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Kai Gunto Naval Sword

Article about: Hello All, I am helping a friend research this sword that his Dad brought back from WWII. Unfortunately he has very little information as his Dad would never discuss the sword or the cirumst

  1. #1

    Default Kai Gunto Naval Sword

    Hello All,

    I am helping a friend research this sword that his Dad brought back from WWII.

    Unfortunately he has very little information as his Dad would never discuss the sword or the cirumstances under which he obtained it.

    From what I have found so far this sword is a Japanese Naval Sword (Kai Gunto) and I dont think it was general issue due to the differences in inscriptions from other similar swords I have seen.

    I have managed to take off the handle and get pictures of the inscriptions which I will post on this thread.

    I can't take the leather cover off of the scabbard as it is stiff and I dont want to force it as I am not a pro with this stuff.

    Apologies for the poor quality of the pictures but my DSLR is currently travelling around Asia with another friend.

    I am totally wet behind the ears when it comes to researching swords but will add to this post as I learn more to help people in future and any assistance any of the community can provide will be gratefully received.


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  2. #2

    Default Re: Kai Gunto Naval Sword

    With the field cover, this sword likely belonged to an Imperial Naval Landing Forces officer. It is late and my eyes are a little tired trying to read the bottom part of the signature, which is not sharp. It is an older Edo period blade made in Seki City, Province of Noshu. I will get the balance of the information to you tomorrow. From what I can see, it is a mid 17th century blade. Identifying the swordsmith will clarify that information.
    BOB

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

  3. #3

    Default Re: Kai Gunto Naval Sword

    Hello Bob,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to look into this!

    The information you have provided already is very informative and having briefly googled some Edo period blades the position of the markings are certainly the same of blades from that period.

    I have a Japanese friend trying to translate and will post his findings.

    Thanks again for providing info it really is appreciated.

    Kind Regards

    Dwain

  4. #4

    Default Re: Kai Gunto Naval Sword

    Hello All,


    So my Japanese mate has told me that the inscription says that the sword was made in Noshu Zeki (Zeki City) by a sword maker called Ichimonji Minamoto Amahide.


    This has now given me enough to go off and research further and came across these links: UK Sword Register No. 120 Gendaito Katana: Amahide::The To-Ken Society of Great Britain and Amahide Gendaito


    These seem tor corroborate what he said as the inscriptions seem to match perfectly.


    Very pleased I can delve deeper and now and try and find out some more.


    Will post with further details as I get them and if anyone else has any information they want to chip in with please feel free

  5. #5
    ?

    Default Re: Kai Gunto Naval Sword

    Hi Dwain and welcome to the forum Thanks for posting these real good pics of your friend's sword , i love to see these family heirlooms ! It is certainly a great looking example and nice to see the matching gunto fittings that are each stamped with the number 4 . Also thanks for the link as that gives super info concerning the blade , signature and who actually made this piece . I was very interested to read about the "same" in the example shown by the To-Ken Society of GB , in that it had an alternative to rayskin under the Ito wrap but i digress . Congratulations on discovering a nice Gendaito blade
    REGARDS AL

    We are the Pilgrims , master, we shall go
    Always a little further : it may be
    Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow
    Across that angry or that glimmering sea...

  6. #6

    Default Re: Kai Gunto Naval Sword

    Thanks Alan... Do you know the significance of the 4?

    Could this mean the sword is the 4th revision of this type of sword?

  7. #7
    ?

    Default Re: Kai Gunto Naval Sword

    The no.4 is just a production number that identifies the fittings as a set that were custom fitted to the blade . As an aside it is usual for these to have a few more seppa and looking at the photos of the tsuba it looks as though there possibly were more originally.
    REGARDS AL

    We are the Pilgrims , master, we shall go
    Always a little further : it may be
    Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow
    Across that angry or that glimmering sea...

  8. #8

    Default Re: Kai Gunto Naval Sword

    Nice sword, Thanks for sharing. Best, RS

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