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High Quality Type 3 Guntos

Article about: All, After seeing a couple of very high quality Type 3 gunto, including the koshirae, I got to re-reading Nick Komiya & Chris Bowen's dicussion of the origins of the Type 3 (http://www.w

  1. #1

    Default High Quality Type 3 Guntos

    All,

    After seeing a couple of very high quality Type 3 gunto, including the koshirae, I got to re-reading Nick Komiya & Chris Bowen's dicussion of the origins of the Type 3 (http://www.warrelics...version-584796/). The predominent thought is that it was designed as a more durable (koshirae) gunto that was also cheaper than the average standard Type 94/98. But almost every one I've seen have really good looking blades (mine included) and a couple of them now, (one owned by IJASWORDS) have REALLY high quality upgrades to the koshirae.

    Any thoughts about WHY the Type 3s have such nice blades if they were originally designed to be cheap?

    On another note, I think it was Komiya-san who was interested in seeing any Type 3s date prior to 1942. There were 2 posted recently. I don't remember who had them, exactly, but I'm trying to back-track, to get them.

  2. #2
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    Not all "type 3's" have nice blades. Generally if it has a wooden saya and lacquered tsuka it has a "nice blade", as in Gendaito or even antique. Steel saya and non lacquered tsuka it's usually (always) a factory made blade. They seem to be very variable in quality, more so than the 98's even.

  3. #3

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    I admit my experience in studying gunto is pretty slim. Mine is the metal saya, dated 1945, and has a beautiful blade.

    I'm still interested, then, in the reason that officers with some money to spend would choose the Type 3 koshirae. It seems plain compared to the 98.

  4. #4
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    Hi Bruce,

    I believe it was a matter of money. Availability of some materials near the end of the war (brass fittings of the Type 98 variety) could also have played a role where sword furniture was concerned. Every combination exists and while it's true that the fine gendaito usually are in wood saya and have the double lock mechanisms that's not always the case. One of mine is a fine star stamped blade with lacquered tsuka and double lock metal saya. Cash, then just as now, is king and can call the shots when making a purchase in my view.

    Regards,
    Stu

  5. #5

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    Bruce,
    Thanks for your message, but I am afraid you mixed me up with someone else. Of course there should be these 1940 Contingency Variations from earlier than 1942. The request to see earlier examples must have come from someone who believed these models were only introduced much later towards the Type 3 designation of 1943.

    If you want to understand the nature of this 1940 spec, you should also read the development history of other equipment too, as all army equipment got hit by severe shortages after 1937 and "Rinji" spec compromises needed to be introduced across the board by 1940. Below are examples which I have discussed in my stories. None of the below replaced the original specs, but were additional material variants to maintain volume somehow. It was not quality that was lower, but lower specs. None of them were last ditch items of WW2 as commonly believed, but were all pre-WW2 specs.

    1. Rubberized canvas material substituting for leather for ammo pouches, belts, holsters, etc
    2. Sun helmets made from cloth tape instead of woven pandanus or bamboo
    3. Field caps made of rabbit hair felt instead of wool
    4. Flight overalls lined in dog and cat fur instead of hang-yang sheep fleece.
    5. Simplified canteen straps, variant stoppers and steel canteens.
    6. Shelter halfs with aluminum grommets replaced by leather tabs
    7. Aluminum skill proficiency badges instead of brass
    Last edited by nick komiya; 03-25-2017 at 12:14 PM.

  6. #6

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    Quote by DaveR View Post
    Not all "type 3's" have nice blades. Generally if it has a wooden saya and lacquered tsuka it has a "nice blade", as in Gendaito or even antique. Steel saya and non lacquered tsuka it's usually (always) a factory made blade. They seem to be very variable in quality, more so than the 98's even.
    I agree 100%. I have never encountered an exception to this rule.
    BOB

    LIFE'S LOSERS NEVER LEARN FROM THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS.

  7. #7
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    Quote by Bruce Pennington View Post
    I admit my experience in studying gunto is pretty slim. Mine is the metal saya, dated 1945, and has a beautiful blade.

    I'm still interested, then, in the reason that officers with some money to spend would choose the Type 3 koshirae. It seems plain compared to the 98.
    How do you define a "beautiful blade"? Condition, shape, or internal features like hamon and hada?

  8. #8

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    Quote by DaveR View Post
    How do you define a "beautiful blade"? Condition, shape, or internal features like hamon and hada?
    Dave,

    It's a shingunto so no features like that. It's got a nice shape, a good wartime polish, no damage or flaws. When I first got it, I was thought it was stainless steel, but guys convinced me it's just got a nice polish.

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    Quote by Bruce Pennington View Post
    I'm still interested, then, in the reason that officers with some money to spend would choose the Type 3 koshirae. It seems plain compared to the 98.
    That is a question similar to asking "why would a rich guy rather buy a spartan sports car than a luxury sedan". The newspapers introducing the sword talked about the sword strictly meaning business and named features like the Kansuke Yamamoto style Tsukamaki for a real fighting man. If one's life may once have to depend on it, many might be made to feel that he would rather have a real fighting sword than the bells and whistles. A name like Kansuke Yamamoto's can go a long way, like a Colt Single Action Army sold as a Wyatt Earp Special. That's marketing and here's Kansuke.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture High Quality Type 3 Guntos  

  10. #10

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    Now THAT'S what I'm lookin' for!!! Nick, only you have that sort of insight into the cultural goings-on of the time. Thank you!

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