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Attention Mantetsu Owners: A Survey


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I have no documentation on why the parentheses was used in this situation. It is not something I have encountered before. I do think that the (イ) falls between ス and い. See the example below.

昭和甲申春 ス 二一九

昭和甲申春 (イ) 五五六

昭和甲申春 (イ) 一六四四

昭和乙酉春 い 六二二

 

I think so too, Thomas. It's like they hit the end of the Iroha list in '44 before they were done with production. And perhaps they already had the "い" slated for the first '45 run, so they started over with イ, but knowing that they couldn't start over with katakana, decided to bracket it, signifying an "oops" moment. Just wild speculation, I know, but that's what I do really well, Ha!
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I think so too, Thomas. It's like they hit the end of the Iroha list in '44 before they were done with production. And perhaps they already had the "い" slated for the first '45 run, so they started over with イ, but knowing that they couldn't start over with katakana, decided to bracket it, signifying an "oops" moment. Just wild speculation, I know, but that's what I do really well, Ha!

 

It does seem with the advent of the 興南一誠 marked swords in 1945, that SMR started the iroha sequence all over again but with hiragana characters instead.  No doubt, the army was onboard this time around as previously Nan-Man Arsenal would not mark the swords they finished with the SMR commercial slogan of 興亜一心.

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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.

 

Just to make sure, the page you posted is coming from the book below?

Shinkyō dai-ni chūgakkō kō-shi henshū iinkai 新京第二中学校校史編集委員会. Shinkyō dai-ni chūgakkō kō-shi 新京第二中學校々史 [school History of Shinkyō No. 2 Middle School]. Tōkyō 東京: 南嶺会事務局, 1980. Page 335.

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My 43 with W stamp has one too!

 

In my post #353, I was referring to Mantetsu 興亜一心 blades with only an M inspection mark on the nakago.  These blades may have went to Tōkyō 1st Arsenal as they have a 東 final inspection mark on the kabuto-gane.

 

The Mantetsu I recently bought (sa 520, nan, w, Spring 1943, already in Bruce’s database) has a celluloid same too, so climate may have been a factor... of the lack of Same material. Gotta say, though that I noticed this only recently and contrary to my other swords (granted, all of them older), this same has resisted the test of time without a crack.

 

The Mantetsu that you have does not fit into this pattern as it has additional inspection marks.  What kind of reverse markings [omote mei] does your sword have?

http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/26165-attention-mantetsu-owners-a-survey/page-3?do=findComment&comment=271699

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Just to make sure, the page you posted is coming from the book below?

Shinkyō dai-ni chūgakkō kō-shi henshū iinkai 新京第二中学校校史編集委員会. Shinkyō dai-ni chūgakkō kō-shi 新京第二中學校々史 [school History of Shinkyō No. 2 Middle School]. Tōkyō 東京: 南嶺会事務局, 1980. Page 335.

Thomas,

I was refering to the 1980 book found by K. Morita and discussed on post 279. I don't thing he gave the name of the book, but you can see it was pg 335 in the picture he posted

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Are you alluding to this document at JACAR?

15.昭和19年度鍜錬刀軍刀生産計画表 昭和19年4月15日 陸軍兵器行政本部 造兵部造兵課

https://www.jacar.archives.go.jp/aj/meta/imageen_C12121800700?IS_KEY_S1=c12121800700&IS_KIND=detail&IS_STYLE=eng&IS_TAG_S1=InfoSDU&

He's likely refering to the chart posted by Nick Komiya:

post-3487-0-38212100-1576196526_thumb.jpg

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Update to the presentation sword: It's a '38, not '41. Serial number "C 17". More discussion of the meaning of the presentation explained that the blade was likely presented by Mantetsu management to local managers or officials in the 3 cities named.

 

I am confused about what sword is being talked about here.  The blade depicted at the links below is clearly marked as 昭和辛巳春 1941 Spring.

http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/28095-mantetsu-blade-with-long-inscription/

http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/26165-attention-mantetsu-owners-a-survey/page-6?do=findComment&comment=283819

Nakago Reverse

興亜一心 満鐵作之

Nakago Obverse

贈吉林哈爾浜斉々哈爾各鉄道局

昭和辛巳春
 
Why would it be updated to 1938?  Is the serial number C17 coming from some other Mantetsu blade or the one above?
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Below is the translation of the title and table header for the Mantetsu section that appears on frames 5 and 6 of the JACAR document linked below.  Any comments, corrections, or criticism welcomed.

https://www.jacar.archives.go.jp/aj/meta/imageen_C12121800700?IS_KEY_S1=c12121800700&IS_KIND=detail&IS_STYLE=eng&IS_TAG_S1=InfoSDU&

 

Title

其四 昭和十九年度興亜一心刀軍刀生産計画表

Part 4 1944 Fiscal Year Kōa Isshin-tō Military Sword Production Plan Table

昭和19.4.15 陸軍兵器行政本部 造兵部 造兵課

1944-04-15 Army Ordnance Administration Headquarters Arsenal Department Arsenal Section

 

Table Header

01. 廠別 = classified by arsenal.

02. 種別 = classification.

03. 十七年度註文数 = 1942 fiscal year ordered amount.

04. 十八年度完成数 = 1943 fiscal year finished amount.

05. 十九年度繰越数 = 1944 fiscal year carry forward amount.

