For those not familiar with the terms Showato and Gendaito here is some information. Credit to Dr. Richard Stein and his Japanese Sword Index site as linked here ...http://www.japaneseswordindex.com/nihonto.htm
"The terms gunto, gendaito and showato are commonly used in reference to Japanese swords of the WW II era; but they used in different ways to convey concepts which are not strictly contained in their definitions.
Gunto - "military sword" (this refers to all swords in military mounts, not to whether the blade is handmade or not.)
Gendaito - "modern sword" (this refers to the sword having been made between 1876 and 1945, not to whether the blade is handmade or not.)
Showato - "Showa era sword" (this term refers to any sword made during the Showa era, 1926 to 1989, not to whether it is handmade or not.)
These are the literal rendering of the terms, but to collectors and students of Japanese swords, these terms carry specific connotations sometimes differing from the literal definitions of the terms. In the arena of Japanese sword commerce, these terms are routinely used interchangeably by those not familiar with their specific usage in sword circles. This leads to great confusion and at times unintentional misrepresentation of the sword in question. Any perspective buyer of a Japanese must know how the seller is using these terms or risk being very disappointed with their purchase.
NIHONTO COLLECTOR USAGE
To Japanese sword collectors the term "gunto" is used to refer to mass produced, mostly machine made or assembly line production, blades of the WW II era. It is a term of derision. "Gunto" are thought of as low class, poorly made swords having no artist value and of interest only as war relics. Even in Japan, this term is used to describe swords of no value. According to current Japanese regulations, "gunto" are not allowed to be imported into the country either for sale or restoration.
The term "gendai or gendaito" on the other hand is used by collectors to refer to traditionally made blades; those which have folded steel and are water tempered. The Japanese require that for a sword to be "gendaito" it must be made of tamehagane or oroshigane even though it is impossible to tell what a sword is made from after the sword is finished and polished. Swords made of forge folded commercial mill steel look the same as those made of tamehagane after they are polished although some collectors feel that swords made of tamehagane are more likely to have active hamon and more prominent hada than those made of folded mill steel.
"Showato" is used by collectors to also refer to non-traditionally made swords of the Showa Era. It also implies a lower grade of blade not usually of interest to Nihonto collectors.
To be a wise purchaser, one must know how to tell the difference between these types of swords regardless of how the seller is using the terms. This is not always an easy task. Two things to look for in distinguishing a true gendaito from a Showato or gunto (using the terms as a collector would) are the presence of visible hada and an active hamon. It must may emphasized that this is NOT an exact science - even advanced collectors will disagree on whether a sword showing these characteristics is truly gendai or not.