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  1. Sooner or later is was bound to happen! A 37th series army contract Mantetsu with serial number 1. It was found in The Oshigata Book by F&G. Nakago Mune: サ 一. Nakago Obverse: 昭和癸未春 with possible M inspection mark. Nakago Reverse: 満鐵鍛造之 with 南 inspection mark. Mekugi-ana: 1.
  2. I have updated the bibliography and it can be found at the link below. Bibliography of Japanese Modern Edged Weapons, 1868-1945
  3. Below is a chronological listing of books about modern Japanese edged weapons from 1868 to 1945 published after 1945. (This thread is an update of a previous one called Bibliography of Modern Edged Weapons, 1868-1945.) I would like to give thanks to BangBangSan (Trystan) for providing the information about Chinese language books. Any comments, corrections, or additions welcomed, either publicly or privately. Inami Hakusui 伊波・白水. Nippon-tō: The Japanese Sword. Tokyo: Japan Sword Co., Ltd., 1948. Yumoto, John M. The Samurai Sword: A Handbook. Tuttle Publishing, 1958. Robinson, B. W. The Arts of the Japanese Sword. London: Faber and Faber, 1961. Ōno Tadashi 大野・正. Gendai tōkō meikan 現代刀工銘鑑 [Encyclopedia of Modern Swordsmiths]. Kōgei shuppan 光芸出版, 1971. Index https://www.japaneseswordindex.com/gtmindex.htm. Gregory, R. Japanese Military Swords. 1971. Gendaitō meisaku zukan 現代刀名作図鑑 [An Illustrated Book of Modern Sword Masterpieces]. Satō Kanzan kanshū 佐藤・寒山 監修 [Editorial supervison by Satō Kanzan]. Tōken shunjū shinbun-sha 刀剣春秋新聞社, 1977. Index https://www.japaneseswordindex.com/gmzindex.htm. Ōno Tadashi 大野・正. Gendai tōkō・kinkō・shokkata sōran 現代刀工・金工・職方総覧. [A General Survey of Modern Swordsmiths, Metalworkers, and Artisans]. Seiun shoin 青雲書院, 1977. Gregory, R., and R. Fuller. A Guide to Showa Swordsmiths: With 106 Oshigatas. 1978. Murakami Kōsuke 村上・孝介. Shōwa tōken meibutsu chō 昭和刀剣名物帳 [Catalogue of Noted Japanese Swords of the Shōwa Period] Tōkyō 東京: Yūzankaku shuppan 雄山閣出版, 1979. Fuller, Richard, and Ron Gregory. Swordsmiths of Japan, 1926–1945. 1983. Fuller, Richard, and Ron Gregory. The Oshigata Book. 1985. Fuller, Richard, and Ron Gregory. Military Swords of Japan, 1868–1945. London, GB: Arms and Armour, 1986. Johnson, Larry. Japanese Bayonets: The Definitive Work on Japanese Bayonets, 1870 to the Present. Broken Arrow, Okla.: Cedar Ridge Publications, 1988. Miyazaki Masa[o] 宮崎・昌幸. Imperial Japanese Daggers, 1883–1945. 1980s. [During the 1980s, Masa handed this booklet out to collectors to show them the dirks that he was interested in.] Imai Akio 今井・昭夫and Ikemori Masato 池森・正人. Nihon no gun'yō tōken 1868-1945nen 日本の軍用刀剣1868-1945年 [Japanese Military Used Swords, 1868–1945]. Army edition 陸軍編. 2 volumes. Zennihon gunsō kenkyū-kai 全日本軍装研究会, 1990. Shindō Susumu 進藤・進. Nihon guntō zuroku 日本軍刀図録 [Illustrated Book of Japanese Military Swords]. 2 volumes. Zennihon gunsō kenkyū-kai 全日本軍装研究会, 1991. Volume 1 第一巻: pages 1–161; Volume 2 第二巻: pages 162–319. Kishida, Tom トム・岸田. Yasukuni tōshō 靖国刀匠 [Yasukuni Swordsmiths]. Tōkyō 東京: 1994. Tsutsumi Akira 堤・章. Guntō kumiai shimatsu: Rikugun jumei tōshō no shūhen 軍刀組合始末: 陸軍受命刀匠の周辺. Aizu bunkazai chōsa kenkyūkai 会津文化財調査研究会, 1994. Dawson, Jim. Swords of Imperial Japan, 1868–1945. Newnan, Ga.: Stenger-Scott Publishing, 1996. Fuller, Richard, and Ron Gregory. Japanese Military and Civil Swords and Dirks. Charlottesville, Va.: Howell Press, 1997. Kishida, Tom トム・岸田. Yasukuni-tō: Dentō to bi no kyokuchi 靖国刀: 伝統と美の極致 [Yasukuni Swords: Tradition and Ideal Beauty]. Tōkyō 東京: Yūzankaku shuppan 雄山閣出版, 1998. Kurihara Hikosaburō Akihide zenkiroku: Nihontō o nido yomigaeraseta otoko 栗原彦三郎昭秀全記録: 日本刀を二度蘇らせた男 [A Complete Record of the Life of Kurihara Hikosaburō Akihide: The Man Who Saved Japanese Swords Twice]. Kurihara Hikosaburō denki kankō-kai 栗原彦三郎伝記刊行会, 2000. Wallinga, Herman A. Gendaito Made at the Minatogawa Shrine. 2000. [35 pages.] Slough, John Scott. An Oshigata Book of Modern Japanese Swordsmiths, 1868–1945. Rivanna River Company, 2001. Fimio, Frederick A. Swords and Swordsmiths of the Gendai Period, 1868–1989. Edited by Jane Nittolo. Barrie, Canada: The Japanese Sword Society of Canada, 2002. Kapp, Leon, Hiroko Kapp, and Yoshindo Yoshihara. Modern Japanese Swords and Swordsmiths: From 1868 to the Present. Tokyo: Kodansha International, 2002. Kishida, Tom. The Yasukuni Swords: Rare Weapons of Japan, 1933–1945. Translated by Kenji Mishina. Tokyo: Kodansha International, 2004. Dawson, Jim. Swords of Imperial Japan, 1868–1945. Cyclopedia ed. Newnan, Ga.: Stenger-Scott Publishing, 2007. LaBar, Raymond C. Bayonets of Japan: A Comprehensive Reference on Japanese Bayonets. Tunnel Hill, GA: RAYMAR, 2008. Banks, Ken. Japanese Pattern Dirks: The Banks Collection. Zor’s Military Antiques, 2011. Xu Yao Hua 许耀华. Ri Ben Dao Chuan Qi 日本刀传奇 [The Legend of Japanese Sword]. 