Just finished reading Kapp & Yoshihara, "Modern Japanese Swords and Swordsmiths, From 1868 to the Present" and came across an interesting discussion of gunto repair teams:
"...so many smiths and sword craftsmen were sent overseas to battlefields to repair and maintain swords. ... Kurihara organized a group of sword craftsmen that included smiths, polishers, and koshirae craftsmen, to go to the wartime battlefiedls to repair swords on the spot. The group was called the Gunto Shuri Genchi Hoshidan (the Volunteer Gunto Repair Group), founded in 1936. Kurihara's original plan called for five to seven smiths in each group. A group was to consist of twenty people and include polishers, tsukamaki (hilt wrapping) craftsmen, and other. Theoretically, each person would work on ten swords a day, but they had to remain at each location far longer than planned and often worked on more than the original quota."
I thought it interesting that so many gunto needed repair! I wonder to what level of quality the repair was. Did koshirae have to meet IJA spec? Or might it look like some of the odd-ball stuff we see on these forums?
Anyone have more info on the repair teams and the work they did?