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george trotter

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About george trotter

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    Sai Jo Saku

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  1. Interesting info Dave. I'm sure Bruce likes a marking challenge haha... Yes, I would get someone competent to re-build the head and then re-shape and re-slot. I say this as the thread is (I think) unique, and best to keep the screw if possible. Again, yes, the top screw is often longer than the rear screw. Have fun and look after it...now 80 years since it was made. Regards,
  2. Hi, There has been some comment on the possibility of this smith Munetoshi making non-traditional swords (showato). I think this definitely did not happen! Your smith was Yamagami Wakakichi (Munetoshi). He was born 27 Dec. 1902. He and his brother Akihisa were both trained under the famous Kasama Shigetsugu in Tokyo and then set up a forge together back in Niigata and made quality swords for army officers. Munetoshi used a different character for 'mune' (the one seen on your sword) after he became an RJT smith for the army. A little mystery for me is that your sword has no RJT star stamp (you say) but he is using his 'new' name character...I have only ever seen it with a star. Bruce Pennington and I have been trying to "unravel' the mystery of the 'matsu' stamp etc used by the Yamagami brothers, but no luck yet...and your later used mune character and no star messes things up more. I have 2 swords by Munetoshi...one is Type 98 mounts with original mune name charcter and one is identical to yours, but with star. Both brothers returned to swordmaking after the war. If you want to check out the details of the two signatures/mountings/stamps etc on both my Munetoshi blades, you can download my little article on the NMB index page (top) called 'Trotter Collection' ...check out swords #3 and #6. You have got a good hand-made WWII sword there...just gently oil the blade...try to gently 'stabilise' the mounting wear, and enjoy forever!. Regards,
  3. OK thanks. Yes a good point. Over the years I have done this test on a lot of tsuba that I KNOW are either forged and cast and the resulting 'ring' or 'thud' was consistent with this. Of course there may always be "variations"...which I can't explain....it is always up to the member to use or not use this test. Regards,
  4. Tsuba looks OK to me Bruce but I'm not an expert. Can't say if the kanji are cut or cast. To test if tsuba is cast, hold tsuba lightly (horizontal) with your first finger and thumb on the nakago hole and 'flick' the edge of the tsuba with your other hand. If there is a fine ring it is forged, if a dull thud, it is cast...then nothing is legit. Let us know,
  5. Oh, didn't think show you my mon...One I no longer have, 2 have been ripped off...this is the only one ...this is on a mumei shin-shinto/early gendaito in Type 98.
  6. Hi John, As you say...so many variables, but maybe this will help. 2 old blades in Type 98 mounts (mon = 2) 9 gendai 1926-1945 blades as follows: 4 in Type 98 mounts (mon = 2,, both missing) 5 in Type Rinji mounts (mon = nil). 1 Type 98 'spare part' kabuto gane with mon. It is a strange thing but I have seen MANY Meiji-Taisho arsenal type brass hilted sabres with mon but very few 1940-1945 showato with mon...maybe the lack of mon shows that 1937-1945 officers were mostly 'called-up' for service and were not "traditional" army-alligned young men whereas back in Maiji-Taisho it was a "profession/brotherhood" one went in to and absorbed all the pride and thus needed to show one's family/clan etc to like-minded colleagues? Maybe in WWII those officers who had the money to have a blade hand-made and mounted would be more likely to add a mon. Regards,
  7. Well there you go...so I wasn't dreaming. Thanks Bruce...you are on the ball as usual.
  8. Nice sword David, I have one by him in the same mounts (no leather cover) with star stamp. Mine is 7 months after yours being date 18/5 (May 1943) and matsu in a circle stamp is number 1080. BTW (for our US friends) Milne Bay in PNG was one hell of a battle (25 Aug-7 Sept 1942) and the Aussies stopped the Japanese there...didn't stop the war, but drastically weakened the Japanese army in PNG. Going by the date on your sword David (17/10 = Oct 1942) your friend's dad (while being a medic at Milne Bay himself) probably got the sword some time later, at one of the later battles/surrender. Great stuff, Regards,
  9. Bruce san, I recall seeing a Type 98 gunto (signed Kaneuji?/Masauji?) a few decades ago...with a kikusui engraved on the BLADE, about 1 inch forward of the habaki. If my ancient memory is not confused, the hamon was Mt fuji appearing through the clouds, again, just in front of the habaki. So long ago, may have been 2 different swords...but just thought you should know the kikusui has been seen on a showato? blade. Regards,
  10. Oh, I see the top writing has been torn off...too bad, I agree the name appears to be MATSUURA YASU ?. Regards,
  11. Looks like a Kyu Gunto tassel. Also, show us the writing at the top portion of the tag...might help us figure it out. Regards,
  12. Yes, as you say Bruce, too early to tell. I have to say that since I put that Yamagami numbers list together, I have seen numbers on other tangs, and am now wondering if they really are smith numbers. I say this as my Tsukamoto Masakazu tang dated 17/4 (Apr. 1942) is numbered 1129 (and all parts)...so the question arises, how can Masakazu (later in 1942 a RJT smith) who only "graduated" from his brother Okimasa's sword training forge in Setagaya, Tokyo, in about mid-1941, have moved to Fukushima, set up his own forge, and produced his 1129th sword in April 1942? (that would be close to 100 swords/month). An excellent Japanese source on RJT smiths I got from Morita sama and Chris Bowen sensei says that in the 6 months 14 Aug. 1944 - 26 Feb 1945 Masakazu made 97 RJT swords (about 16/month), so the number 1129 (100/month when he was a private smith) must be "just a number"?. Maybe it is a contract number between smith and mounting shop (just a number in amongst all their other customer numbers?)...maybe it is just mounting shop number to keep all the parts from getting mixed up with other swords? I just am not sure. Again, with the Yamagami brothers, that MATSU in a circle stamp is local to Niigata (so far only them)...but is it (and the number) theirs or their local mounting shop? So, I hope I haven't confused everyone...I know you like mysteries Bruce...this is a beauty!...hope I don't read about a Japanese Sword Collector going crazy in the US in the near future!!!! Regards,
  13. Not sure if I'm helping Bruce, but knowing you are a good detective, I have some info on the tang-mune numbers that appear on swords in those high class Rinji mounts (which I think, from those I have seen, come only from the Kyoto/Osaka/Hyogo area). I have seen (now with this Tomonari) as follows: Endo Tomonari Hyogo Star 19/7 mune = 24 Takashima Kunihide Kyoto Star 19/8 mune = 90 (papered NBTHK 1991 Hozon) Takashima Kunihide Kyoto Star 19/8 mune = 98 (mine - photo attached) Takashima Kunihide Kyoto Star 19/8 mune = 99 These are from research on Kunihide...there are others I didn't think to record...one named to Osaka. Exactly where the mounting shop/chain of shops who used these mounts and marked the mune was located...well...wish I knew. Regards
  14. Well, looks like we can expect to find just about every variation possible in the RS group (probably lots more variations we haven't seen yet). Maybe best to just take them as they come and not try to "invent" an explanation for these variations. War-time, lots of pressure, supply problems etc, etc. Just make something that works...hyaku, hyaku... Thanks guys,
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