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Attention Mantetsu Owners: A Survey


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It would be helpful for me if the database could distinguish between what kana is being used [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kana]. Typically KATAKANA is written in UPPERCASE while hiragana is written in lowercase.  And yes, spellcheck is going to make your life miserable in MS Word!  No sooner than you type "TO" it will change to "To".  I wonder why they call it progress?

ト = TO

と = to

 

My reason for bringing this up is the following Mantetsu.  I guess they could not find a katakana TO stamp so decided to confound us with a hiragana one instead!

Post #67

http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/26165-attention-mantetsu-owners-a-survey/page-3?do=findComment&comment=271524

 

 

Thomas, Good idea about the upper/lower case for the katakana/hiragana. I checked the "To" blades and ALL of them are hiragana! I've corrected my chart to reflect this. I'm still traveling and my tablet Word doesn't have the links for the kanji. When I get home, I'll check on my laptop. It should have what you are describing. I'll also investigate whether there is a way to get the kanji through my tablet (Samsung/Android). I use it the most, so I'd rather find a way to do it on the tablet. If I can, I'll change all the english versions to kanji. I see no need to record them in English if I can record them more accurately in kanji.

 

 

The information is coming from the Ohmura website.  It matches exactly.  With that said, it would be interesting to find out what publication reprinted it.  Possibly a club newsletter or such.

http://ohmura-study.net/222.html

Bingo! Good eye on the Ohmura connection!

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 Thomas, Good idea about the upper/lower case for the katakana/hiragana. I checked the "To" blades and ALL of them are hiragana! I've corrected my chart to reflect this. I'm still traveling and my tablet Word doesn't have the links for the kanji. When I get home, I'll check on my laptop. It should have what you are describing. I'll also investigate whether there is a way to get the kanji through my tablet (Samsung/Android). I use it the most, so I'd rather find a way to do it on the tablet. If I can, I'll change all the english versions to kanji. I see no need to record them in English if I can record them more accurately in kanji.

 

 

Before proceeding, open a MS Word document and go to the HOME tab.  In the Font box, use the drop down menu and one will see all the fonts installed in alphabetical order.  Check and see if you have MS Mincho installed.    If so, you are good to go.  If not, you may need a Japanese language pack depending upon what version of MS Office/Windows you are using.  While you are at it, check and see if you have MS Gothic as it has kana as well.  There also other fonts available as well.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_CJK_fonts

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OK!!! Just finished charting out the numbers by the iroha system, and VIOLA! - they are in a logical order by year!!! I only posted the first number of each group to save space, though in '42 I posted 3 "Ya" numbers because it is the only kanji I have that goes through all 3 seasons (for some reason, I have no record of any numbers marked "summer").

 

If I could find Moritasan and Thomas I'd hug you both!

 

NEW CHART.pdf

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興亜一心刀にはシリアルナンバーが刻印されている。仮にイロハ47文字の1字づつと最大4桁迄の数字(9,999)での組み合わせは、47×9,999 = 469,953振となる。

[The koa ichishin sword has a serial number stamped on it. If the combination of one character of Iroha 47 characters and a number up to 4 digits (9,999) is 47 × 9,999 = 469,953 shake.]

 

Ohmura's website mentions that the serial numbers are in iroha order.  Just giving credit where credit is due. 

http://ohmura-study.net/222.html

 

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The above translation was generated by "Translator for Microsoft Edge.' For those using Microsoft Edge as their browser, you can learn more about it below.  With one mouse click, the entire web page is translated.  I use it all the time and think others will find it useful too.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/translator-for-microsoft-edge/9nblggh4n4n3?activetab=pivot:overviewtab

 

I also use "Google Translate" for cut and paste work when browsing.  I even use it sometimes when working with MS Office documents.  Sometimes it is easeir to look up the character by "Google Translate" and then cut and paste into MS Office.  Using the "Insert" function in MS Office can be a time consuming affair to say the least.

https://translate.google.com/

 

Enough said.

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That’s great news, thank you! I’m anxious to hear what it says. It’s very good to just know that it’s mentioned in a book.

 

It’s the first not 1945 Mantetsu blade I’ve seen.

 

Hi,
I got an old book.

 Konan-issei swords existed certainly.

This book is Japanese high school students memoirs in Manchuria under the wartime,not a sword book.

It was published in 1980. A very short description about this sword is written.

The students of a labor service by mobilization polished the swords in South Manchuria armory,Bunkanton(mukden).

Konan-Issei swords were manufactured in South Manchuria armory(南満造兵廠) in Bunkanton(文官屯)(mukden)
( nowadays: Wenkuantun,Shenyang city, Liaoning province, China).

post-137-0-73613300-1569200474_thumb.jpg

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Hi,

I got an old book.

Konan-issei swords existed certainly.

This book is Japanese high school students memoirs in Manchuria under the wartime,not a sword book.

