Description of a Gunto

About a military swords (Guntō)

 Table of contents  |  Evaluation of a GuntōMeaning of a Guntō  |  Officer's Guntō theory 
The lowest stage  The blade of an officer's Guntō

Changes of an officer's Guntō (Outline)

  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 mounting. 
 Manufacture of a Japanese sword was decreased at a stretch by "the law which forbids carrying a sword" in 1876 (Meiji 9). And the Tatara type iron man-ufacture which smelts a "Tamahagane (Japanese steel)" was also closed.
 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 Russo-Japanese War.
 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 Japanese sword.

Saber type Gunto (both-hands grip)

 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 sword called
a "Guntō". These noncommissioned officer swords were manufactured to Meiji - the end of the war by the army arsenal.

1935 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 Guntō-Koshirae. ※1 The officer of an overwhelming majority followed the substance which carries a Japanese sword, and the army enacted the Japanese style Type Tachi Guntō
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 Guntō (Type-94)

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 compensated.
 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 (Type-3)

 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 of Japan.
 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 special blade.
 We should do consideration and evaluation with each viewpoint, taking into consideration the actual condition of Japan of those days.

※1 Therefore, 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. 
※2 The 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
Japanese sword."
 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 evaluation.                             Shōwa Emperor's period.

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.

The blade of an officer's Guntō

Table of contents of the blade 

    Traditional blade (Only Japanese)  Murata-tō  Mikasa-tō  Kōa-Issin-tō  Arsenal brade

Shinbu-tō  Gunsui-tō (Only Japanese)  Sunobe-tō   Combination sword    Swords of Seki

Unti-rust sword  Emura-tō  The standard sword of a commission swordsmith (Only Japanese)

    The sword of expression of gratitude

             Guntō evaluation  Meaning of a Guntō Renewal (New)  Guntō theory Renewal (New)

                          Since November 24, 2013 無料カウンター

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