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Bayonets [Jyu-Ken] and Blade Weapons

Bayonets [Jyu-Ken]

The bayonet was one of the most important weapons used by Japanese troops during Japan's 75 years history of militarism. Fighting with bayonets was based upon some other Japanese martial arts and trained keenly.

The M-30 (1897) bayonet was used with almost all Japanese small arms with the exception of the M-11 light machine gun.

Murata Bayonets
Before the M-30 bayonet there were Murata's M-13, M-18, and M-22 bayonets. In a ten-year period of Murata bayonets the final M-22 model was but half the length of the original M-13 model.
Overall Length
Blade Length
(Early Type)
(Later Type)
The M-30 Bayonet

It has a single-edged blade, just as a Japanese sword has. There are not many single-edged bayonets in the history of weapons, for most bayonets are made double edged. The total production of the M-30 bayonet was about 8.4 million, one of the largest production figures for any one model of bayonet.
There were about 6.5 millions small arms made which used the M-30 bayonet, and about 1.5 million of these small arms were exported with bayonet, so before 1945 in Japan there were about 5 million small arms and about 6.9 million M-30 bayonets.
Many variations of the M-30 bayonet exist - in the shape of the scabbards, in the fixtures of the grips, in the shape of the guards, and in the color of the blades. In the late 1930's production of the M-30 bayonet was made not only by arsenals but also by several commercial companies - Matsushita, Toyota, Riken, Kanashiro, Aisan, Hikari-Seiki, and others. After 1944 about 1 million M-30s were made without fullers and with wooden scabbards. The blades of early M-30's are shiny white, and metal parts are parkarized; they have curved hand guards and the wood hand grips are fastened with machine screws. Between 1939 and 1940 the style was changed gradually, and blackened blades, straight hand guards, and riveted wooden grips appeared. Several styles of the M-30 bayonet exist. The overall length of the M-30 bayonet was 512mm, it blade length was 400mm, and its weight was 690g.

Other Blade Weapons
Several other blade weapons were used by the Japanese besides bayonets. The Walker's Sword of 1893 had a thick, heavy blade and used a leather scabbard. This sword was for an artilleryman and it had an overall length of 655mm, and a blade length of 535mm.

The M-32 Kou of 1899
It was a saber for cavalry and the Outu, a shorter type, was a NCO sword. These were Western style swords. The Kou had an overall length of 100cm, the blade length was 82cm, and a weight of 1.54kg. The Outu's overall length was 94cm, its blade length was 76cm, and its weight was 1.4kg.

The M-95 Sword
It was a machine made Katana style sword used by NCO's. This sword had a metal scabbard. The M-95's overall length was 96cm, its blade length was 67cm, and its weight was 1.6kg. This sword could not be called a Katana because it was made by machines. It is said the process of making these swords called for wrapping a soft iron bar in a steel pipe and pressing this assembly. These swords were made by the hundred of thousands at Seki and in other small factories in Japan.

The M-2 Bayonet (1942)
It was a short bayonet made for parachute troops, and production of this bayonet was in 1943. Toyota, under the supervision of Nagoya Arsenal, made 25,000 of them. The blade is blackened and the fuller is short. If the fuller is long and extends from the guard to the tip of the bayonet, with this fuller might be a shortened M-30 bayonet. The overall length of the M-2 bayonet was 323mm, its blade length was 198mm, and its weight was 450g.
M-95 (1935) NCO Sword with a belt and Hanger
MM-32 (1899) NCO Sword (above)
Artillery man Sword (1890)