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Original Gunto Soho booklet. Issued on 1940






   これらの情勢を踏まえ、昭和15年に陸軍戸山学校では嘱託の剣道範士であった持田盛二、斎村五郎の協力により技の追加と改定を行い7本の立ち技を制定し、同年11月に陸軍将校の親睦団体であった偕行社から小冊子「偕行社記事 昭和十五年十一月號 附録『軍刀の操法及試斬』」が全陸軍将校に配布され、漸く陸軍戸山学校で制定された軍刀操法が大日本帝国陸軍に周知された。

   また、昭和17年1月には『短期速成教育軍刀(一撃必殺)訓練要領』が発刊され、更に、昭和19年3月には、 「短期速成教育軍刀(一撃必殺)訓練要領」を「軍刀操法其の一」とし、従来の「軍刀の操法」を「軍刀の操法其の二」に改め、両者を合冊し若干の修正を加えた『軍刀の操法及試斬』を陸軍戸山学校で編纂し国防武道協會から発行された。



Gunto Soho - the Military Swordsmanship

   Most of the research and officer education on infantry warfare in the Imperial Japanese Army was conducted at the physical training department of Toyama Military Academy. From the onset, the close-quarter combat technique taught in the Academy was based on the French Military style with the sword fighter using a saber commonly held in one hand.

   However, through the Japan-China War(1894~1895) and Japan-Russia War (1904~1905), the reliability of Japanese sword, katana, was re-appraised and its spiritual side also started to attract the psyche of the time. By winning these wars, the Imperial Japanese Army was now developed up to the level of world powers and during this period the holding style of the saber has changed from one hand to two hands. With this background, during the Taisho period, Toyama Military Academy started to investigate more traditional Japanese swordsmanship in order to develop a uniquely Japanese military-style sword fighting to be introduced, inviting traditional katana sword masters such as Nakayama Hakudo and Kunii Zenya. 

   In 1925, Lieutenant Colonel Morinaga Kiyoshi, who was the head of the sword fighting in the Toyama Military Academy, officially adopted five Kata (forms) of tachi-waza, the sequences of movements starting from standing position, devised from Iai and formulated to modern warfare by Nakayama Hakudo. However, these were only practiced in the academy and were not disseminated to the whole army. In 1934, the Imperial Japanese Army officially switched its fighting sword from the western style saber to the traditional Japanese one with the 94 model military sword becoming the first Japanese katana style military sword, Gunto.

   In 1940 the Toyama Military Academy, after revising and adding more Kata with the cooperation of Mochida Seiji, and Saimura Goro, commissioned Kendo masters in the academy, officially adopted seven tachi-wazas. These were included in a supplement of a leaflet ‘Kaiko-sha article, November 1940 issue’, called ‘The Techniques and Tameshigiri of Gunto (military sword)’ published in November 1940 by Kaiko-sha, a social organization of army officers.

   The leaflets were distributed to all the army officers thus making the Gunto Soho, developed at the Toyama Military Academy, known to the whole Imperial Japanese Army. In January 1942 ‘Gunto Intensive Training Manual – Kill with One Blow –’ was published and in March 1944, ‘Gunto Intensive Training Manual – Kill with One Blow –’ was revised as ‘Gunto Soho no.1’ and the original ‘Gunto Soho’ as ‘Gunto Soho no.2’, and the Toyama Military Academy combined both with some editing and published it as ‘Gunto Soho and Tameshigiri’ from Kokubo Budo Association.

   TIBDR has been succeeding in the original Gunto Soho of ‘Gunto Soho and Tameshigiri’ and has created as a textbook for the members. The textbook of Gunto Soho shall be downloaded from the Members' Room of this web site.

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