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metal tsuka under normal itoh for gendaito fittings?


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#1 kaigunair

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 10:06 PM

could be just a photo problem, but the tsuka appears to be made of medal? has any one seen something like this before? possibly a chinese fake with added "war damage"?

http://cgi.ebay.com/...=item43a80f14e3
-Junichi

#2 Malcolm

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 08:37 AM

Morning all

Many years ago I saw a Gunto Tsuka with metal fillets inserted under the Itomaki and Same.

The Dealer told me it was to strengthen it, whether they were added by the request of the Officer, or Field repairs I cannot say.

Recently Budogu - Ya in Japan are offering Saya on Live blades used for Iai, Batto & Tameshigiri fitted with a metal fillet and collet ring added under the Urushi, where the hand holds close to the Koiguchi.

Apparently it is to prevent accidental cut through on the drawing action....... :roll:

Cheers

Malcolm

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#3 george trotter

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 05:50 PM

Hi Junichi,
I too have seen a gunto Type 98 tsuka with metal plates under the same. I think I have even seen a WWII Japanese advertisement for this feature. It is not common at all, but some used it as the Type 98 tang length is a bit on the short side, with one hole, and the end of the tsuka was prone to break off in combat. This is one reason why the later Type 3 koshirae had the lengthened tang, two holes and usually hard lacquered ito...all to overcome the breakage problem.
Hope this helps.
George Trotter

#4 kaigunair

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 06:46 PM

george, great info as usual. Do you know if there was an official document recording the reasons for these changes? (I've seen similar documents regarding the early changes to the Nambu t-14 pistol to deal with manchurian winters.)

Regarding the type 3, I was wondering if the specs for the type of blade made were also revised sometime during the beginning of the war. Compared to my yasukunito's and minatos, blades mounted in type 3s are longer and "beefier". The examples I've seen are the gassan discussed in the other thread, but previously several nagamura and several emura blades. Before seeing my gassan, I thought it was just those two smiths who tended to make big, thick blades, but now I wonder if the allocated weight of steel was increased. Perhaps due to the winters in china or the rough jungle conditions, the blade specs themselves needed to be revised? of course, I know that custom ordered blades would be made to fit the order's specs, but I'm talking more about the general regs and specs issued by the army.

just a hypothesis right now, based on my limited experience...
-Junichi

#5 george trotter

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 02:12 PM

I think the tang length was specifically mentioned, and the two holes and the lacquered ito...don't know about the "beefiness" aspect though...have a look at Type 3 info on Ohmura...it has the specifications as announced (in Japanese I think). In the meantime I'll try to find that advert...in one of my Japanese books I think...which one?
George Trotter

#6 kaigunair

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 07:25 PM

Hey George, thanks for the reminder about Ohmura's site. I browsed that site in the past, but after your post, went over it in much more detail. Great stuff. Maybe its because more of it is translated than when I first came across it several years ago. Will spend more time in it, but the pages I found on the type 3 weren't as technical as some of his other pages.

Its exciting to reread his site now that I'm more interested in gendaito, and looking forward to any original material you can dig up.
-Junichi

#7 kaigunair

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 11:58 PM

well, stumbled across something on the type 3 in Japanese. it does specify weight, if I am reading this correctly:
一、刃渡りは二尺一寸、二尺二寸、二尺三寸の三種、重量は百九十五匁乃至二百廿五匁、
   また外装の型式は佩用、使用に便なる様「打刀造り」とし

Something about 195 匁乃至 or 225匁. Does any one know how this compares to the previous specs set for the standard blades used fro the type 94 or 98 army mounts? I believe the yasukunito's had a set length and weight range, but disremember it now...
-Junichi

#8 Malcolm

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 08:15 AM

Morning Junichi

The character 匁 is monme.

A monme is a Japanese unit of weight equal to approximately 3.75 grams.

So if my non existant maths is correct:

195 x 3.75 gives the 2.1 shaku blade weight of 731.25 grams and 225 x 3.75 gives the 2.3 blade weight of 843.75 grams.

