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Show Us Your High Class Gunto


lonely panet
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Hi

Good topic and some very nice Gunto. Here's my small collection. The first my favourite, Ota Chikahide in Kai-gunto mounts. Second, Akitaka in Type 3 mounts with leather cover. Third Akimoto Akitomo, Type 98 with leather cover and last Kiyokatsu in Type 3 mounts.

Please keep posting folks.

Regards

Daniel

Love your Gunto collection!Very Very nice!

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is one thread that should be kept alive! Some one mentioned minutia. I really love the finer touches on GUNTO mounts. Attached some photos of TSUBA/SEPPA that are totally original to the outfits, assembled in the correct order, are beautifully detailed, and have only been disturbed a few times in their life. These blades are great too, but it is the original detail that I love.

These were made relatively early in WW2, when I guess they had the time and materials to create good workmanship.

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Back in 2008 I catalogued a sword collection for auction.  Amongst many things my pocket wasn't deep enough to buy was a lovely shingunto that I ferociously desired.  That's history, but following Neil's exhortation to keep this thread alive I thought the sword deserved a place here.  This is my catalogue description with selected photos below that.

 

Bestests,

BaZZa.

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Katana: Shinogi tsukuri (ridge line & yokote); blade length 69.9cm, tang 21.5cm, curvature 2.0cm, thickness 0.70cm; in original Japanese polish (some rust pitting & cleaning at point); itame hada (irregular grain pattern); notare hamon (“long wave” undulating temper pattern) with peaks resembling Mount Fuji; tang in good original condition, nice patina & filemarks, incised in nicely cut characters SEKI SHU JU KANEYUKI. A sound Shinshinto blade ca 1820.

Koshirae:WW2 Japanese Army shingunto, the whole complete & good condition; excellent original, clean brown silk binding to handle; family crest on kabutogane (end handle fitting); good rayskin (slight cracking); brown silk rank tassel present but badly frayed and worn attached to scabbard hanger (remnant of original silk hanger still in kabutogane). This sword has 3 very unusual features (i) scabbard is finished in true urushi (lacquer) in russet-brown (slight scuffing & cracking); (ii) scabbard mouth has an additional protective collar to keep out dust & moisture; (iii) on each side of the handle between rayskin & wood core is a thin strip of silver or nickel-plated iron. Clearly this unique sword was of special significance to its wartime owner.

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Not sure if this belongs here since I'm not a gunto collector, but here's something that snuck in many years ago among the koto stuff.  It's been "tarted up" a bit, either during the war or after, I suppose.  The ito has been re-wrapped, the fittings all silver-plated, the saya repainted or re-laquered, and the tsuba replaced with a civilian one.  I was told it once held a Yasukuni-to, long gone.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

This thread deserves to keep going, so here is my long overdue contribution.

 

My tiny wak, thought it was a tanto but it is just too long. In 97 mounts, everything custom fitting. The tsuka is much thinner and shorter than a typical example and the saya is obviously specially made for the 'sword' (dagger with aspirations).

Nagasa - 32cm
Kasane - munemachi - 9mm
- sakikasane - 4mm
Mihaba - motohaba - 3cm
- sakihaba - 2cm

 

The blade is signed Yoshisuke and the markings on the saya read tori, 'to take'. Thanks to the WR gents for translations.

 

Question for Neil as the metallurgist -

The only part of the metal fittings that is magnetic is the tsuba. So obviously brass is not magnetic and I think the habaki is silver (how do I determine that?). I looked up stainless steel "ferritic stainless steels are generally magnetic while austenitic stainless steels usually are not". So is it fair enough to assume that the seppa, saya rings and button are stainless steel (which of course makes perfect sense for a naval sword)?

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First of all Steve, like me, your sentiments about keeping this thread "alive and kicking", echo mine. I get a great kick out of seeing other's GUNTO.

Your question on the "silvery" metal, it is more than likely GERMAN SILVER, as mentioned in Dawson's book. German Silver is 60% copper, 20% nickel and 20% zinc. It is easily worked, shiny, can be joined and is cheaper than real silver. It is corrosion resistant so ideal for Navy koshirae.

And of course, nice little wak, and worthy of posting on this thread.

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Steve, this is a pearler!!!  A miniature Kaigunto desu ne??  Is there any precedent for a sword of this type??  Is it known what rank or OR might have worn it???

 

Reminds me of a smaller NCO sword (aka "metal hilter") I once saw that I _JUST_ missed out on buying.  The lucky owner was generous enough to let me photograph it.  I'll have to pull that together sometime for this thread.

 

BaZZa.

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I think this is again a case of you could order anything that you could afford at the time. If you brought a blade from home, you could pay to have it put into custom mounts.
Maybe this guy had a regular Kai Gunto and wanted his ancestral tanto in similar ones. We have seen various custom mounts and fittings, so I find examples like this logical if not unusual and basically one offs.

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I think this is again a case of you could order anything that you could afford at the time. If you brought a blade from home, you could pay to have it put into custom mounts.

Maybe this guy had a regular Kai Gunto and wanted his ancestral tanto in similar ones. We have seen various custom mounts and fittings, so I find examples like this logical if not unusual and basically one offs.

Hi Neil, Thank you for your insight. Handy to have a metalergist on hand. I'm pretty sure the habaki is actual silver, but the other fittings are likely as you describe.

 

Good to hear from you Bazza. I believe Brian has pretty much covered exactly what I'd have said. There was no knot, so I couldn't tell you what sort of officer owned this sword. Since they were private purchase, the only thing I know is that they were wealthy, because everything is top notch. But anyone can be wealthy right?

 

Shorter swords are often called ‘crew swords’. I find this rather misleading, since there is no evidence that vehicle crews wore shorter swords and we know for a fact wakizashi were used due to shortage in sword supply. Though as Brian stated, regulation seems rather lax so all sorts of personalised swords pop up. So you could speculate it was worn by a vehicle crew, but I really doubt it. Until you see a picture/evidence of a specific sword being used by a vehicle crew, they should just be called a short sword.

 

Please do find that picture too; I had forgotten about it since you last mentioned, or I'd be nagging you still.

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It is interesting that Naval officers in Submarines still had full size Kai Gunto, even with the size constraints of the vessel. I have seen crew refer to tank crew, aeroplane crew and submarine crew. So I think "crew" swords are  post war marketing jargon.  

The shorter blades were often worn by non-combat office and administration staff, who, through rank or status were entitled to carry a sword.  

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