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Seki Inspection Tag On Combat Saya.


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#1 mauser99

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 07:16 PM

Hi all.  I was at a show over the weekend when an old fellow stopped and was carrying a sword.

Not to drag this on any longer I was able to get it apart.  The blade was un-marked typical war time made blade nothing special. The blade had no Seki stamp on the tang though which I thought was odd since it appears to have been made there and inspected there.  Has anyone seen one of these stickers on a saya ?  This would be of course under the combat leather cover so its not easy to see without taking it off.  Odd thing is its in Japanese and English ??  Odd I thought.

Sword wasn't for sale old guy just wanted some info.

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#2 Bruce Pennington

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 07:45 PM

That's the third one I've seen in the last couple of weeks! Fuller & Gregory has a picture of one.

#3 IJASWORDS

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 10:36 PM

Hi Bruce, found this logo under a leather combat cover, in a gold foil finish. Looks like concentric circles with a "H" or "I" in the centre. Any ideas? Neil.

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#4 Bruce Pennington

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 11:03 PM

Both these labels have the same circular Seki manufacturer logo. The circle is actually a stylistic "Se" over the top and "Ki" around the bottom, with the factory's logo in the middle. I am on the road and don't have my books so I don't know if this One is known. But the Seki area had quite a number of factories working and each one might have had their own logo. The label appears to be an inspection/approval and is called "rare" in the F&G book.
http://forums.gunboa...-japanese-sword
Here are two others recently posted:
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#5 mauser99

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 11:54 PM

Interesting. I wasn't looking at swords in 2008 so I never saw that post thanks.  I guess I should have made an offer.  The sticker might be rare but the sword was anything but.  No sense overpaying and I'd would have had to to  pry it out of his hands.

 

Just wanted to save the image and share it.


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#6 Stephen

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 12:01 AM

Seki cutlery co. F&G said rare but ive seen my fair share over the years. Normally on civilian  swords carried to war.


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#7 IJASWORDS

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 12:18 AM

My gold foil sticker was on OLD BLADE. Saya still had KURI-GATA on it. So is it the gold foil one of mine rare or the other one? Neil.


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#8 Peter Bleed

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 12:19 AM

I've seen these before but never in this nice readable condition. I always thought they were simply shop stickers. The ones I recall all seemed to be on black wood saya. The English language PASSED sticker is pretty interesting. It would be very interesting to data these things.

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#9 Stephen

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 12:36 AM

Always thought the  Gold foil, shop stickers as well.


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#10 IJASWORDS

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 12:45 AM

Peter to be honest I always thought it was the logo of the SAYA maker, or sword assembler at the "officers club" as well. It is interesting how one post can lead down a track of discovery!! May be should be logged in section of arsenal marks. Neil.
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#11 Bruce Pennington

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 03:35 AM

From the Japaneseswordindex, here is an example I was talking about. There are more like this, each with a different logo inside the Seki circle:


Seki Hyaku Tan Sha Token Sei Saku Jo

This company was located in Seki city. They offered a complete line of services, including old blades, newly made gunto, polishing, and koshirae. They also made gunto.

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#12 george trotter

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 08:25 AM

Although you didn't ask about it I thought you might like to know that the owner's name is written in black ink on the label...looks like Miyagawa.

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#13 Shamsy

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 08:37 AM

I saw the thread this morning but didn't get to reply until now. Looks like it's mostly been said. Rare sticker as noted in F&G. These are attached to low quality saya, black painted with crudely cast fitting. The sword blade and the quality of the accompanying fittings are of a similar nature. Have a look at the sword in this thread and my own example.

http://www.militaria...saipan-oddball/

Both are incredibly poor examples of workmanship, cast badly and the blades are unsigned, painted with some sort of kanji. You can see on the close up of the saya Fletcher posted that the hanging ring is really rough. His is missing a few bits like the saya throat and has a slightly different tsuba but is materially the same pattern.

I would class these as rare (complete examples with the original sword) as I've seen very few of them and most are in pretty shocking condition. Bearing in mind parts get mixed up, these saya should always accompany a sword of similar craftsmanship.

As to whether these are late war or the serious poor man's gunto... I'm not certain, but the materials used suggest late war to me. Dawson actually has a police tachi that is nearly an exact match to these swords, except for the police emblem. I saw one on ebay but wasn't in a position to bid. It was a fantastic example of an incredibly rare sword. Sigh.

Anyway, enough prattle, hopefully I've not repeated covered ground.
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#14 Dave R

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 01:26 PM

Not just on wooden saya! Details are hard to see on this one because it is so shiny, but it has a faint embossed pattern and I suspect originally had coloured detail.

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#15 mauser99

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 02:12 PM

Spot on Shamsy.  You described it to a T. 

The only thing of interest was the sticker.  Combat cover was long gone and the carry ring was missing.  Lacquer was flaking.  Cast rough tsuba and wavy blade over all in decent shape.  As I said he didn't want  to sell it so there was no sense in offering more than it was worth. 500.00 was it IMHO 


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#16 Bruce Pennington

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 05:03 PM

Not just on wooden saya! Details are hard to see on this one because it is so shiny, but it has a faint embossed pattern and I suspect originally had coloured detail.


