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Koa Isshin Mantetsu Saku Vs Mantetsu Kitae Tsukuru Kore


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#1 barnejp

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 09:47 AM

Hello Everyone,

 

Is there much of a difference between Koa Isshin Mantetsu Saku vs Mantetsu Kitae Tsukuru Kore blade dated 1943 in similar condition?

 

I heard Koa Isshin Mantetsu Saku is more desirable.

 

If so, why?

 

Thank you,

Greg


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#2 Dave R

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 10:25 AM

 A difference in construction. Best answer is found here . http://ohmura-study.net/998.html


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#3 Bruce Pennington

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 12:20 PM

Greg,

 

I'm not familiar with a Mantetsu blade marked "Mantetsu Kitae Tsukuru Kore".  Do you have an example?

 

I have read that Mantetsu's not labeled "Koa Issin" were made in Tokyo, but I don't know that for a fact.  Like Ohmura-san said at the end of the article posted by Dave, he didn't know the difference in quality of the 3 types, so I don't know how one would value one over the other.  Personally, I like the ones with the slogan, but that's a personal preference and no statement about quality.  My gut tells me any blade made by Mantetsu is a high quality blade.  There was a wait-list of officers wanting these blades.



#4 Dave R

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 03:15 PM

From what I have been able to make out, "Koa Ishin" are the swords with the softer core and harder skin, and the others a Maru blade made of one piece of steel. However, I would not put money on it, so to speak.

 Mantetsu made a big feature of their new method. Very refined steels with the skin made initially as a tube and the softer core inserted and the two electrically welded together before rolling and forging to shape.

 Once upon a time Mantetsu blades were thought to be the ones made of obsolete rail-track, but I think that theory is now debunked.... Though such swords are on record as made at Seki and in occupied Beijing.


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#5 Hamfish

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 11:32 PM

 think daves Confusing this with the MANCHURIAN sword,

 

they appear to have jigane due to the fact the smiths over there were sourcing old bristish rail tracks which had a compasate construction.

 

the top having a linear grain to reduce ware from the use.

 

theres some brief info in the book MODERN Japanese SWORD SMITHS by Leon kapp.

 

they have no resemblance to mantetsu to, but are strangly well signed for a sino-showa style blade


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#6 barnejp

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 04:23 AM

Thank you.

 

To add potentially more confusion. I read that after the war there was an exhibition in Japan that only featured Koa isshin blades and excluded the tsukuru kore blades for some reason...Does any member know why?


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#7 Bruce Pennington

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 05:34 AM

Greg,

I still don't know who or what "Tsukuro" is?!



#8 barnejp

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 06:05 AM

Hi Bruce,

 

Tsukuru kore..= made this

 

Kitae =forging (smithing)

 

Mantetsu = Mantetsu

 

This blade was made by forging by Mantetsu


Greg

#9 PNSSHOGUN

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 08:53 AM

I doubt it, from all we seem to know Mantetsu swords were all made in the same way.

 

Beyond cutting one in sections or new information we simply don't know if there was a real difference.

 

This example from ohmura states the different signatures are just that, different signatures used for different times of production.

 

 

20506.jpg

The blade Tang before March, 1939.
Mei: The trademark of a S.M.R
Uramei: Spring. 1938
Manufacture number: C 30

  20507.jpg

The blade Tang after March, 1939.
Mei: Koa Issiin Mantetsu Kore o Tsukuru
Uramei: Spring. 1941
Manufacture number: Ka 236 20508.jpg

The blade Tang after March, 1943.
Mei: "Nan"  Mantetsu Kore o Tanzō
Uramei: Spring. 1943
Manufacture number: Hi 226

http://ohmura-study.net/913.html


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#10 Bruce Pennington

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 11:32 AM

Thanks guys! I agree with John - I doubt Mantetsu would put their name on a blade that wasn't made their way.

#11 Dave R

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 10:16 PM

.

 Once upon a time Mantetsu blades were thought to be the ones made of obsolete rail-track, but I think that theory is now debunked.... Though such swords are on record as made at Seki and in occupied Beijing.

 

Hamfish. I got very interested in the railway track story, and did some digging. The trouble is it seems to get contentious very quickly when they are mentioned, and discussion rapidly descends into argument. I am in fact looking for  such  a blade to collect, but I want it documented or otherwise confirmed. They would be one hell of a cutter.