航空工业出版社 Aviation Industry Press, 2012. Chinese language 中文. Fuller, Richard. Japanese Sword Surrender Tags, 103 Fully Translated: Plus Retention Certificates & Surrender Letters. Dreadnought Publishing Co., 2014. Kapp, Leon, Hiroko Kapp, and Leo Monson. Modern Japanese Swords: The Beginning of the Gendaito Era. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015. Wang Hui 王・辉. Ri Ben Leng Re 日本冷刃 [Japanese Cold Steel]. Shan Dong Mei Shu Chu Ban She 山东美术出版社, 2016. Chinese language 中文. Bowen, Chris. The Kato Smiths of Meguro, Tokyo: Taisho to the Present – Excellence in Obscurity. 2017. Ohmura Tomoyuki 大村・紀征. Shinsetsu tatakau Nihontō 真説 戦う日本刀 [True Theory, Japanese Fighting Sword:]. BAB Japan, 2019. The End.
  4. I ran across some pictures of a Jinsen Pattern 7 sword, which is the same type of sword pictured above, while going through my files. What was different about these pictures is that the owner removed the wooden grips and took some pictures of the nakago. Unfortunately, the pictures were printed on copy machine paper and thus the quality is somewhat lower than to be expected. Below are the details of the nakago markings. The reverse of the nakago is stamped with the number 1551. The obverse of the nakago is stamped twice with the inspection mark ヘ. In addition, the obverse side of the scabbard below the hanger is hand carved with the following inscription. WW2 N. Korea '45 I know of one other Jinsen made sword, a Pattern 8, which has a nakago serial number and it can be seen at the link below. Questions about "late war", NCO swords
  5. Thank you for the link. Two of them were new additions. The blade tip seems thickened on ム 五五五. Is this correct? It is an early army contract blade with two M inspection stamps. It looks to have a 東 stamp on the kabutogane. If so, this is the earliest Mantetsu with this marking feature. http://kajiyahiroshi.com/nihonto/gunto/ka311202/token-ka311202.html Edit: It seems this is a common feature on Mantetsu blades.
  6. This seems to apply to private messages as well. Is that correct?
  7. Some, but not all, of the 兼正 (Kanemasa) made swords have Arabic numerals stamped beneath the date. In some cases, this consists of two rows of numbers such as illustrated below. 5 95 The example above would be rendered as 5/95 in text. My initial thoughts was that these numerals were a sequential serial number starting at 1. However, upon charting the swords out in chronological order, this did not appear to be the case. The only order that appears is that the swords with the same number on the first row, seem to have the second number increase on swords made later on. I am thinking it is possible that these numerals could have been applied sometime after production. One such possibility that comes to mind would be some type of unit inventory number. However, I have no evidence to support such an assumption. As always, comments welcomed on this conundrum.
  8. And another potential company logo can been seen in the fourth picture via a post by Stegel. Meiji Era Enlisted Sword
  9. And also in the beginning as well. It was during the time frame of May 1939 to May 1945 that the lower ranks were prohibited from wearing non-regulation swords. https://www.warrelics.eu/forum/f216/short-development-history-type-95-gunto-676112-post1751561/#post1751561
  10. Barry, if time permits, can you measure the height in millimeters of your Seki stamp? As an aside, Type 100s were required to be inspected per regulations and the early ones were traditionally made.
  11. Prince Chibata's gunto practice sword
  12. More than likely, your sword is a 造兵刀 (arsenal sword). The Tōkyō 1st Army Arsenal did make this type of sword during the war. Check the top of the tang (nakago mune) for markings.
  13. Sakaida, Henry. “Comment on Article ‘Gunso-Gunto’.” Banzai 129 (January 1993): 10.
  14. The 東 inspection mark was introduced in 1932 and continued in use until the end of the war. It is the final inspection mark used by the Tōkyō Arsenal and the later reincarnation into the Tōkyō 1st Army Arsenal. It does show up on officer's swords from time to time. Below is a link to one such 東 stamp. https://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/5999-arsenal-stamps/?do=findComment&comment=60340
  15. With the help of BangBangSan, a Chinese book can be added to the bibliography. Wang Hui 王・辉. Ri Ben Leng Re 日本冷刃 [Japanese Cold Steel]. Shan Dong Mei Shu Chu Ban She 山东美术出版社, 2016. Chinese language.
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