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Guntō

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.