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Russo-Japanese Kyu Gunto Army Sword - USS118

Russo-Japanese Kyu Gunto Army Sword

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Overall Length: 32 5/8'' Blade: 25 1/2''
Retail Price:$269.50
Add Sharpening $25 (Adds Approx. 1 Week to Ship Time) - Learn More

In Stock!
Blade: EN9 High Carbon Steel
Weight: 2 lbs
Edge:  Unsharpened
P.O.B.: 4 1/2''
Thickness: 6.2 mm - 5 mm
Width: 27.1 mm
Grip Length: 5''

Called Kyu gunto or ‘’Russo-Japanese’’ swords, these katana and western saber hybrid swords were used by Japanese Army and Naval officers in WWII, the earlier Russo-Japanese war and Imperial Japan’s colonial conflicts. They were produced from 1875 until 1934 and existed alongside the more traditional looking Shin-Gunto swords. All officers in the military were required to wear a sword as a badge of rank. The one offered here is in the style of the army Kyu-Gunto, for it has the more extensive grip backplate - the naval variants had typically slimmer backplates.

’’Gunto’’ means ‘’military sword’’ - a reference to the mass-produced swords, different than the hand-crafted artisan swords of Japan’s past. ‘’Kyu gunto’’ means ‘’old military sword’’ - as opposed to ‘’Shin gunto’’ the ‘’new military sword’’. The Kyu gunto style became popular as the Japanese modernized their armies with western technologies and doctrine, wholly adopting the military practices of colonial powers while actively discouraging the feudal past. Thus the Kyu gunto style was a katana-like blade with motifs that harkened to Japan’s martial past while embracing the grip and overall styling of western sabers. In the years before WWII, Japan’s nationalism soared as it recognized its colonial ambitions and the once shunned samurai became nationalist symbols of power and martial heritage. Thus the newer Shin gunto swords emulated the samurai blades of old and were produced from 1935 to 1945.

Both types of these mass-produced military swords are called ‘’Showato’’ to separate them from traditionally made swords. Due to their mass-manufactured nature, Showato are not considered ‘’true’’ Japanese swords and can be confiscated within Japan.

This Kyu gunto Russo-Japanese sword has a unsharpened, tempered blade of high carbon steel. The hilt is of brass lavishly adorned with cherry blossoms. The grip is of hardened brown leather with inlaid copper wire. The scabbard is of steel with a steel hanging ring. The sword has a locking mechanism that holds the scabbard to the hilt. A small cherry-blossom etched button beneath the guard releases the scabbard.

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