It was published in 1980. A very short description about this sword is written.

The students of a labor service by mobilization polished the swords in South Manchuria armory,Bunkanton(mukden).

Konan-Issei swords were manufactured in South Manchuria armory(南満造兵廠) in Bunkanton(文官屯)(mukden)

( nowadays: Wenkuantun,Shenyang city, Liaoning province, China).

Oh My Gosh! What a significant find! It's amazing that you even found such a book.

 

So, this confirms that Mantetsu blades were being made in the Mukden armory, and that the Konan-essei slogan on blades was real. I backs up the actual blade we have, both in slogan and in serial number as as a faker would not have know that "I" was the katakana of 1945. By the span of serial numbers, it shows that many were made that year (at least 1189).

 

I have a question about the 1944 numbers: If I am reading them right, there are 5-digit numbers? Se 11596, 11151,11193, 11767, and the last one is confusing as it looks like 11(upside-down 2)15 or is it a poorly written 1135?

 

What do you make of the 4 and 5 digit numbers Morita-san? The highest output I've read about is 400 per month (4,800 blades per year), but with Nick Komiya's 1944 document ordering Mantetsu to produce 6,000 unfinished blades for the Tokyo arsenal, PLUS these very high serial numbers, it appears Mantetsu was making considerably more blades than 4,800 per year. What do you think? I've attached the document Nick Komiya found. It seems to say that there were 6,500 Koa Isshins to be produced in 1944 (5,500 unfinished blades to go to Tokyo arsenal). That would make the 5-digit numbers seem odd.

post-3487-0-90158300-1569243956_thumb.jpg

 

Sorry for so many questions! But why is it, do you think, that high school kids would have kept the serial numbers of the blades they polished? I don't doubt that they did, but why would they?

 

Thank you so much for the new info, this is fantastic!

 

PS: Another question- You said this confirms that Mukden was making Mantetsu blades. Does the book state that? Or were you infering that because the kids were polishing blades there? I ask because of the document Nick Komiya found ordering unfinished blades for the Tokyo factory to finish. If SMR was doing that for Tokyo, it is possible they were doing it for Mukden too. So it would be important to know, from the book, if they were saying that Mukden was making the blades, not just finishing them. Thank you again!

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You are assuming serials begin at 1.
It is common practice to hide how many of something are made by starting serials at an arbitrary number. Or start at a certain point. Maybe they started at 10,000? Also easy to stamp a number upside down accidentally. Number punches have that habit, so I expect it is an upside down 2.

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Bruce

Those numbers are :二五九六 2596,一二五一 1251,一二九三 1293,二七六七 2767,and 一二二五 1225.

Trystan

Oh My Gosh! What a significant find! It's amazing that you even found such a book.

So, this confirms that Mantetsu blades were being made in the Mukden armory, and that the Konan-essei slogan on blades was real. I backs up the actual blade we have, both in slogan and in serial number as as a faker would not have know that "I" was the katakana of 1945. By the span of serial numbers, it shows that many were made that year (at least 1189).

I have a question about the 1944 numbers: If I am reading them right, there are 5-digit numbers? Se 11596, 11151,11193, 11767, and the last one is confusing as it looks like 11(upside-down 2)15 or is it a poorly written 1135?

What do you make of the 4 and 5 digit numbers Morita-san? The highest output I've read about is 400 per month (4,800 blades per year), but with Nick Komiya's 1944 document ordering Mantetsu to produce 6,000 unfinished blades for the Tokyo arsenal, PLUS these very high serial numbers, it appears Mantetsu was making considerably more blades than 4,800 per year. What do you think? I've attached the document Nick Komiya found. It seems to say that there were 6,500 Koa Isshins to be produced in 1944 (5,500 unfinished blades to go to Tokyo arsenal). That would make the 5-digit numbers seem odd.
attachicon.gifvolume.jpg

Sorry for so many questions! But why is it, do you think, that high school kids would have kept the serial numbers of the blades they polished? I don't doubt that they did, but why would they?

Thank you so much for the new info, this is fantastic!

PS: Another question- You said this confirms that Mukden was making Mantetsu blades. Does the book state that? Or were you infering that because the kids were polishing blades there? I ask because of the document Nick Komiya found ordering unfinished blades for the Tokyo factory to finish. If SMR was doing that for Tokyo, it is possible they were doing it for Mukden too. So it would be important to know, from the book, if they were saying that Mukden was making the blades, not just finishing them. Thank you again!

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I would still like to hear Morita-san's thoughts on why the school kids kept records of the serial numbers they polished, and a clarification as to how certain we are the blades were actually produced at Mukden.

 

I've attached the updated document (4.0) which includes these new numbers and I've attached the chart showing the serial number flow using the iroha method.

 

mantetsu serial numbers (1).pdf

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello Bruce,

First of all, thank you for launching this toppic, it has turned out a goldmine of information. So here is my late and humble contribution to this study.

