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Kai Gunto Tsuka Stamps

Jon MB

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Hello All,


I wondered if anyone has seen these stamps on a tsuka before. Part of a Kai Gunto set-up that has an unusual tsuba and numbered seppa and what looks to be a stainless steel blade.


Many thanks in advance for any help..


Jon B


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My feeling is that the tsuba and o-seppa are not of Japanese origin. I may be wrong, but these may be manufactured replacements. Note how the koiguchi does not appear to be centered within the o-seppa when mounted.




Also, the unusual execution of the nakago-ana and hitsu-ana. The decorative elements also do not ring true.

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Many thanks for the comments, it's all a bit mysterious. Thank you Trystan for translation, thank you Ray for Tsuba input, I agree. Thankyou Bruce and Chris.


My overall feeling is that we have a here a Kai gunto that has been 'fancified', but by whom or when I don't know. I was hoping it would turn out to be a nice high end or presentation Gunto, as mentioned by Chris.


I feel the fittings may have been re-gilded, and at that point a fancy tsuba added, but again I can't be sure.


I did consider all these things before buying, based on photographs, but I thought it was worth the risk, and thought the investigation might be interesting, with help from you guys.


As I have some not-bad army gunto, but no Kai gunto, am tempted to replace the tsuba with a good quality 'standard' kai-gunto tsuba and seppa and keep.


Thanks for input, if any more ideas come up, will still be much appreciated.

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I bought it in Scotland, but my gut feeling is that it has come from somewhere like Burma. I picture someone wanted to 'improve' a Kai-gunto they already had, possibly as a gift for someone else. I say Burma because they have plenty of gunto, skilled craftsmen and the gilding of items seems popular. And Burmese artefacts have started to flood the market in the UK.


Sheer conjecture here as to what may have gone on.


One avenue not discussed was the 'ichi' type mark at the end of the nakago that was pointed out by Bruce.

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