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Wooden Handled Type 95's


Shamsy
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Good morning all,

 

I think the topic of the markings of the wooden handled series could use discussion, particularly variants #2-4. It seems that the only hard and fast rule is that there are none. Jim Dawsons book seems to have understandably been based on a small sample of the swords, so I'm hoping members with these sword models will contribute here to assist our joint learning.

 

I'll start off with the features of my swords in right to left order;

 

Variant #2: Blade has serial number, the arsenal He mark and the second class arms mark. The 3 on the serial number is an over strike. The drag and fuchi both display the He stamp. Scabbard is, as far as I can tell, painted wood.

This is consistent with all other #2 I've seen.

 

Variant #4: Blade has serial number and the arsenal He mark. The 3 is not an over strike. Only the drag displays the He stamp. The scabbard looks like painted wood.

This is an oddity. The serial range falls before variant #2 above which suggests that these swords may have originally been produced alongside variant #2.

 

Variant #4.2: Blade has only the He mark. The rest of the sword is devoid of stamping. The scabbard is painted fabric over wood.

 

Variant #4.3: Blade has only the He mark, but it is on the other side of the blade to usual. The fuchi has a faint He stamp but not the drag. The scabbard is painted fabric over wood.

 

Variant #3: Blade has only the He mark, but it is on the other side of the blade again. There are no stamps on the rest of the sword. The scabbard is painted fabric over wood.

 

I hope there will be enough contributions to provide more insight into the production of these swords. Being late in the war and with what must have been a very hurried production schedule, the swords keep throwing up surprises and small contradictions to what I think I know. Very interesting subject.

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Shamsy,

 

You should get Stegel. He could probably run this thread out for several pages!!! I'm not educated on the variants of the late-war 95s, but from your pic, is it the metal ashi on the wooden saya that makes the 2 different than the "original?" I guess I have the original style, then. It has a Seki stamp by the serial number, and strangely, has multiple tiny seki stamps on the back edge of the nakago. Don't hate me for this, but I didn't see them until I cleaned the nakago! Here are some pics:

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Hi Bruce,

 

There are a few differences between #1 and #2. Number 2 has the wooden scabbard, but the blade is also cruder without the finish of #1. Additionally the handle wood is a different variety (can't tell you what exactly but the feel and sound are very different ). The handle is also a lot bigger in width and the fittings are cheaper and lighter steel/iron. The serial numbers are also a different font and punch which is a dead give away, and finally the markings and their placement are different. When you hold the two in comparison it's easy to feel and see the difference in construction and finish. I also have a #1 with the scarce wider tsuba indicative of the Sake arsenal. That allows a good comparison between the late war wooden swords.

 

It was good you did take it apart as I've never seen the wooden handle removed and had no idea that there were/could be markings underneath. I can't bring myself to do the same but perhaps I'll get a cheap example in poor condition to check myself one day.

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Gents,  Looking at this wooden handled job tonight.  Any impressions to share before I go see it.  I am not spun up on last ditch anything.

 

Best Regards,

   Bob

run its fake...   As for the rest Im quite excited to get some discussion going here. I own one uber late type.  The others are the earlier type.

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Gents,  Looking at this wooden handled job tonight.  Any impressions to share before I go see it.  I am not spun up on last ditch anything.

 

Best Regards,

   Bob

Bob, The "Gi" or Gifu stamp on the blade is a poor imitation. I've seen a few of these popping up lately. The imitators must have cranked out a bunch of these recently. The quality has gone up considerably on the gunto overall, but they are still getting some things wrong (luck for us!). The saya (scabbard) is early war style on a late-war blade - so wrong. Also the early war sayas never had the serial number stamped on the drag tip. Finally, the serial number is WAY too early for late-war gunto. The EARLIEST number I've seen is in the 155,000 range, and most are 200,000 and 300,000.

 

For a cheap (under $150) man-cave decoration, it's not bad, but don't buy it if you're collecting WWII collectables.

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Thanks guys!   I left before I got to read this board,  and I just got back from looking at it in person.

 

 

 

Passed on it. I also thought Chinese fake after handling it.   Lack of patina, rough grinding. Missing arsenal marks on fuchi. When I unscrewed the handle the nakago was unfinished ground down and a uneven mess. Pretty good blade copy however.  The scabbard was way light too. 

 

Too bad but it was only a  short drive and maybe he'll find a good one next time!

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I've basically not seen a wooden handled sword that we'll replicated before. Not a great development. Luckily the later war are so rare the Chinese can't get them.

 

I'd be keen to see your swords Wayne. I take it the late war you refer to is the black painted wooden handle version? The one with crude cross hatching?

 

I'm trying to get more examples posted so we have a working reference to benefit us all, so contribute if you can!

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Good topic Steve, as there is not much around on it to be found really.

I see you've finally completed your set and also have my numbered 'ito warp' version too!! ;-)

If i knew you were bidding on it i would of held back from my max bid....sorry.