Ha! Good reminder Dave! Never say never or always with WWII gunto!
Good observation though, Shamsy! I wonder if the labels were something unique to Seki operations, or something initiated late in the war to try to keep quality from dropping too far?

#17 Dave R

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 07:50 PM

 Having some English text on them, my guess is that they were pre war (in the Pacific) in origin and were simply a "made in/by" product label.


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#18 Shamsy

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 04:02 AM

The two stickers are quite distinct. I've never seen the paper one on anything but the low quality, wooden black painted saya. Maybe they are different because they represent different grades of swords? The sword Wayne saw is most definitely a distinct model and I'm glad to hear that confirmed. I've not seen many of the golden stickers and never had one in hand, so I've not got a lot to add there apart from conjecture.

I'm not sure I completely agree with Daves assessment of pre war. I base that on the fact that the fittings on the saya are distinctly military in nature and low quality. They do not seem to be something made for civilian use, but I suspect that these are more likely part of a group made towards the end of the war when materials were scarce. They are still above the grade of the NCO swords, but very much below typical military gunto standard. They usually lack same to, with paper, cloth or cardboard used. They are not assembly pieces because they are too homogeneous and exhibit too much genuine wear and patina. Remembering that Seki was a collective of individual smiths and craftsmen. It is by no means difficult to imagine this is where these swords come from. Cannot rule anything out of course, but I feel there is enough evidence to suggest a distinct, late war model.

As to value Wayne, hard to say. I usually look at scarcity over condition, though I think you were about right in valuation of the piece you saw. I'd not pay a lot for one in poor condition, nor would I expect to make money selling one later when people prefer a good condition but standard sword over a rare but somewhat worn example. This is one of my favorite swords though so I'm not a good option to provide a valuation.
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#19 IJASWORDS

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 05:03 AM

Hi, as I indicated my gold foil sticker was on an old blade, with KURI-GATA, so may be an acceptance mark for existing swords?
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#20 Dave R

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 03:45 PM

The Sino-Japanese war began in July 1937, the Pacific War in December December 1941. Japan was already suffering shortages and inflation before Pearl Harbour, so I would have no problem believing there was already severe degradation of their kit before the War with the US and Britain.

 I would have reservations about them using English labelling after that date, not impossible but I would find it odd.

An interesting piece I found was a US propaganda bill, printed on the back of a fake ten yen note dropped over Japan in great quantities, where they make the point that the war with China had already severely  damaged their economy, and that the war with the US had ruined it.

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#21 Stephen

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 06:10 PM

This the standard sword ive seen with the gold sticker as well as seki cutlery company.

 

http://www.ebay.com/...016.m2516.l5255


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#22 mauser99

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 10:10 PM

very similar looking sword. Had a wide blank spot where the swivel band had been. Not the typical narrow type seen on certain saya's with combat covers.

Blade looks similar have a wavy Harmon  and tang was very smooth looking. Had no painted kanji or any markings what so ever.


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#23 Bruce Pennington

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 05:04 AM

You know, this subject is interesting enough, I wonder if we couldn't get it "stickied" or "pinned", as it's worth more investigation and discovery?

#24 IJASWORDS

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 07:04 AM

Hi All, here is some photos of the sticker and the sword (leather carefully removed). It is an old MUMEI blade (looks EDO,) looks like old leather/wood TZUKA wrapped GUNTO style, nice old iron TSUBA, SAYA has remnants of a KURI-GATA. Does this add any value to the discussion? Neil

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#25 Kai-Gunto

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 07:12 AM

I got the golden Seki label on one of my Kaigunto's black lacqured saya.
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#26 Bruce Pennington

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 07:09 AM

Ok guys, here's one just posted with the writing in Japanese!(by Dave "AnAmNeSiS"; http://www.militaria...fficer-sword/)

 

post-4055-0-35709300-1493089678_thumb.jp

 

If you look closely, you can see this is stuck to an eel skin or sharkskin covered saya, which was an expensive upgrade, unlike the sayas discussed above.


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#27 Bruce Pennington

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 04:11 PM

Spotted another one. This time on the leather combat saya cover! Owned by Kenneth De Shepper, posted on Military Swords of Imperial Japan (Shin gunto) facebook:

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#28 Shamsy

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 10:13 AM

On the cover is unusual, almost always stuck to the saya under the throat. Maybe they forgot to stick it on until after the leather was applied...
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#29 PNSSHOGUN

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 06:38 AM

I just picked up a koshirae with one of these stickers on ebay for cheap, same combat grade pattern as some of the others.

 

s-l1600.jpg

 

https://www.ebay.com...cvip=true&rt=nc


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#30 Bruce Pennington

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 09:35 AM

I just picked up a koshirae with one of these stickers on ebay for cheap, same combat grade pattern as some of the others.

s-l1600.jpg

https://www.ebay.com...cvip=true&rt=nc

That’s cool! I can actually read this one - “The Seki Cutlery Manufacturers Society “
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