The above red circle indicates the time we discuss here
Chapter 36 is the more detailed and continued part of Chapter 2 Timeline. Please read chapter 2 before this section. Refer 2 | Timeline
In the chapter 2 Timeline, I mentioned Gendai-to (現代刀) is the swords made bewteen Meiji Revolution (明治維新1868 ) and the present time. It has been about 150 years since the Meiji Revolution. Even though I simply categorized all swords made after the Meiji Revolution into one group as a Gendai-to, there is quite a difference in quality and variety. The big difference is a Gunto (軍刀). Those are military swords that were made to take to the World War I and World War II. Some of them have a saber-like handle. Those were not made to appreciate the beauty of the surface of the blade. Among the Gendai-To, Gunto is usually considered much less value. Among Gunto, the sword made around the world war II is called Showa-To. It often has a brown leather scabbard. The color is similar to the Japanese military uniform. Those Gun-To are not part of the study of the Japanese sword.
*Refer to ” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunt%C5%8D” for Japanese military sword.
Gunto From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
Around the time of the Meiji Revolution (明治維新), a sword called Meiji-Ishin-to (明治維新等刀) or Kin-Nou-to (勤王刀) were made. Those swords were owned by famous historical figures like Saigo Takamori (西郷隆盛), Sakamoto Ryoma (坂本龍馬). They are important historical figures who pushed forward the Meiji Revolution or restoration. Those swords are a long sword and some of them are almost 3 feet long and have no curvature.
Today, many famous swordsmiths are forging wonderful swords. Some are recognized as a national living treasure. Gendai-To is the sword made after the Meiji Restoration till now, but please keep in mind, there are huge differences in quality and variety among Gendai-To.
Sword forged by a living national treasure, Mr. Miyairi Shohei