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george trotter

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    Fremantle Western Australia
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  1. Hi Thomas, Yes, it is a bit of a mystery why no-one has found a document that shows this list...this might be a request to put to Bruce Pennington to ask his friend and researcher Nick Komiya of War Relics? Hope you have success...I'd like to see it. Regards,
  2. Hi Thomas, About the Nihonto Meikan by Homma and Ishii, yes I have a copy and no...as far as I have seen there is no distinct Meobo list included...but from reading it I can tell you that (I think) ALL RJT are mentioned...you just have to go through it - only 1226 pages with about 25 smith details on each. I seem to remember Chris Bowen saying long ago that "someone" should go through it and do that...list them all...(I pretended not to hear him ha ha). Regards,
  3. Hi Bruce, No star tamp or any stamps on Seisui. Regards,
  4. Have to say yes, I agree with Chris on the fact that many RJT smiths simply made non-star blades privately because they made a bigger profit. We don't know where/how they got the tamahagane, but MAYBE, the army was happy to sell it direct to them as it still covered their production cost and it still produced one more gendaito sword for the war effort. just thinking out loud. Once again Bruce, thanks for your efforts on marks and numbers...all good info to us RJT collectors (and other good WWII use gendaito). Regards,
  5. I agree with you...as the matsu stamp is only seen on Yamagami smith tangs I think it must be a mark restricted to them alone. Whether it is their sign that they only used "first grade matsu iron" is unproven, but in the absence of its use by other smiths or any sign of the other iron grades being marked...I'd say Yamagami brother's mark...possibly (probably) advertising their use of matsu grade iron...so well spotted Bruce (assuming this is correct...if not correct, Bruce is being a naughty boy again!). Hope this helps, not sure, maybe....(my head is hurting again Bruce).
  6. Hi Bruce, Yes, I agree. There are probably various details in RJT sword production and in RJT smith private sword production we are not currently aware of....but, I think it is safe to say that RJT/star blades are tamahagane/pine charcoal blades and the star stamp is good and reliable indicator or this. I also think it safe to say (although there are bound to be certain factors we don't yet know) that good gendaito made by RJT smiths after they became RJT smiths but not having a star stamp are 99.999% likely to be tamahagane/pine charcoal blades. We just don't know the details of the supply system etc. It is obvious we need a Japanese researcher to write a book on the system and the smiths. On the point Chris makes about arsenal smiths having and not having a star....I think I remember seeing arsenal gendaito with a star but no date ), so that also should contradict the RJT rules. I think some of these Arsenal "anomalies" are likely to be blades that were made when the system was being established...made before mid/late 1941 when the RJT scheme was officially announced and started and the regional smiths recruited to it. So in this circle also there are 'discrepancies that need looking at...BUT, the most important standard to adhere to in investigating all these aspects of RJT blades is "look at the blade - the quality. That is what answers the most important question. The rest of these are "just" interesting history details...lots of fun though! (I also seem to remember undated? examples from Osaka arsenal ). Regards,
  7. Hi Bruce, Just came back to have a look at all the input from members...nothing! Must be some knowledge out there....?
  8. That's interesting Bruce. Was the matsu stamp used by the Yamagami brothers to "advertise" their RJT swords as being made of "matsu" grade tamahagane...could be. I only just read this here and you've already got me wondering a few things... We know from Kishida's Yasukuni book p.92 that the Yasukuni tatara graded its output this way (also see photo of tamahagane in boxes on p.93), but, while I presume the RJT scheme which was managed by the same management as the Yasukunito, used the same grading system, it would be good to have some confirmation. If the RJT scheme did grade the same, why didn't the RJT scheme put the stamp on other 'matsu' quality RJT swords? ....and why only matsu quality? Just had another idea on this point...unless the Army Officer Club sales counter staff who sold RJT swords to officers had a sign stating that these swords are "matsu quality tamahagane blades" - how would the officers know the meaning of the matsu stamp and if not...why bother putting it on? Another question is whether the Yamagami brothers put the stamp on? As the matsu stamp is only seen on Yamagami RJT blades it "suggests" that this is so. But as the RJT scheme handled the sales/advertising...why would they bother, or did they discuss some sales tactics with the Officer Club sales guys? So, you definitely raise a few questions here Bruce...(my head is starting to hurt). It will be interesting to see if members come up with any answers/opinions/evidence. I'm looking forward to them... Regards,
  9. Mal, Just finished reading your latest, Tokushima Tosho...excellent. Great research, great sources, another great resource from you and Sueko. We are all lucky to have you on NMB and in the sword world in general...I still smile when I have cause to look up your Mino book....if only I had a Tokushima blade also. The closest I can get is a LINK to neighbouring Kochi (Tosa) where 12 gen Kawashima Masahide taught my RJT Nakata Kanehide of Seki between 1928-1937 (gave him the 'hide' in his mei) - now Kochi would be another worthwhile project eh? eh? No, seriously, you are a great benefactor to the nihonto researcher. Thank you both, Reagards, George.
