Hi all, Merry Christmas!
Just to add some spice to Christmas I thought I'd take a post by Raymond Singer ('Show Us Your High Class Gunto' page 6 post #180 in Mil. Swords of Japan page), and maybe expand on it.
Ray shows us pictures of a favourite sword of his (sorry, I don;t know how to link to it).
It is a signed shinto? blade in Type 98 mounts on which all parts, including the habaki are numbered in kanji or western numbers. It has quality type 98 fittings including a sukashi tsuba, 8 seppa and a mon. Even the tsuka is numbered in ink..
Well, I have one identical...even has a mon...although mine is mumei and probably is a late shinshinto blade or early Meiji copy of a mumei osuriage Momoyama Mino-den blade:
Mine is also top quality Type 98 mounts with sukashi tsuba and 8 seppa and has all parts numbered in kanji numbers 0314 with habaki (like Ray's,) marked in western numbers. My tsuka mouth is marked in black ink with its number and also a word? in katakana which I can't make out. The side of the tsuka (at mouth) is marked in red ink '30 something'. It also has the Japanese number repeated on the aluminium scabbard under the saya-guchi. So...essentially identical to Rays also in that both have pre-Showa blades and both have been mounted to the same high standard.
I think it is interesting that both blades and mounts conform to an identical standard...this makes me think that maybe Ray and I have both chanced upon swords that are part of a 'distinct ' group? What makes me think this is the uniformity of the blade types, and the uniformity of the fittings and their markings. I wonder if it is possible that Ray and I have acquired swords puchased from the public through the "Appeal" for civilian swords announced by the Army in Feb. 1942 as discovered by Nick Komiya and mentioned in his recent 'War Relics' post on
This document states that the Army would purchase blades as short as 54.5 cm (mine is 59 cm).
I was wondering if this is worth a discussion? Maybe some other members have swords/fittings/markings that show a "pattern" here?