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Airborne Sarute


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I recently seen a sarute advertised as 'airborne', and was wondering whether anyone else has encountered one of these before? Fuller and Gregory make reference to the existence of a 'specially-made' airborne sarute, and include an artistic rendering which matches the image of the sarute in question, though can anyone attest to its authenticity?

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Thanks, Chris. I had a quick search on google and couldn't find any other examples. Does anyone who has Dawson's Swords of Imperial Japan 1868 – 1945: Cyclopedia Edition know if there is any mention of airborne sarute there?

I have a copy sitting by my desk.  On page 167 it shows a "Paratruper's saru-te" that looks like yours.

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Hello,

The inside edge of the sarute looks to have a " rough " edge to it as do the arms that enter the barrel....For those reasons I would say it's a copy...If you google "sarute" or look on that big auction site sarute are being sold there have the same casting marks....But to be honest with very little work those rough edges can be removed....Genuine sarute are very tactile and should be smooth as not to fray the tassel....

Regards,

Paul..

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Hello Kyle,

I'm 100% convinced due to the casting marks..Ersatz ones are normally plain but if they do have any detail they are "crude" but well made...If that makes any sense..? Rough edges normally mean it's a copy...If you type in " sarute" for sale on google the vast majority of sarute are copies..They are being sold by dealers and private sellers from Europe,the USA and Japan and they nearly all exhibit the same characteristics including a pale colour as opposed to a richer,deeper colour...This colour can be obtained but to finish the sarute nicely takes a bit of time and effort....The next time I go to the Birmingham arms fair I will buy a "copy" sarute and post a photo and will see that apart from the motif they are the same...

Regards,

Paul..

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It is cast. Look on the blossoms on the side an the fish egg ground. Btw the original sarute are also cast but the negative mold was the first one from the artist. These others are all molds, maybe made from genuine sarute but you need a lot of knowhow to make a perfekt mold.

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Hello,

Making them is not the problem ..it's getting the " definition " that's difficult ,so you are both right in a way..! The other problem is the alloy..difficult to replicate what the Japanese perfected especially early on in production when raw materials were more readily available...Good quality and easy to work with ..For example and in comparison tapping a hole for a thread on the alloy from China is not so easy as anyone who has tried will tell you...they haven't got that part right..! After the cultural revolution I think the Chinese lost a lot of expertise regarding metallurgy..but,without a doubt it will return...they are getting much better....!

Regards,

Paul...

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Some really interesting discussion here gents! Thank you, Bruce. At a side-by-side comparison, they do look very similar. However, I suppose that published in Dawson's book could also be a copy added  to increase the price of a standard gunto

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  • 2 years later...

Sorry to hear that, but thanks for the warning David!

 

For those interested, there was a full discussion of these started by Sporter90 on Warrelics: http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/Japanese-militaria/imagination-runs-wild-shin-gunto-attributed-paratrooper-718072/

 

It was his, and Nick Komiya's, contention that they were not WWII items at all. While I respect their reasons, there are even similar themed etchings on leather saya covers. Both of which are authentic looking enough to convince both Dawson and Fuller.

 

The idealists want to claim that the WWII Japanese soldier would have been terrified to personalize their weapons and/or uniform, thus going against Emperial Orders. But we have enough evindence, even photographic evidence, to know that simply wasn't true. Like all G.I.s of any nation, the Japanese troops occasionally had their independant streak. I believe these "paratrooper" items came from a particular small group of a unit that decided to have distinctive personalizations made to their gunto.

 

But, yes, like all things, these have been copied, so buyer beware.

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After reviewing the Warrelics thread I don't see any reason why these wouldn't have existed during the war. There is so much variety in Gunto, from colours to mounts I don't see it too out of the question to assume that these sarute would have been available to the paratrooper units, especially if they were an "elite" unit. We know for sure that there is different sarute out there with the existence of the clasped hands version.

 

Just some thoughts,

 

Matt

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Years ago a friend had a Shingunto with one of these sarute on it . This was long before anyone had much interest in military mounts . This piece would have been bought back by a returning serviceman. There is no doubt in my mind that these were a WW2 item. 

Ian Brooks

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They must have been worn only on the parade ground? and in bars to attract the girls?

I really can't see a paratrooper jumping out of a plane wearing a sword...maybe I'm wrong?

 

 There is also a film clip linked in a previous thread on this site........

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