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Need Help with my grandfather's Shin Gunto sword

Article about: (Sorry for the Re-post) Hi Guys, this is my first post of what I hope to be many more. I am an English teacher in Korea and I since living abroad I've become very interested in all things WW

  1. #11
    Jan
    Jan is offline
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    Default Re: Need Help with my grandfather's Shin Gunto sword

    What an astonishing piece of history...

    Rgds Jan

  2. #12

    Default Re: Need Help with my grandfather's Shin Gunto sword

    That's very cool to know. I didnt get the feeling that my grandfather wanted me to take the handle apart but i think one of these days i will and I will find out exactly where it was made and whatnot but the sword is beautiful and its wonderful to know more about it

  3. #13
    ?

    Default Re: Need Help with my grandfather's Shin Gunto sword

    The sword is a Naval model. You can tell that by the 2 hangers on the scabbard with heart designs in them. It also has dark rayskin under the silk handle wrap. Army blades only have one hanger. The Tsuba ( hand guard ) is the naval style. Usually naval swords have black scabbards. Yours is brown which leads me to believe that it is a Naval landing force ( marine ) officers sword. That makes it more rare and more valuable. Even with the name damage on the blade it would still have a nice value.
    It would be nice to see the tang ( the part of the blade under the handle ). You can remove the handle by tapping out the bamboo pin in the handle that holds it on. use only enough force to get it out. Once you have done this you can tap the top and bottom of the hand guard back and forth and it will loosen and come off. If you can remember try to keep the seppa ( copper shims in order ) it will be much easier to reassemble. The tang might be signed and the presence of black rust rather than red may give an indication of greater age.
    Your grandpa did very well when he got this sword.
    Steve

  4. #14

    Default Re: Need Help with my grandfather's Shin Gunto sword

    As the paperwork affirms the Russian connection, I am sure the blade did not come from Okinawa as there were no Russian troops in that battle. The wood name tag also appears to confirm that this was a surrendered sword and not taken from the fields of combat. It is a very nice kaigunto or naval sword.
    BOB

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

  5. #15

    Default Re: Need Help with my grandfather's Shin Gunto sword

    Wow, that's cool that it might be a "marine" sword. I talked with my grandfather a little this weekend. He was in Okinawa for much of his time during the war but he did go to Manchuria at least once I believe. I believe much of his experience has kind of blended together over the years and he doesn't remember the exact details. I find it hard to press him on specifics but I will see him once more before I leave for Korea for another year so I will try to get some more information about it. He said he took the handle apart many years ago but I got the impression he didn't want it taken apart again. perhaps one day i will get it taken apart and find out some specifics on it.

    He mentioned he had thought about giving it back to the family of the officer it belonged to if that was possible. Do you know if thats even possible? I think it would be very interesting to look into it. Perhaps that is easier for him to do than to decide which of his 9 grandchildren to give it to

  6. #16

    Default Re: Need Help with my grandfather's Shin Gunto sword

    Quote by SeoulTeacher View Post

    He mentioned he had thought about giving it back to the family of the officer it belonged to if that was possible. Do you know if thats even possible? I think it would be very interesting to look into it. Perhaps that is easier for him to do than to decide which of his 9 grandchildren to give it to
    This is a difficult task I have addressed many times in the past. Without a full address, locating the decendents of the officer is impossible. If you were able to find family, what family member would you return it to? If the blade is a war production blade, it would not be allowed in to Japan as ownership of such items is prohibited by law. The best thing to do with it is honor it's history and family connection and conserve it as best as possible.
    BOB

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

  7. #17

    Default Re: Need Help with my grandfather's Shin Gunto sword

    hmmm interesting. Why would they have the name on the tag if the sword was never meant to return to original owner? Personally I don't like the idea of the sword going back UNLESS it went to the soldier is originally belonged to. Odds are he is dead and even if he wasn't finding him is probably next to impossible. I know my grandfather thinks very highly of the sword and has a lot of respect for soldiers on both sides so for him it might be more of a respect thing but I doubt the sword is going anywhere. If he hasn't looked into finding the family in the last 60 years I don't know why he would start now.

    BTW, do you know why it would have had that tag still on it after it was surrendered? Any special reason?

  8. #18

    Default Re: Need Help with my grandfather's Shin Gunto sword

    Swords that were surrendered at official ceremonies seldom have name tags on them. When the order to surrender all weapons was issued by Allied forces, swords collected in this period seem to have this form of tag attached. Without a full address, there is little chance these were put on the swords in hope of return. Most likely, these wee an inventory tag for the Japanese authorities collecting weapons. Many older swords that came out of Japan often have a piece of rice paper glued to the saya with the name and address of the owner and an inventory number issued to that sword by the Japanese Police who took custody of the sword. I had a sword with a tag similar to yours that had an address. I always tried to contact the owner to tell him his sword survived but made it clear it was not being offered back. A friend of mine in Japan did a lot of leg work for me on these tasks. The one I mentioned found a family but the soldier never returned from the war. He evidently died after turning in his blade. The events opened up some old family wounds that would have been left better not touched.
    BOB

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

  9. #19

    Default Re: Need Help with my grandfather's Shin Gunto sword

    I can't believe how long its been since I visited this forum! Been back from Korea now for a few months and wanted to continue to research my Grandfather's sword.

    Quick question, does this blade look machine made or is it traditional?

  10. #20

    Default Re: Need Help with my grandfather's Shin Gunto sword

    From the images you posted, it is likely a non traditional machine made sword.
    BOB

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

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