Find out about the wide range of Japanese military swords and the changes that they have gone through over the years.
The sword is considered to be one of the oldest weapons created by man. From hunting to killing mankind has made use of swords for various purposes. Swords have been a prominent part of Japan’s military history. According to the Japanese creating military swords is an art form.
Japanese military swords were actually created through a very intricate process that originated in China but was later perfected by the Japanese. It was a labor intensive process that required a considerable amount of workers to work in assembly lines.
Since the swords were going to be used for national defence the Japanese made sure they made use of the best steel to create the most lethal blades. The steel was then passed through the intense process of folding and bending in order to bring out its toughest nature. The labor had to work very hard to beat out the air bubbles and eliminate all points of weakness from the blade.
The Japanese military stuck with single edged swords with the other end adding the support. Up until WWII all of the swords used by the Japanese military were hand made. At the onset of WWII Japanese military swords began to be produced in mass due to the industrialization that had taken place.
The swords produced in mass by mechanical means were however no match for the special hand crafted military swords. But since the need of the hour was to have more and not necessarily better the Japanese military had to settle for the compromise. The end result was that the quality of the swords as well as the fate of the war turned against Japan.
In today’s age of high tech war weaponry there is no need for military swords in Japan when it comes to combat. The production of military swords however still takes place in Japan and the military personal are handed over their swords as part of their ancient tradition regardless of the fact that they have no practical use. It is in fact an attempt to keep the art of creating military swords alive.
The nature and purpose of Japanese military swords greatly varied. The shin-gunto army officer swords for example are amongst the most popular swords that were used during WWII for combat. The collection of military swords from the WWII era that remains today features a combination of hand made as well as machine made swords.
Gendaito and kindaito are other prominent Japanese military swords that were constructed using the traditional methods. The military swords were often stamped with their branding which determines the worth of the sword. The logos on some of the military swords do not actually belong to the manufacturer rather they have been stamped by the retailers.
Another popular Japanese military sword was the NCO shin-gunto which was assigned to the non commissioned officer. This model underwent a series of developments over time and all of them were machine made.