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Bruce Pennington

Emergency Late War Officer Gunto

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Found the best example of the emergency produced, late-war officer gunto that I've ever seen.  Posting all the photos here as a study on the item.  Without the "Emergency" stamp, I would have been tempted to write this off as a bad Chinese copy.  In a sense, it was.  At the end of the war, Allied bombing had ruined a great deal of sword production capacity in mainland Japan.  Production was shipped out to Manchuria/China/Korea, and orders were sent out reducing the stringent mil specs on weapons in general.  As Nick Komiya loosely translated "If it shoots or stabs, make it" became the Quality Control standards!

 

The seller, hennadiy2006, in his sale on fleabay, HERE, said the gunto was made by the "Chinese Mukden Arsenal."  My memory is sketchy on that, but I THINK I remember that Mukden was taken over my the Nanman Army Arsenal, and became a private manufacturer of swords (and maybe other weapons) for Nanman.

 

Here's the gunto, enjoy:

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35 minutes ago, vajo said:

Hit me but i belive not that this is a legit Japanese sword.

I understand.  But that is precisely the point. These were not made by the Japanese. The emergency stamp on it, according to Fuller, means that it was made by the Chinese, in factories controlled by the Japanese, for officers working with the Japanese.

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Hello Bruce,

                     I would say fake....For a late war sword it has a lot of “detail “ and it is all poor  quality apart from a very distinct stamp on the blade....That fake black “ patina “ on the tsuba looks ever so dodgy and the locking catch looks like it was made to deceive, leather just doesn’t look aged....actually from top to bottom I would say 100% fake.......Only my opinion of course but all of the late war emergency issue swords I have come across are quite plain,simple but still kind of well made...

Best Regards,

                         Paul..

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thats the problem with fake crap and genuine late war s**t. there just as bad as each other. IMHO evan tho i always avoided late war stuff, i would judge this as fake 

 

but what would i know, i could be talking out my ass

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4 minutes ago, PNSSHOGUN said:

Late war.....using complex pierced tsuba. Even if real this looks like absolute sh*t!

The last version of the type 95 was pretty ugly too. It was Japanese made, so still “prettier”, But these weren’t even Japanese made.

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They did exist they generally had sukashi style tsuba, but I would only buy one if it was very very low in price, and had some sort of provenance.... Like this one!

25warwi8d1.JPG

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25warwi8b stamp.jpg

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On 12/28/2020 at 1:31 PM, paul griff said:

all of the late war emergency issue swords I have come across are quite plain,simple but still kind of well made...

 

9 hours ago, Dave R said:

Like this one!

Dave's example is the kind Paul is referring to.  It's what I'm used to seeing also.

 

An option on this one is that as 1945-made blades (I assume), there were likely many unused ones at factories and even a warehouse or 2.  The gunto I started this thread with could be something thrown together by the locals at war's end and sold as "souvenirs" to occupying G.I.s.  A similar thought as the souvenir Army/Navy gunto produced by Tenshozan for the US Army PX.  So, the blade may have been made for the war, but the koshirae is cheap tourist stuff.  A possibility.

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9 hours ago, Dave R said:

They did exist

Dave, that ito reminds me of a Rinji I just saw.  It was almost colorless, tan, and quite course.  Here's a picture.  The seller said the fuchi was a reproduction replacement but claimed the rest was original.

image0(3).jpeg

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15 minutes ago, mecox said:

kabuto gane looks like a gunto saya kojiri?

Ha!  Good catch, didn't spot that!  Yeah, the whole thing looks like it was Bubba'd up.  Some of these gunto arrive in pretty bad shape.  The handy-man in us makes us want to fix it.  I suspect this one was one of those.

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The Kashira is a Koijiri from a Rinji Saya. Fuchi looks like a chinese repro. Its a fantasy tsuka ;-)

How does it hold? I think it is glued on the tsuka.

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On 12/30/2020 at 5:13 AM, Dave R said:

They did exist they generally had sukashi style tsuba, but I would only buy one if it was very very low in price, and had some sort of provenance.... Like this one!

25warwi8d1.JPG

 

The last time these were discussed here and elsewhere the consensus was that they are guenuine WW2 swords and seem to come in two grades. The one Bruce posted is the lower grade, the one you have posted is the higher grade with the plum blossums. Made in China during the war. There have been a half dozen threads about these on NMB that you can find with some careful looking.