  10. Hi John, it says HOSHU JU FUJIWARA MASAYUKI Regards,
  11. Bruce, the book is a history of the RJT scheme in Fukushima prefecture and only lists the 10 RJT smiths working there. Regards,
  12. Thanks Brian...I thought a little "dragging together" of snippets from different books/sources would help...this RJT story is the same as so many others...the info is out there, it is just a matter of putting it together. Wish Nick Komiya or Kishida, or Yoshindo or Tsuchiko would write a book on this. Regards,
  13. I may or may not help here....but here goes... The goal of the Yasukunito scheme and the RJT scheme was the supplying of gendaito blades to officers and thereby building up a base of respect for traditional swords and swordmakers. The Yasukuni started in 1933 as a private enthusiast's project to make true gendaito for Army officers. It was started by sword experts and had 2 Army Generals on its guidance board. This leadership group were all of the Nihonto Tanren Kai (on site) and the rule structure was overseen by the Army (War Ministry). All Yasukuni smiths lived on-site and only got 2 days off per month. Each had 2 permanent hammermen. The Yasukuni had its tatara on-site. Each Yasukunitosho was thus able to make up to 15 swords per month. Inspection was very rigid. I don't know the details, but I presume all blades were polished/mounted in Tokyo. The management put a price on each blade according to its quality.. Swords were sold direct to officers (Kishida's book shows production lists with officer names next to the sword, with a price, so I think you could put in a personal order to Yasukuni) or buy through Army Officer Clubs? (tom Kishida 'Yasukuni Swords'). By 1941 demand for swords was rising, so the RJT sword scheme was started in late 1941...this scheme was intended to supplement/expand the production of the true gendaito coming our of the Yasukuni forge. The governance was also the Nihonto Tanren Kai and all work conformed to Army regulations. Details concerning their metal, dimensions, polish etc were all laid out in the doc (published 20 April 1942) that Bruce posted. Each established gendaitosho from all over Japan could apply to join the scheme (and the Nihonto Tanren Kai itself also if they wished...not all did so). Smiths sent examples of their work for inspection and those that were accepted became official RJT from (maybe) late 1941 or early 1942. The RJT had its own tatara built in Shimane Ken. Tamahagane was sent by rail/trucks all over Japan and prefectural governments supplied pine charcoal. Smiths were required to make at least 10 blades per month. These were polished locally, mounted locally and then sent to one of the 5 collection/inspection/arsenal centres allocated for the various regions . When inspected here, they were stamped with the star which indicated Army material content/property (it was not a "pass inspection" stamp but in practise, it WAS, as the Army would not put a material quality stamp on a faulty product of their making/issue which could then bring a law-suit against them if it "failed"). These "accepted" swords were then sold through the Army Officers Clubs. From this income, the Army paid the tatara costs, the charcoal costs, the transport costs, the smith costs, the polisher costs and the mounter costs. Any profit went back into the scheme. By 1945 there were several hundred RJT smiths working in their own forges all across Japan. As RJT were to make 10 swords per month instead of 15 like Yasukuni, I suppose it was because it was harder for regional smiths to get as many hammermen in regular attendance daily than the smiths at Yasukuni. . All swords from this scheme are true tamahagane gendaito.. Like the Yasukunito, all are "top-end" gendaito made for actual use on the battlefield. (Kapp & Yoshihara "Mod. Japanese Sw/smiths' PP.42-49 and PP.69-70:; Tsuchiko 'New Gen. Japanese Sw/smiths" p.161; based on NMB discussions and archive researched Nick Komiya post RIKUGUN JUMEI TOSHO (RJT) STAMPED BLADES - DOCUMENTATION? post #4 03-22-2021 on warrelics). NO STAMP RJT smith blades Here I have to speculate a bit....It must be remembered that all RJT swords are from start to finish, ARMY PROPERTY (until they are sold to officers). Each RJT smith had to return any sword or tamahagane that failed during forging as it was still army property. When the complete/finished swords came in to the various arsenals etc for inspection, they were already polished and mounted (but the smith may not have seen them in the polished state - not sure but probably not) the inspector went through them and stamped the good ones. There would certainly be some that had flaws that only showed up after polishing....these few would be those "RJT smith" blades we occasionally see without a star (I have seen one with a flaw/no star by Nakata Kanehide of Seki (2M postwar smith). These were probably sold cheap to an officer - don't know the system for sure. Those OTHER RJT smith blades in perfect condition seen with no star stamp are .probably just some of his private jobs...simple as that...I have 2, one undated the other longer that RJT standards...both good swords made privately by RJT smiths...no mystery. So, I hope this helps, Regards, Edit to add....no I don't know where the RJT smiths got their tamahagane for their private order jobs, but although difficult to get in WWII period, there was always some source. Maybe they could purchase small quantities for private work from their RJT supplier...I DO know that both my private order star-less blades are gendaito.
  14. Awww, shucks...thanks Michael, glad to help. Also, forgot to include the little anchor in a circle stamp above his stamp....I think it indicates the Toyokawa Naval arsenal/factory.
  15. I have seen a couple over the years also...all were like John's type. Regards
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