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On The Rack.

Dave R

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 A question regarding storage and display of Shin-gunto. Do they go edge up like a Katana or edge down like a Tachi? I think that when you have the formal mounts with the full Ashi, edge down is fairly obviously the choice, but what if it is in field mounts, a leather covered wooden Saya with one understated suspension ring. Same question as to it's orientation within the Bukuro.

 I know there is a specific stand for traditional Tachi, but I have doubts as to the relevance of such with 70 year old Gunto mounts.



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Hi guys, (NOTE, recovering from unpleasant concussion, and may be wrong) disclaimer hahah.


in the yasukuni museum there are 2 military swords, one is a shingunto owned by a prince?  and the other Marshals sword. Both were displayed edge down.


but I also have Japanese SWORD SURRENDER TAGS by Fuller, and in the back are photos of swords being placed both edge upward  and downward, so if you imagine it being placed in a rack, it may point toward the type of blade inside maybe.


Type 94's in my opinion is a tachi, but one could also think of the blade inside maybe having a influence as to how the sword be placed on a kake.


regards H

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I would say the right way displaying gunto is edge down. However right or wrong I display mine edge up if in koshirae. If in Shirasaya I display the koshirae with a tsunagi edge up. The reason I display a koshirae with a blade edge up is to protect the edge.




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post-306-0-32763100-1467688379_thumb.jpgHello Dave,I have always found this topic interesting.Before becoming interested in Japanese edged weapons I collected German.With the understanding (until recently) Japanese machine made blades were simply considered symbols of authority,tools,weapons,or specifically of no artistic merit. As the propaganda and speculations slowly disappear,the Gunto has become a valid historical artifact worthy of collection in its own right. As a relatively new collector of Japanese swords and militaria I began my Gunto collection deliberately as a way to avoid the expensive mistakes (because I could not tell the difference) between the hand forged Nihonto and a machine made blade.As I continue my studies I wonder if there is not only a practical,but a historic or religious factor involved in the orientation of the"Ha"or"Edge" of the blade.

I submit this photo only as an image for contemplation as I am not versed on the religious aspects of the Japanese people or the intimate details of sword making,But from a physical standpoint the single sword stand will only hold a sword comfortably in one position.I find a significant resemblance in the Torii. Perhaps there is a clue here.





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Thomas is correct.  The time the mei matters is when "displaying" in shirasaya alone - if one was to be that picky on how they display a katana in shirasaya on a stand.  If you were to display the mounts w/ tsunagi and the blade in shirasaya, they would placed be in opposing direction.


Again, if one was so inclined to be that picky.

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