 

There was a good discussion on gunboards forum about these. I'm a bit too sick to find that ancient thread right now. Stegel was involved and can likely find it. Or like I said, a careful search here will find a wealth of previous discussions. 

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I found Nick Komiya's discussion about the reduction of overall mil specs.  The discussion is found HERE.

 

Here is the relevant part: " As I already explained here, the heavy bombings of 1944 basically killed off the sword industry by spring of 1945. Manufacturing within Japan was in the process of evacuation and relocation to a remote area outside the normal target areas.  (This link leads to a fascinating telling of destruction: ""Recent bombing raids have destroyed production facilities at all suppliers (Suya, Kobe and Iida). Though progress is being made in relocating their production elsewhere, resumption of production is anticipated only from July onwards. Officer gunto production also lost all blade workshops, both within the arsenal and at private companies. Through desperate means, prospects for a supply of approximately 700 blades have been secured, but as facilities for exterior components also had been decimated, none can be assembled into complete swords. Regarding these exterior parts, we are currently calling on Association members such as Iida, Hinodeya and Sugito to work together in establishing new production facilities in Kofu City in Yamanashi Prefecture.")

Reflecting this huge disruption to production efforts, two new weapon names suddenly appeared in the production volume plans for 1945 as published in May of that year. Those weapon names were 簡易銃剣 (simplified bayonet) and 簡易小銃 (simplified rifle). In the remarks column, the spreadsheet says of the bayonet “Without restricting the material or design, it should be outright simple, just enough to stab and hack with” Production planned for 1945 was as many as 1,200 thousand units. Remarks for the rifle said “Enhanced independence of the production locale”. When spelled out fully, that would mean “to get things done under one roof as much as possible without relying on parts suppliers all scattered around”. They had planned to put together 15,000 of these rifles. Both these simplified weapons were officially approved for production on 14th May 1945.

When mainland production was in such a stage of grasping at straws, continental facilities like Jinsen and Nanman were safe havens away from all the bombing, but unlike before, they no longer had the luxury of job distribution possibilities with the mainland and had to produce everything locally, lock, stock and barrel.

I am not enough of a sword fan to know how Mantetsu split jobs with mainland companies, but if they had been relying on Japan for the Koshirae, the tide of the times would have required all that to be Manchurian sourced as well.  

If they said of the bayonet "Never mind what it looks like or what it's made of, so long as it stabs and hacks", a Mantetsu blade with duct tape as Tsukamaki would have easily made the grade. Is that to be regarded as a new model? It would be more like the the Rinji Seishiki taking its last free breath before going on the ventilator. "

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These loosened specs also affected the kaigunto.  I contemplated starting another thread for them, but I thought I'd include it here because it reinforces the drastic change that had been allowed to happen to the gunto, changes that shock the sensibilities of folks that want to hold the gunto to unwavering standards.

 

Here are some examples of late-war kaigunto.  They are from a discussion added to the Warrelics version of the NLF Gunto Discussion.

You'll note that many of them are single haikan; no, or reduced gilding; painted tsuka, no same'; plain fuchi and often plain kabutogane; many will have dark/black leather covered saya.

 

 

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From my files, apologies to the original posters, I downloaded them in 2014 without recording where they came from, because I never expected to have reason to share them. Nowadays I do tag where I got stuff from.

 

 

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The kanji just says sword steel.jpg

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6 hours ago, Dave R said:

From my files

Great collection Dave! 

I have to call a "Foul" on you, though, if you don't know the meaning of the "K" in the star in the circle!!!

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20 hours ago, Bruce Pennington said:

Great collection Dave! 

I have to call a "Foul" on you, though, if you don't know the meaning of the "K" in the star in the circle!!!

 

 I knew, but I have fogotten.

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I have a question in regards to these emergency 應 swords.  It has to do with the saya (scabbard) cover material used on them.  I found a 2014 GBF post that referred to it as "leatherette."  Is this an accurate description of the composition?

 

Quote

These swords, whatever they are, come up for sale on a regular basis. They never sell for more than $400.00. They always have the same "leatherette"-paper composite saya cover.

Late War Shin Gunto, or post war tourist copy???

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On 1/13/2021 at 7:10 PM, Bruce Pennington said:

Another two found by Thomas, posted by Stegel ON WARRELICS., though we just have the stamps, so we don't know what the fittings looked like.

 

The source of the second picture can be found at the same 2014 GBF thread above.  See post #7 by Stegel.  Direct link below.

Late War Shin Gunto, or post war tourist copy???

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