The Shin guntō was a type of Japanese sword used by the IJA during World War II. The first model of the Shin guntō type of sword was the Type 94 and which was used by officers. For officers, the Shin guntō was given various colored tassels with each color symbolizing that officer's rank. Brown and red indicated field officer, brown and blue indicated company officer, and brown indicated sergeant. Naval officers had an all blue tassel. NCOs were given a brown leather tassel. The scabbard of the Type 94 was made of metal and or wood. It was also often painted brown and had two mounts made of brass. The overall length of the sword was about 100.5 cm and the length of the blade was about 67 cm.[1]

For the purposes of mass production, the Type 94 and its variants used machine manufactured blades, though the Type 94 was generally produced to a finer quality than its counterparts.[2] Still, a small number of officers instead chose to wield hand-made swords created in the same tradition as had been done for centuries in Japan.


  • Type 95 Shin guntō: Sword designed specifically for NCOs. Meant to resemble an officer's sword, yet be cheaper to mass produce. Type 95 swords created for NCOs were all created with metal handles, sometimes painted to give the appearance of the traditional cloth covered handle. By 1945 however, many swords had to make use of wooden handles due to material constraints.[3]


The Shin guntō was produced and used in the Imperial Japanese Army from 1935 to the end of the war in 1945.


  1. WEB ARCHIVE - Shin guntō Officer's Sword
  2. Rottman, Gordon L. Japanese Infantryman 1937-45. Osprey Publishing (2005), Page 19

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