Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Grim Reaper

Bamboo Leaf pattern Tsuba on Gunto with old blade

Recommended Posts

Good afternoon Gentlemen,

 

I wonder if you could help.

 

Over the years, I have seen a small number of Gunto, which have clearly been converted from an Ancestral Katana, to Rikugun use.

 

I have been told, candidly, by more than aa few Japanese Gentlemen, from that Hero generation, ( As both they and us view that dreadful era), that in some cases, local village Councils of Elders would "club together" to send one of their boys off to officer training with a sword , as their patriotic duty, even though, he , as a farme or local business man's son, could not afford to buy an approved Shin Gunto, as advertised in the papers of induction.

 

In the examples that I have encountered, from 1971 to present, usually, the Kurikata has been removed, and a makeshift Ashi had been added, the rest of the lacquered Saya being clad in a leather combat cover.

 

A makeshift hole for an Itomaki Sarute was drilled into the area just below the Kashira, and in some cases a Fusa Himo, still attached.

 

Quite a  few of these I encountered had a similar style of Mokko Tsuba depicting Bamboo leaves.

 

I am interested in the prevalence of the Bamboo Leaf Tsuba.

 

Can anyone shed some light upon this?

 

My take is that it was a single shop, supplying Regiments bound for the Burma Campaign.

 

Given that the items were from veterans in the United Kingdom, their field of operation from which they would have fought in or have been liberated from, was essentially, Burma down to Singapore. 

 

I believe that there is a wellspring of information out there, waiting to be tapped.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you mean such a tsuba with that fuchi kashira?

 

(edit i found the picture of my set 😂) the color is not correct under flashlight. Tsuba and FK + menuki looks golden.

image.thumb.png.f280bd91390da2095060a270138092bc.png

 

 

Ohmura study koshirae..

72810.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Malcolm,

 

The send-off story is quite amazing to hear, thanks for sharing that!  We all know that soldiers were sent off with various things like flags, and belts.  That's the first time I've heard of a village having a sword prepared. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm watching this thread eagerly. Great info and extremely likely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have collected a few of these over the years, and think that they were also used interchangeably with the bamboo. It is no optical illusion, the one on the right is larger. That means at least two pieces of dies or molds. Still on the lookout for a matching F/K set.

a43.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good morning Gentlemen,

 

It sort of makes sense now, given the magnitude of the Burma Railroad, and the intentions to go into India, that there would have been a host of civilian employees seconded to the Army.

 

And, adding a little more to Bruce's post, I have heard that a number of the elder generation of Japanese Martial Arts Shihan, who were conscripted into the Rikugun, in the very latter days of the conflict, took ancestral blades to their induction and training camps.

 

This was not a matter of rank, as there were often no other weapons available.

 

I wondered about the choice of Bamboo as a subject matter, and was reminded of something the late Donn F Draeger wrote about a Yagyu Tsuba with a Bamboo leaf theme having a secret symbolism reminding the swordsman to recall the principle of Yawara (Pliancy), in respect of the Bamboo in winter bears a great amount of weight of snow, bending to an almost impossible angle and then shedding the snow, to return to standing in a swift springing action.

 

Of course the Tsuba we  are discussing bears no similarity to a Yagyu form, it is the concept behind it.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 According to Mr Komiya' research in official documents  these are an early Showa era civilian pattern, Gunzoku were supposed to carry a standard Shin-Gunto with an all brown sword knot. This does not exclude them from being carried by Gunzoku though. There was a real sword shortage by 1942 and we quite often see civilian mounts adapted for military service. Swords were being bought up by the military in regular "drives" in order to fill the shortfall in official production.

 

 

 If you have a good search on this area of the forum you will see it covered in a lot more detail.

gunto call up 12-23-2017.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Yes thats the Sakura pattern but the tsuba is false. I think the tsuka is from a civilian employee sword. 

Nice! Thanks for showing.

 

This is a plum (or is it cherry/ sakura?) pattern tsuba from a civillian koshirae i think. I saw a sword with purple ito and those Tsuba with fuchi kashire pattern (so i think it is plum motif). I belive this is silver plated. I search for the right FK to make a set.

 

meiji_showa_sakura_tsuba.thumb.jpg.25a037be87da87c8be09de3a423f5da0.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...