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G. Scott H.




Location: Arizona, USA
Joined: 22 Feb 2005

Posts: 410

PostPosted: Tue 14 Jun, 2005 4:28 pm    Post subject: If a saber mated with a katana...         Reply with quote

I was just perusing the net, and I ran across this unusual specimen (perphaps not unusual to those well versed in Nihonto, but to me). I can't tell you anything about it that's not already in the rather limited description provided, but I really like the design: sort of a katana blade mated to a long saber-like hilt. A nice amalgam of eastern and western design. Happy

http://www.samuraiart.com/Kunimori_gendai_katana.htm

BTW, interesting to note that the entire hilt assembly is retained via mekugi, in traditional Japanese style.
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Sam Barris




Location: San Diego, California
Joined: 29 Apr 2004
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 615

PostPosted: Tue 14 Jun, 2005 5:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Standard issue for officers of the Japanese Imperial Navy. They were really into imitating the West for a long time, but obviously kept aspects of their own traditional design. You see those from before the Russo-Japanese war up until the end of World War II. Really one of their most attractive military pieces. I never cared for the army katanas, especially the ones with the cast metal tsuka.
Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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G. Scott H.




Location: Arizona, USA
Joined: 22 Feb 2005

Posts: 410

PostPosted: Tue 14 Jun, 2005 5:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks. If you, or anyone else, know of a good online source for some better photos of these (like hilt close-ups, etc.), please let me know. Happy
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Chris Lampe




Location: United States
Joined: 07 Mar 2005

Posts: 211

PostPosted: Tue 14 Jun, 2005 7:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Funny you should post that because I just saw a display case full of those and wondered what they were:

http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?s...ese+museum
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Tyler Weaver




Location: Central New York
Joined: 05 Mar 2005

Posts: 44

PostPosted: Tue 14 Jun, 2005 7:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's a kyu-gunto sword, IIRC used by both the Army and Navy until they brought back traditional Japanese sword mountings in the late-mid 1930s. After traditional-style mountings came back you can tell an Imperial Navy sword (at least post-1937) by its double hanger-rings, as opposed to one on Army swords. Kyu-gunto style mountings saw a lot of use in the Russo-Japanese War - as an aside, remedial measures were taken after the war to get Japanese officers up to snuff on their swordsmanship, as it had apparently declined quite a bit since its modern heyday in the Bakumatsu of a generation earlier. Given the introduction of modern weaponry since then that's unsurprising, but that's beside the point.

I'm not really a big fan of kyu-gunto mounts. While interesting, they're an inelegant solution to a Westernization issue that should never have come up and are really symptoms of the West-mania that gripped Japan during the Meiji era.

Japanese gunto with all-metal hilts were mass-produced crap for NCOs and were by no means pinnacles of swordsmithing. I've always wondered what the rationale was behind them (super low cost money saving measure?), given that I'm doubting an all-metal hilt makes for a very practical grip. Well-made officers' gunto mounts can actually be very good-looking.

Aku. Soku. Zan.
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G. Scott H.




Location: Arizona, USA
Joined: 22 Feb 2005

Posts: 410

PostPosted: Tue 14 Jun, 2005 8:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris, funny how that works isn't it? Laughing Out Loud Thanks for the link. I check in over at SFI every so often, but I missed that thread. Happy
Tyler, thanks for telling me what this type of sword was called, it helped me find the following links:
http://home.earthlink.net/~steinrl/military.htm
http://japaneseswords.gotdns.com/100Gendai5.htm Happy
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