I think.......... :doubt:

尺 Shaku approximately 30.3 cm, or 11.93 inches
寸 Sun approximately 3.030 cm, ~1.193 in


Cheers

Malcolm

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#9 george trotter

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 10:10 AM

The Army RJT (Rikugun Jumei Tosho) specifications re weight, length, style of blade was developed from battlefield experience and forging needs well before the intro of Type 3 mounts...in fact probably by 1941, with things "set" by 1942. Type 3 mounts came officially in 1943 (probably earlier also) and can be found on arsenal type gunto, traditionally made blades made by individual tosho, and on blades made traditionally within the army RJT sytem. Because of this the general specifications will be within the range of lengths and weights specified as the upper and lower limits already set by the army. Except for the arsenal blades (oil tempered) which seem to be uniformally heavy, the RJT weights are commensurate with the blade length and the independent makers' weights will be commensurate with their styles and customers' needs, so would vary more than the other two. The instructions and specifications for Type 3 mounting characteristics are the result of battle needs and tsuka strength also...not on availability of blade material...that is, the tamahagane weight is probably a consideration, but the strengthening characteristics of tang and tsuka are more important, as was simplification of the decorations of the mountings to end alloy use in metal fittings...this drove the change in koshirae style.
Below is a VERY small sample and is limited to individually produced blades rather than "arsenal" produced blades...I think arsenal nakago lengths might be even longer than the change shown below.
I have a type 98 gendaito RJT.....................blade 68.9 cm...nakago 21.2 cm...1 hole...tsuka length 25.0 cm...weight ? (longest blade length permitted).
I also have a type 3 gendaito, private make, blade 62.1 cm...nakago 20.0 cm...2 holes...tsuka length 25.5 cm...weight ? (although private, this conforms to the shortest blade length permitted).
It can be seen that the major change here is the tang/tsuka is noticeably longer in relation to the blade...this may vary greatly in the same class of blades. Tang lengthening/tsuka strengthening has been going on before type 3 intro as well... I have seen a number of type 98 blades in this class with long tangs, even two with the tassel loop screws as the second peg....so the type 3 mounts was probably a chance to "adjust" to the changes needed in tang length, number of holes, strengthened/lengthened tsuka and alloy fittings removal rather than tamahagane usage.
PS...I can't find the advert I saw for metal plates...but it does exist somewhere...an early attempt to solve the breaking tsuka problem.
George Trotter

#10 Dave R

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 11:20 PM

 I came across this old post while looking something up, and here's my "two pennyworth". A wrecked and stripped gunto tsuka, with the two iron/steel reinforcements mentioned above.... 

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#11 PNSSHOGUN

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 02:06 PM

Makes you wonder what kind of officer needed metal reinforcements due to using his sword that much.

 

I know in Manchuria it was common practice for many officers to kill Chinese prisoners regularly with their swords.


John


#12 obiwanknabbe

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 10:23 PM

My Mantetsu has metal reinforcements in the tsuka.. Discovered them when I had the handle re-wrapped. 

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#13 Bruce Pennington

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 10:34 PM

Wow, interesting!!!

#14 Dave R

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 02:45 PM

Makes you wonder what kind of officer needed metal reinforcements due to using his sword that much.

 

I know in Manchuria it was common practice for many officers to kill Chinese prisoners regularly with their swords.

 

More likely an officer who expected to use his sword in combat! The team that went out to China repairing swords there found that it was Saya and Tsuka that most often needed repair. Face it, having this happen in the field would mean "game over"!

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#15 Dave R

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 02:53 PM

My Mantetsu has metal reinforcements in the tsuka.. Discovered them when I had the handle re-wrapped. 

  

Were these under the Same or on top of it and under the Ito?

 

I have also seen references (might even be on this forum) to these re-enforces  turning up as retrofits to an old sword gone to war. Fragility does seem to have been a problem with them.

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#16 PNSSHOGUN

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 04:47 PM

More likely an officer who expected to use his sword in combat! The team that went out to China repairing swords there found that it was Saya and Tsuka that most often needed repair. Face it, having this happen in the field would mean "game over"!

 

http://www.zzwave.co...fess/spies.html

This is one of the few detailed and graphic accounts of extensive sword use by a Japanese officer I've found, it's not pretty but details quite well what a toll beheading multiple people takes on a sword.


John


#17 Bruce Pennington

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 06:29 PM

Wow Johh, thanks for the link! Sobering.
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