 

Your intro covered the range quite well, if you want me to add more anything in particular let me know.

 

Bruce, that 'w' stamp is getting interesting, it just keeps showing up.

 

BTW- i've come across a chinese copy of the 1st version wooden handled type 95, and posted it on another forum, i'll look for the pics to include it here if you like.

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A Fake Wooden Handle type 95 (1st variant with steel scabbard), the best one i've come across, actually probably the only one! It's a good one for you guys to find the red flags on.

 

It would fool a lot of first time buyers with limited knowledge.

 

 

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I see you've finally completed your set and also have my numbered 'ito warp' version too!! ;-)

If i knew you were bidding on it i would of held back from my max bid....sorry.

Hi Stegel, all good, the seller was a stand up guy so I'm glad he got a good price for his sword. I'm confident I could get the same easily in a resell so I paid the right amount. I finally completed my base collection! I'm very happy, but the collecting flame still burns bright, to the distress of my bank.

 

Bruce, let's not be too specific on the details of how we spot these impressive fakes. I say impressive as at first glance I'd actually look at the listing before turning away. The brass tsuba aluminum handles have near perfect reproduction already so I suppose it was only a matter of time until they tried wooden ones.

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Bruce, let's not be too specific on the details of how we spot these impressive fakes. I say impressive as at first glance I'd actually look at the listing before turning away. The brass tsuba aluminum handles have near perfect reproduction already so I suppose it was only a matter of time until they tried wooden ones.

I see - don't give good intel to the bad guys! Never thought of that. I just thought Stegel was using it like a fun challenge game!

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Said it before....thinking that fakers read forums to find out how to fine tune their product is nonsense.

There are books with pics, and websites with pics, and if they want to, they can just buy a genuine one to copy. They make them cheap...they don't lose sleep over how to fine tune them.

Post all you like, it isn't going to change the end result one little bit.

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I was just looking over Bob's pictures and noticed that his pictures and the ones of the fake i posted are actually the SAME sword!

Guess they still haven't made too many others, or just keep using the same numbers to stamp.

Wow, good catch! The saya are different, so the blades probably are too! But the number stamp is identical, even to the pattern of the numbers.

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I am open to ideas, certainly the serial number looks identical, but it's possible they are using a fixed number and stamping multiple items with it. The ends of these saya look different to me if you ignore the numbers. The corners of the actual saya tip, not the drag, on the top are rounded, where the corners of the bottom one are squared off.

 

In fact, though, the number pattern on each is different. One is "up, down, up, up, up" where the other is "up, down, up, down, down."

 

Nope, not the same saya.

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  • 4 years later...

My grandfather was in ww2 in the Philippines, he was driving heavy equipment with a guard riding shotgun, a Japanese soldier was about to throw a grenade and the guard shot him and recovered the same sword, I don’t know much about it but I have the sword and would like to know it’s worth and history 

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1 hour ago, Cliff said:

My grandfather was in ww2 in the Philippines, he was driving heavy equipment with a guard riding shotgun, a Japanese soldier was about to throw a grenade and the guard shot him and recovered the same sword, I don’t know much about it but I have the sword and would like to know it’s worth and history 

Hi Cliff, I may be new to this hobby, but I already know that you should post some photos of your sword - the guys here will be wanting to see what you've got so they can provide their experience and insight to tell you what you've got. By the way, I own a 3rd version NCO sword ("Pineapple sword"), as well. 

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19 minutes ago, Kolekt-To said:

Hi Cliff, I may be new to this hobby, but I already know that you should post some photos of your sword - the guys here will be wanting to see what you've got so they can provide their experience and insight to tell you what you've got. By the way, I own a 3rd version NCO sword ("Pineapple sword"), as well. 

Of course, I will as soon as I get out of work, thanks

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44 minutes ago, Kiipu said:

Cliff, @Stegel and @Shamsy will need to look at this one.  It may be a bit of an anomaly.  I would normally expect to see a six-digit serial number and not a five-digit serial number on the blade.

It’s been put away for a very long time, it was taken off a Japanese soldier that tried to throw a grenade. I’m really glad I found this site for intel, been researching for days

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I would place a flat-edge metal ruler over the serial number location and see if you can see an indentation.  If need be, you can shine a light on the opposite side and it will become obvious right away if metal has been removed.  Just a thought until the real experts show up!

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32 minutes ago, Kiipu said:

I would place a flat-edge metal ruler over the serial number location and see if you can see an indentation.  If need be, you can shine a light on the opposite side and it will become obvious right away if metal has been removed.  Just a thought until the real experts show up!

Definitely no metal missing, really smooth and very sharp

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Waiting for Stegel & Shamsy on this.  In the meantime, I have seen poorly struck numbers and stamps.  This 212xxx is a normal serial number range for a late-war 95.  I think the last number was so lightly struck that it has sort of disappeared over time.  The saya number is really strange, though.

 

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