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Mister Gunto

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About Mister Gunto

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    Jo Saku

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    Sacramento, USA

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    Bradley S.

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  1. Shortening of blades was very common. And I love the koshirae on this one!
  2. I get what you're saying, Dave. I think it's mainly because after the war, the Japanese swordsmiths and collectors had to move their craft out of the "Martial" and into the "Art" box. Japan was focused on getting past the war, and they focused on Nihonto as exclusively objects of art and culture. The huge number of non-nihonto swords made during the war were purposfully dismissed as all being low-quality and without any artistic merit, regardless of if that was actually the case or not. And when the Western collectors got into the game, they not surprisingly picked up this attitude up from their Japanese counterparts. I do like to think that boards like this are helping to change collectors' attitudes. There definately seem to be a lot more people collecting Japanese swords these days, both Nihonto and Showato. Look at how many swords sell on Ebay and the like. And the prices keep going up. Having a forum like this to come to, to learn and talk with other collectors is really the best way I can think of to improve the overall perception of Japanese Non-Nihonto blades.
  3. Hi Stephane, Very nice Kyu-Gunto you have there! Yes, it definately is a Nihonto. Just guessing, but with the shallow sori and the look of the Nakago, I would say it was made in the Shinto era, probably around the Kanbun era (Mid-late 1600's). However, I'm hardly an expert. You may want to post pics of the blade in the Nihonto forum and see what other have to say. I could be way off. Your mounts look original. Kyu-Gunto scabbards were usually brightly finished. However, many seem to have been painted black, probably for field use. Others were covered with a protective leather cover. Often these have been lost over time. If you search through the forum here, you'll find many photos of other Kyus to compare yours with.
  4. Adam, I was watching this one too on eBay. I thought it was legit too.
  5. Nice pics! I like that Bo-hi.
  6. I've been into collecting militaria since I was very young. My Dad and I loved watching the old war documentaries and movies on TV (way back before cable, streaming, and on-demand). I always thought it was cool to see the Japanese officers carrying swords. Later, when I first saw "Shogun" on TV, it got me hooked on Japan and Samurai. I read every book I could find on the subject at the local library. I desparately wanted to get a "real samurai sword", but in the pre-internet era, really had no idea how to find one. My Dad and I did find a dealer at the old LA Gun Show who had a very badly rusted out, chipped-to-hell gunto blade for sale. He swore it was a 1000-year old blade, (no papers of course, not that I would've known what they were back then) and wanted something like $5000 (this is in the mid-1980's), which was obviously far, far beyond my teenager budget at the time. At that point, I basically thought they were forever out of my price range. Later I joined the Army, then after I got out, my focus turned to old milsurp firearms, circa 1865-1965. Swords were pretty much off my collecting radar for a couple decades. Slowly, I started to get interested in swords again. First by picking up some of the replica European medieval-era swords. That got me into historical western martial arts. I began learning a lot more about swords and how they were made and used. That brought me around again to katanas. Eventually, I bought a few of the better quality Chinese katanas forged out of modern steels. Figured that was as close as I could get to a real Nihonto. Then one day I came across a seller on one of the gun forums who wanted to sell a Shin-Gunto. He was an older guy getting rid of his small collection, and just wanted a couple hundred for it. For that price, I figured even if it was a fake, why not take the chance? I bought it, and it turned out to be a WW2 Showato forged in Seki. Not a Nihonto, and definately not the best condition blade by any means. But I finally had an actual Japanese katana! As I did research on it, and found some online Nihonto sites like the Japanese Sword Index and here at NMB, I realized Nihonto are actually a lot more available outside of Japan than I'd ever thought. I picked up a couple books, and started looking around and doing as much research as I could, bought some more blades, both Nihonto and Arsenal made....and, hey, here I am. With a new addiction. And quite happy with it.
  7. Fake and even faker, no question about it.
  8. Nice! I like that tusba. And a good solid original leather handle cover too.
  9. Definately looks to be suriage. Very nice blade, and looks like nice gunto koshirae too. Nice find!
  10. Very sorry Robert. I've lost my share of amazing pets over the years. It always hurts to lose them.
  11. Really sorry for your loss. Lets hope someone here can spot it if it turns up on eBay or the like. Most postal employees take their job very seriously, but like any big organization, there are thieves and bad apples in the mix. Also, at this time of year they hire a lot of temporary employees to help out with the extra holiday parcel volume. They hire those guys pretty quickly, and don't do much in the way of background checks like they do for regular employees. I don't know about Europe, but here in the USA we always see an uptick in mail thefts, internal and external, at this time.
  12. It could be that the sword was originally made in 1935 and sold to an officer or a private citizen as usual. However, at some point much later in the war the owner, or his surviving family, sold or donated it to the the Imperial Government for the war effort. The sword was then refitted at the Kokura arsenal in the late war mounts. The arsenal would almost certainly have marked the blade there for inventory / processing purposes.
  13. Yikes! Especially if they're using genuine fittings. It's not too hard to artifically rust a nakago. Add a little "honest wear" to the blade, a few small spots of light rust, a couple tiny nicks, voila! Ebay's latest scam swords...
  14. Great photos, and great idea on the reference photo albums!
  15. Naginata type blades always seem to draw higher prices (at least the the auctions I've seen). They're less commonly encountered, and definately have a "cool" factor to them. So its not surprising that people are willing to take a chance to score one at a lower price point.
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