I have 2 mantetsu blades. Both not ‘koa isshin’.

Both are dated ‘43. Both Spring, who would have guessed? :-)

Both have the ‘nan’ stamp and looks like the ‘w’ stamp on the bottom.

One is numbered 337 and the other is 567. The character in front, I’m not to sure. Maybe ‘te’?

 

Edward S had a spring ‘43 numbered 505. Should be right between mine. Could his character be the same? He told he couldn’t figure out the 3 scratches... maybe this can help.

 

Also one of both has the matching seppa numbers stamped on the tang right above the ‘w’ stamp. The other one has not. The one without has a nicer open tsuba whereas the other one has a classic closed one. Could it be that the standard ones were assembled in the plant where others were not?

Anyhow. Hope they fit in your inventory.

 

Thanks for the great work!

 

Denis

post-5059-0-58417600-1571578329_thumb.jpeg

post-5059-0-58448500-1571578357_thumb.jpeg

post-5059-0-88882200-1571578393_thumb.jpeg

post-5059-0-25859800-1571578413_thumb.jpeg

post-5059-0-70682300-1571578437_thumb.jpeg

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Denis,

 

Thanks for the new blade numbers! Both yours are definitely "Te"post-3487-0-13359600-1571584783.jpg

 

I don't have pics of Edward's, and have PM'd him to see if I can get them (I wasn't keeping good records back then!), so we'll see if his was Mi or Te.

 

Could I please get the pics of the other side of the nakago of yours? And I'd REALLY like to get the pics of the Nan stamps, too.

 

For clarity - does the picture with the fittings numbered 168 go with serial number 567? and the 20 with 337?

 

As to the fittings, I honestly don't know if Mantetsu had fitters working right in the factory. The Mantetsu blades are found in SO many differing koshirae that I feel they were shipped out in bare-blade form to everyone who was ordering them, to arsenals, to outfitters, etc. But that is an area of the operation that is a great unknown (as far as I know).

 

On a final note, your blade marked 168 (by the fitters) has the "W" stamp upside-down looking more like the yamagata, or chevron, we have been discussing. Most are "upright" and look like a W, like your other blade. That's still a mystery.

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It looks like I haven't kept this thread up to date with the discussion on the Mysterious W Stamp thread, found here: http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/19390-the-mysterious-w-stamp/page-3.

 

Thomas has discovered a WWII document that seems to indicate the "W" is really inverted and is a double chevron, or yamagata, indicating a "midway/halfway" inspection. As the stamp is found on such varied items as blades, guns, and shovels, it does seem to point to the true meaning of the stamp on these blades. I hesitate to fully buy into it 100% as the vast majority of the blade stamps are in fact a W when the blade is held pointy-end up as you do when reading mei. There are a rare few upside-down W's as this one on Denis' blade, so I don't know.

 

In support of the W being a yamagata, it would fit the scenario where Mantetsu was ordered to send 5,500 unfinished blades to the Tokyo Arsenal. The W does seem to be coming from blades put out in the Tokyo area. Speculating here - a Tokyo inspector receiving the unfinished blades could have stamped the "halfway" inspection mark on them, saying they were acceptable to go on to the the finishing stage by their arsenal workers.

 

post-3487-0-25421000-1571586371_thumb.jpg

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Hi Bruce,

Basically it’s the other way around,

The blade with the 168 goes with the 337 and has the closed tsuba. The one with serial number 567 has the 20 seppa numbers and a nicer open tsuba. Is this strange in a way?

Here’s also a pic from the other side.

 

Denis

post-5059-0-38395100-1571587294_thumb.jpeg

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Thanks John!

Bruce

I found this article talking about the papered  semi-forged(Nontraditional made) blade(Gunto),it's in Japanes .

 

http://www.eiwado.co.jp/inquiry2.html

半鍛錬の軍刀でも親族の遺品等であった場合には特例の処置もあるようですので各都道府県教育委員会に問い合わせてみましょう。

Roughly transilated :If you have a semi-forged(Nontraditional made)sword it was once belong to family member who died in war, and then it will be treated specially ,please contact local Education Committee.

So that might explain why some showa to got the registered.

 

Some one says: 昭和26年至33年之間,以陣亡將士代表紀念品「遺骨代」為名目,申請登錄之各式軍刀不在少數。但昭和33年之後,便修法不再發給這類刀劍登錄許可了

Between Showa 26-33 year1951-1958 , Many Gunto were registered as memento of the fallen soldiers (Subject "the remains of the bones". After Showa 33 year 1958, Goverment change the law, no longer issued  the sword registeration license to these nontraditional made gunto .

 

Trystan

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Top find Trystan, thank you for clearing that up. 13 years of Showato registered is not insignificant.

I think there are more Gunto out of woodwork recent years got the registration paper not only apply as memento of the fallen soldiers,it could also apply as Historical objects maybe?

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