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?