Here we have a very interesting sword from a unique period in Japans extensive military history. Within decades of Japan emerging from their period of isolation, a time when foreign relations were extensively prohibited for several centuries, the Japanese army evolved and modernised at a startling rate. They changed from the feudal style of military to the modern army, introduced to them by the Western powers.
The Kyu Gunto was a Japanese sword developed in 1874. The Gunto is a sword used by the Imperial Armies, the Kyu is the designation of pattern. This one, despite having a factory made unmarked blade can be dated to approximately the time of the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-5 from the style of scabbard, the Emperor Hirohito’s mark and the style of backstrap.
From the backstrap we also know this is an Imperial Army infantry sword, the Naval variant had no decoration on the backstrap and the cavalry version had a shorter handle and more closely resembled a cavalry sabre with a D guard.
This is an interesting sword in that it can be used as a transitional blade between Japanese and European styles of swordsmanship, many of the manuals and training refer to British or French fencing styles whilst its grip is still long enough to be used two handed like a traditional Japanese sword.
Overall this is a very interesting collectors piece, something that would fit into a collection of Asian or European blades and would hold a very special place in any military sword collection.
~ Dimensions ~
The sword weighs 1 Kg.
The scabbard weighs 550g.
The length of the sword in its scabbard is 35 inches (89 cm).
The length of the scabbard is 26.75 inches (68 cm).
The width of the guard is 2.25 inches (6 cm).
The blade length is 25.5 inches (65 cm).
The length from guard to pommel is 8 inches (20 cm).
~ Condition ~
The sword is in very good condition for its age.
The brass has aged nicely with a few dents on the D section of the guard presumably from use.
The blade is in very good condition with some minimal spots of blackening on the blade.
The leather is still supple.
~ Postage ~
UK postage is £18 or the sword can be collected from our Portsmouth shop.Read more