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Army kyu gunto


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Hi everybody,

Saw this sword in the for sale section by Matt and l am very intrigued.l will admit that l never knew that the Japanese army had these mountings. Please can someone educate me further . I would be ever so grateful. Thank youall.


“Excellent condition Army kyu-gunto sword with canvas combat cover.  Combat covers are not often seen on kya-gunto mounts swords.  The combat cover is in EXCELLENT condition.  The blade is an arsenal blade with bohi, and acid-etched yakiba.  This is a combat sword.  The backstrap has a 3-5-3 kiri mon.  A fine piece, in exceptional condition. “


Edited by Moley
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By 'mountings' are your referring to the canvas cover?  If so, they are legit, and rare, like Matt said.  Even on the Type 98s they are uncommon (there is a thread here at NMB on them).  I'll have to add this one to it!  Kyugunto saya aren't normally covered, but you will even see a leather covered one now and then.

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Dear Gwyn.


If your question is a more general one then the answer is that as Japan modernised her armed forces at the end of the 19th century they adopted European style sword mounts, hence the Kyugunto.  After experience in combat with these swords, (and I suspect the rise of Nationalism), they moved to Shin and Kai gunto style which are much more reminiscent of tachi.  Forgive me if that is stating the obvious.


All the best.

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I see, Geraint saw the meaning of your question better.  You can see the evolution of the modernized styles here:



Ohmura explains a little more here:



Nick Komiya goes into the history in depth here:



But Geraint's summary is correct.  At the end of the 1800's the Emperor wanted to modernize Japan.  On the military side, he brought in western weaponry, the cavalry saber being the "modern" version of the sword in that time.  Various models, Type 19 Kyugunto, Type 32 Cavalry & Artillery, were the primary swords in use for a while.  The Shanghai Incident in 1931 highlighted the inability of the cavalry sabers to withstand serious combat against Chinese winter clothing and temperatures.  They were bending and breaking.  Multiple calls were being sent back to Japan calling for better swords, Samurai-styled swords.  This and the massive expansion of the Japanese military, creating a huge shortage of swords, prompted the revival of the samurai style and the industrialized production of modern "Showa-to".  The saber was retained in it's "dress" style and function, while the gunto replaced cavalry swords in combat.

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Here are photos of the nakago as requested.  As mentioned the arsenal blade has an acid-etched yakiba.  Normally I don’t find anything on the nakago on an arsenal blade, but this one looks to have a Seki stamp.  

Thanks guys!


BTW—I am listing a General Grade Police Superintendent’s sword in the For Sale section this afternoon.  



—Matt Brice





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1 hour ago, matthewbrice said:

Normally I don’t find anything on the nakago on an arsenal blade, but this one looks to have a Seki stamp.


This is one of only a handful of swordsmiths that stamped their signature rather than carve it.  His name is Naohiro 直弘.  There are several references to him but below is a link to just one of them.  Read on for few posts as the discussion goes on for a bit.  Thanks for the additional pictures.

Arsenal Stamps., Page 14

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