Tachi). Originally a Guntō means "a
use and a mounting(Koshirae) form". Japanese swords are the foundations
of the blade for Guntōes.
1934 establishment Army Formal
1937 establishment Navy
Formal Guntō (Type-Tachi )
However, in order to respond to a lot of Guntō demand by the
China incident, production of Mantetsu-tō started on the South
Manchuria Railway Co., Ltd.. The army arsenal started development of
the mass-produced type blade for an officer at that time. This was that
with which the non-productivity of Japanese sword manufacture is
The Tōhoku Imperial University Metal Material Research Institute
developed a blade called Shinbu-tō which bears chill
from teachings of a north battle line to substitution of a Japanese
sword weak against the intense cold in 1942.
This blade was an excellent practical use Guntō in alignm-ent
with the purpose.
The Kōbe Minatogawa Jinja Kikusui Tantō Kai started manufacture
of the Japanese sword (Kikusui-tō) of traditional
blade making for naval officers in 1941.
In the same year, Seki of the capital of a sword succeeded in
mechaniz-ation of an ancient rite forging(the ancient rite half forging
was called), and manufacture of this sword was started.
The army enacted the formal Guntō Mounting for officers which the
Koshirae was simplified and strengthened the circumference of a hilt in
1943. (common-name Type-3).
1943 establishment army formal Gunto
It prepared for the same year and Japan's mainland decisive
battle, and mass production of the army Zōhei-tō (for officers) called
"the sword of modern manufacture" started in Seki. In addition, among
the people, the Sunobe-tō and
the Shōwa-tō, etc. of various names were made in large quantities after
the China incident inrush.
As a result of supplying the blade of the practical use basis
which depends on these simple manufacturing processes in
large quantities, as for the Guntō which an officer supplies, a special
blade came to get a majority.
These are the Guntōes of the mass production commonly named
"Shōwa sword" generically.※2
Guntōes were both sides of a scale and systematic employment, and
were big fields which does not look at an example to a sword in history
The "military special blade "made in large quantities depended on
the postwar trend deflected to the fine-arts sword, and fixed the
uniform evaluation with a "Guntō = crude sword" to the world. It
divides roughly into the blade of a
Guntō and there are two flows, a traditional blade or a military
We should do consideration and evaluation with each viewpoint,
taking into consideration the actual condition of Japan of those days.
the Japanese sword (present age sword) forged at this time is generally
called a Gunto to the background and use of revival of a Japanese
sword. Many scientific Japanese swords were forged in addition to the
handmade Japanese sword.
definition of the Showa※ sword has not become settled. A mere sword making
age is expressed or it names generically except the Japanese sword of a
common saying (for example, an Sunobe-tō, Zōhei-tō, Mantetsu-to, etc.).
There are narro-wminded people who speak ill except the Japanese
sword of a common saying with "the shame of a
The "Japanese sword myth" of the common saying was created by the
narrow-minded sword persons concerned at Meiji Era.
Now, "the steel materials and sword making method" of a Japanese
sword spreading into the world differ from the historical fact of a
Japanese sword from ancient times. They who did the delusive conviction
of the myth never accepted the excellent Guntō blade. The fine-arts
sword community in Japan is governed by the Japanese sword view which
was still wrong. It depended on the power of mod-ern science and the
excellent special blade which exceeds a Japanese sword existed.
However, a narrowminded idea like them blocked production of the
excellent Guntō blade.
The shortage of a Guntō serious as a result was caused, and the
dishonest trader's crude sword was spread.
What was the essence of the Japanese sword ? The sword did
not exist in order to appreciate temper patterns.
The situation of Japan of those days must be discerned and the
excellent special Guntō blade in the inside called the Shōwa sword must
carry out a just verification and
A left photograph: The "Kaiten" Special-Attack
Party members to whom the knife was awarded by the kickoff ceremony
A right photograph: The army kamikaze pilots who attend the last
kickoff ceremony with a Guntō.