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  • old rails.jpg

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#12 Hamfish

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 11:42 PM

Morning Dave, over the years I have found that these type of low production, almost experimental methods of making swords in the early times didn't get much respect or documentation,

 

all I could find is small snippets of info, that have been translated. the book I mention above is the only published reliable information.

I wish you luck with your research, I have no time now due to family commitments

 

if you get really ambitious, theres is a very rare "combination sword" made about the time of the russo war.

its a cross of a dress sword but with a real blade inside, how or what is made from I never found out.

 

regards H    


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#13 barnejp

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 01:14 AM

I also heard that a Koa Isshin Mantetsu Saku made in 1943 incorporated some degree of "foreign steel"  likely from Sweden. Whereas a Mantetsu Kitae Tsukuru Kore made in 1943 was made with 100% Manchurian steel.  Looking forward to any comments on this. Thank you


Greg

#14 barnejp

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 01:41 AM

Hi Dave,

 

Regarding using rail tracks for making Mantetsu, from my sources, you are completely correct. The Japanese never used rail tracks to make blades.

 

The Japanese did do sample tests on the purity of the tracks, and realized it's superior qualities compared to tamahagane.

 

Makes sense when you think about it. Why would the Japanese Imperial Army tear up rail tracks when they needed the rail lines to expand their control over the region.


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#15 PNSSHOGUN

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 12:26 PM

I think the confusion comes from the term "Railway Steel" which has been used and misinterpreted over the years to be railway tracks. I know in the early days of Paul Chen swords they used this railway steel and most people thought it was literally old railway tracks.

Manchurian railway whispers if you will!

John


#16 Bruno

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 11:47 AM

I don't believe there's a difference between Koa isshin blades with kore or saku on their nakago, just a different way to sign. All these blades I have seen were quite homogenous in quality and all of very good quality.

 

I have seen ( on photos) one or two with inscriptions a bit cruder so maybe some very late ones were slightly less well made.


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#17 Jean

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 03:25 PM

Splendid blades... I have seen some of them, very functionnal, well made even if not traditionnaly made nothing to do with gunto ...
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#18 Bruno

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 05:01 PM

You are right Jean.

 

One thing always I always find curious is the style of their inscriptions. It's like they were all cut by the same person, which I don't think it is the case regarding the number of them forged. I mean every amateur will recognize at first glance a Koa Isshin nakago even if he does not read Japanese. 

 

When one sees the huge difference of mei/nengo styles cut on WW2 blades (just look at Rich Stein's oshigata page), I find strange Koa Ishhin blades have all these inscriptions such homogenous, almost no variations.


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#19 Dave R

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 09:43 PM

 However they were made, they certainly seem to have been a very desirable sword... 

http://www.ryujinswo...m/koaisshin.htm


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#20 Lance

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 01:53 AM

I don't see any reasons that would preclude a profesional mei cutter or "head smith" from doing the signatures on all those Koa Isshin Mantetsu. A paralell can be seen with Seki Amahide's son (don't recall his name but he's listed in John Slough's book) usually credited as cuting mei on swords witin their factory and other Seki factories that made Showto.
I don't remember seeing any info on exactly who was hired to make and oversee swordmaking for the railway company, but it does seem reasonable to use that as an avenue to discover who did the nakago work?
Regards,
Lance
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#21 Bruce Pennington

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 02:44 AM

I doubt it, from all we seem to know Mantetsu swords were all made in the same way.

Beyond cutting one in sections or new information we simply don't know if there was a real difference.

This example from ohmura states the different signatures are just that, different signatures used for different times of production.



http://ohmura-study.net/913.html

After re-reading Ohmura-san's page, it seems he is claiming that the difference in nakago inscriptions were simply changed at March 1943. No change in manufacuture is discussed or implied:

The blade Tang AFTER MARCH 1943 (caps added for emphasis).
Mei: "Nan" Mantetsu Kore o Tanzō
Uramei: Spring. 1943
Manufacture number: Hi 226

I'd never caught that before, thanks!
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#22 Bruno

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 11:00 PM

 I agree with Bruce, there is no difference in quality or making I am aware of between those with "SAKU" or "TSUKURU KORE", only a different way to sign.


Bruno Herrmann




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