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Shorty gunto


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Got this the other day.

Gunto wakizashi.old signed blade Norisada.

Mid 1600's?

I found a rusty nakago on the net almost identical mei but couldn't get further info.

I would gather if two exist with exactly the same mei then it might be shoshin.


The leather is shrunk over a wood saya of black from what I can see.

It's hanger is leather,it has a popper that passes through the tsuba to lock the blade into the saya.

No decorative seppa, just civilian ones.

Thank s was potentially a blade fitted out when the request for swords was sent out.

Any ideas?

Thank you



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That's a gorgeous piece, Adam!  To answer your question, there were private swords donated, some bought by an Army program, and some brought to the war by the owners.  This could be any one of those.


The fittings are officer fittings, but the leather tassel (missing the fob at the end) is for NCO's .  Do you have any provenance about it?  Dawson has pictures of NCO's carrying civil re-fitted gunto, but they all retain the civil tsuba and kabutogane.  Most of the time, with these, we default to the assumption that the leather tassel was added post-war.  But I'm not certain.  This one is a good example - why would Bubba put a damaged NCO strap on this sword?  Unless the fob was there originally, and has since fallen off.  That's possible I suppose.


NCOs attending Officer training were allowed to put officer tassels on their NCO swords while a candidate, but I haven't heard of it going the other way around.  There are pictures of NCOs carrying private swords as far back as WWI, so who knows?!

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Sadly this comes from an old collection.

The elderly gent had no real history for this sword other than that it was an ancestral blade and other than oiling he had just enjoyed it for the last 50 years.

I'm not sure if it's value and I'm sadly not going to get into gunto, I do appreciate the wonderful history associated with them though, especially the stories. so this is more an exercise in trying to ascertain a real world value.

Not some pie in the sky value just what would it sell for and the recipient get a bargain?

It Owes me £1450 which I thought not unreasonable.

I've got to this price by removing a katana £3000 and long yari £1900 called Hātobureikā which I'm told is 断腸 [だんちょう.

I'm keeping the katana/Tachi, I love it.

The other two are up for sale but I'm thinking did I overpay because I wanted that tachi.........


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There are still decent priced showato and gunto available,..... but you have to look, and perhaps be lucky. But yes, prices on such are higher here in the UK, a different policy on bring-backs and fewer actual British  troops engaged with the IJA. The main force fighting the IJA for the British Empire was the "Indian Army" who had a different attitude and policy towards souvenirs, as well as living and returning to India. They also gave the IJA every bit as good as they got, and the Gurkha's  well gave the IJA a seeing to but not that interested in battlefield pickups.

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My grandfather fought with the ghurka in WW2 He had many (or all) in his regiment if I remember correctly.

He told me there was no better fighting force than the ghurka.

He was regimental sergeant major.NCO

I think he as with all combatants was a hero ,well he certainly was to me anyway.

I remember his Ghurka knife which he enjoyed showing us.

I think he kept in contact with his Ghurka 2nd until he died.

The war ,the japs couldn't get him but Cancer did. 

To end on a good note he always wanted his own pub to run and he ended up with three .He enjoyed his return to relative normality post War and that's got to be worth something.

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