|Type 98 Gunto (Japanese 九八式軍刀)|
|General Historical Information|
|Place of origin||Japan|
|General Ingame Information|
Guntō (軍刀, military sword) is the name used to describe Japanese swords produced for use by the Japanese army and navy after the end of the samurai era in 1868. In the following era (Meiji Period 1868-1912) samurai armour, weapons and ideals were gradually replaced with western influenced uniforms, weapons and tactics. Japan developed a conscription military in 1872 and the samurai lost the status they held for hundreds of years as the protectors of Japan. Mass-produced guntō swords became standard equipment in the new military, taking the place of the swords worn by the samurai class during the feudal era.
The "Type 98" shin guntō (九八式軍刀 kyūhachi-shiki guntō) occurred in 1938 and was essentially a simplification of the "Type 94". There were only minor differences between early "Type 98" swords and the "Type 94" swords that preceded them. Most notably the second (removable) hanging point was deleted from the scabbard.
Many changes occurred to the "Type 98" between 1938 and the end of the war in 1945. Late in the war Japan's supply of metal was drying up and shin guntō were produced with painted wooden scabbards, and with cheaper or no brass ornamentation. Some of the final swords produced in the last year of the war utilized cheap copper or blackened iron fittings.