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Is My Tang Length Normal (Forgive Double Entendre)

restoration gunto

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#1 Shawk66

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 08:10 PM

Hello All,

 

Well, I guess I am another one of the inheritors, I picked up a Gunto last month while cleaning my Moms estate, both in a box that said give/throw away!  My mom (age 94) said it was just junk that my uncle had brought back after VJ. I think it is a type 98 (or so my wobbly research would indicate) with all mounting etc.  My brother painted the saya (arghhhh) to dress up as soldier in a school play. I never really noticed it, but regardless of value, my uncle did take the sword on Saipan, while serving as an Army tank crew commander.

 

I then got the fever and bought a second unmounted blade at a local Gun show, probably just got hit by a Chinese stealth weapon, as I guess it is their intent to subvert and remove all the joy for imperialist new collectors.

 

There is picture attached which I think is the Type 98 gunto no marking on nakago, and the tang seems like it was either cut or intentionally made short.

 

Conversely, my gun-show unmounted blade seems noticeably  heavier, and noticeably thicker right at the top notch point. The owner said the unmounted blade might have been Naval, but he was not for sure. I realize the script maybe important and tell me meeeahh, the sword is worth nothing or maybe something, I will get that checked later. If it turns out to be of little of no value I hope to make it into a restoration project anyway.  Hence the following questions:

 

My most immediate question is why the  nakago (tang) lengths (measured from base of Habaki to the tip of tang) are so different? The one taken from my mother's home measures about 14 cm and the gun show 100 dollar wonder measurements from base of Habaki to tail is just under 20cm.

 

Was there a standard tang length?  My  mounted Gunto has an almost straight cut at the end of the tang, and the blade itself has some what of a gentle curve,  whilst the unmounted one has a pronounced  long skinny tapper to it tang?

 

Lastly are all meguki whole locations somewhat different? 

 

 

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_0126.JPG
  • IMG_0181 (2).JPG

John W. Shawkins

Colorado Springs, Colorado


#2 Kai-Gunto

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 08:15 PM

Your first sword has been shortend , its an old blade.
Thomas
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"JUST AS THE CHERRY BLOSSOM FADES AND FALLS TO THE GROUND, SO IT IS WITH MY USEFUL LIFE. SHOULD IT PROVE TO BE OF USE TO MY EMPEROR I WOULD NOT FAIL TO FALL"

#3 Bruce Pennington

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 08:22 PM

Dude! I'm in the Springs too. Maybe we should start our own War Swords club! In your settings, you can set a signature for your name, or just sign each post so we know what to call each other (part of the forum rules, too).

We really need some better pics! The second one isn't readable. Regardless of the re-paint, it would still be great to see pics of the whole rig of both swords, so we know more of what we speak!

#4 Mark

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 09:39 PM

second picture is blurry on my screen, has the look of a genuine late war blade but hard to see anything in the picture


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#5 dominnimod

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 07:11 PM

Both seem genuine,but hard to tell without better photos of the 2º


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#6 Shawk66

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 04:02 AM

Thanks Mark, Bruce, et al,

 

Bruce, yep! Small world..I live at the base of Cheyenne Mountain Air Station-Broodmoor Blufs), we need to get together and talk about sharp pointy things.  I am a retired Army Helo guy and now teach at Fountain-Fort Carson High School.  Matter fact one of my students, who is also the JV Place Kicker, is a red- headed kid named Pennington...any relation? 

 

 I was pretty sure that the type 98 was authentic, It has been in my folks basement since the early 50s, and when my late uncle was over back in the 60-70s, he would pull it out, (we begged him to do so)-he had given it as a trophy to my dad. He never said much about the sword-other than it was not very good at stopping armored vehicles.  He was a T-SGT in the Army's 708 Amphibious  Tank BN in support of the 4th MARDIV, and took the sword when Saipan  capitulated.  About 10 years ago my brother scrubbed it down with a kitchen sponge and mineral oils so he could use it for a school play-well at least he did not take a grinder to it!  He was the one who mailed it out to me here in Colorado a few months back because my mom had just about given it away to one of the fellows on the moving truck that was packing her house out. My brother figured, and rightfully so, that regardless of actual value, the gunto held immense sentimental value for me.

Sorry for the blathering...The type 98 got my fired up, I am just curious about its "bobtai"l tang end.  

 

So, since then I ran  out and bought a 2nd unmounted "Kai-Gunto" at a gun-show in New mexico for $95 plus tax. The seller said it was pretty beat up and all it came with was the blade and the brass hamachi (sp?). I provided attachments for both the 98 and the unmounted bare blade. I highlighted the tang  text with non-toxic white water based paint for so the marking would stand out. Seller told me it probably was a manufacturing date.  As I said before there were no marking on the 98.

 

Anyway, back to my original questions, why is the 98's tang so "bobed", and it does not look like it was just hacked off.

 

Then on the other blade (with the brass hamachi) that was my"impulse gun show buy", I was just curious to see if it is in fact a  "Kai Gunto".  I did not see any anchor arsenal stamps, but there is a small "boxy" stamp on the upper part of the somewhat rusted tang, that, forgive my poor analogy, but under close examination, this mark looks like a little mini-transformer character head.  it roughly shaped liked an inverted pyramid, with a straight line at the bottom.  The blade is not stainless, as I understand so Kai guntos were, but the blade seems like it is in good shape-I was thinking about trying to remount it in naval fittings at some point.

 

    (in the images, the type 98 is lain out with some of its mounting kit.  The "Kai" is the one with the large white marks)  If more images would help let me know.  Thanks all

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • type 98.jpg
  • sidebyside.jpg
  • gunshow.jpg

John W. Shawkins

Colorado Springs, Colorado


#7 SteveM

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 04:25 AM

As Thomas mentioned above, your sword was shortened (i.e. the bottom bit of the tang was cut off) presumably so it could fit into the WW2 mounts, but the shortening could have happened earlier for a number of reasons. It is not at all uncommon. It's called suriage, and if you search this site and others you can find a lot of articles about it, why it was done, etc...

 

For the other sword, it would be better if you could get rid of the white paint - the white paint distracts from the smaller, but nonetheless important strokes in the inscription. As it is I think it is probably 酒向兼義 (Sako Kaneyoshi) or possibly even 酒向兼茂 (Sako Kaneshige) which would be a weird coincidence because there was a post very recently with this same smith. I would suggest removing the white paint and trying to get some macro (or close to it) photos of the inscription. 


Steve M

#8 Bruce Pennington

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 03:32 PM

John, I PM'ed you with contact info.

#9 Jamie

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 08:12 AM

I'm also in Colorado. If you guys get together or ever want to study, please let me know.
Jamie





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