06. 十九年度数        = 1944 fiscal year amount.

07. 十九年度作業数 = 1944 fiscal year manufacturing amount.

08. 二十年度繰越数 = 1945 fiscal year carry forward amount.

09. 第一期 = first period.

09. 四月 = April.

10. 五月 = May.

11. 六月  = June.

12. 計 = total.

[Columns 13 to 24 repeat the pattern in columns 9 to 12 but with different periods and months.]

25. 合計 = sum total.

26. 備考 = remarks.

 

This is the same document that can be found at the links below.

http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/Japanese-militaria/sword-production-statistics-587234/

http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/f216/very-unusual-konan-essei-mantetsu-713654-post1911277/#post1911277

http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/26165-attention-mantetsu-owners-a-survey/page-4?do=findComment&comment=275458

 

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I have noticed two of the 1942 dated Mantetsu swords have the combination of a M partial inspection stamp on the nakago and a Tōkyō 1st Army Arsenal 東 final inspection mark on the kabuto-gane.  I wonder if this holds true for the other 1942 M stamped Mantetsu blades.

ウ二〇  昭和壬午春  http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/29923-wts-w-stamped-koa-isshin-mantetsu/

ヤ一〇四八  昭和壬午秋  http://guns.allzip.org/topic/188/748295.html#p12

 

Make it three.

http://kajiyahiroshi.com/nihonto/gunto/ka038052/token-ka8052.html

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I see what you're thinking with this

At a certain level, the kabutogane stamped "To" supports the idea that these blades had been sent to Tokyo Arsenal for "finish" work.

 

(posting the pics, in case the linked site goes inactive in the future)post-3487-0-59940500-1576409532_thumb.jpgpost-3487-0-93035700-1576409540_thumb.jpgpost-3487-0-98551000-1576409548_thumb.jpg

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I see what you're thinking with this

At a certain level, the kabutogane stamped "To" supports the idea that these blades had been sent to Tokyo Arsenal for "finish" work.

 

I am thinking one of two things happened.  One, Tōkyō 1st Arsenal ordered some 興亜一心 blades from SMR in 1942 and Tōkyō 1st had them finished in Japan.  Or two, Tōkyō 1st Arsenal gave SMR a contract in fiscal year 1943 and SMR sent some older blades it still had in inventory to meet the monthly production goal.  In either case, the powers that be, soon ordered that the army contract blades be marked as 満鐵鍛造之.

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What if they were'nt finished in Tokyo, but actually manifactured there using Mantetsu?

It’s certainly just as possible as it is for Nanman to have been manufacturing them. But we already have a document ordering 5,500 unfinished blades to make up for Tokyo’s shortfall. Still not out of the question though.

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There is an interesting discussion about this unusual marking 連工 that appears on some 1944 Mantetsu blades that begins at the link below.  I note with interest that the marking is placed toward the bottom of the nakago and not the usual position of inspection marks which is toward the top and above the mei.

http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/26165-attention-mantetsu-owners-a-survey/page-6?do=findComment&comment=281759

 

If these two characters are a contraction, I would think it would be an abbreviation for the workshop that was making the blades.  In this case, 大連鉄道工場.

大連鉄道工場 Dairen Tetsudō Kōjō Dairen Railway Workshop

The full name being 南満洲鉄道株式会社大連鉄道工場刀剣製作所.

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There is an interesting discussion about this unusual marking 連工 that appears on some 1944 Mantetsu blades that begins at the link below. I note with interest that the marking is placed toward the bottom of the nakago and not the usual position of inspection marks which is toward the top and above the mei.

http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/26165-attention-mantetsu-owners-a-survey/page-6?do=findComment&comment=281759

 

If these two characters are an abbreviation, I would think it would be an abbreviation for the workshop that was making the blades. In this case, 大連鉄道工場.

大連鉄道工場 Dairen Tetsudō Kōjō Dairen Railway Workshop

The full name being 南満洲鉄道株式会社大連鉄道工場刀剣製作所.

That’s interesting Thomas. Mantetsu itself is a contraction, so there already is an established practice of using contractions. If true though, it really messes with the idea these Ren stamped blades were made at the Nanman arsenal.
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I mean contraction. Man - tetsu is the first and last kanji of the SMR name. I don't remember where I read that, maybe Ohmura.

Why? Is the "Dairen Railway Workshop" a contractor?

Yes, that is in Ohmura indeed.

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Below is the translation of the table rows for the Mantetsu section.  See post #372 above for the title and table header.

 

Table Rows

Row #

1. 東一造 [abbreviation for 東京第一陸軍造兵廠] = Tōkyō 1st Army Arsenal

1. 興亜一心刀軍刀 完成軍刀 = Kōa Isshin-tō Military Sword Finished Military Swords

2. Blank.

3. 南造 [abbreviation for 南滿陸軍造兵廠] = Nan-Man Army Arsenal

3. 興亜一心刀軍刀 保轉完成軍刀 = Kōa Isshin-tō Military Sword Finished military swords transferred

4. 仝 保轉半成刀身 = Same [Kōa Isshin-tō Military Sword] Semi-finished blades transferred

3 & 4. 全数東一造ニ保轉ス = whole amount transferred to Tōkyō 1st Army Arsenal.

 

仝 = 同.

轉 = 転.

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In fiscal year 1945, Nan-Man Army Arsenal 南滿陸軍造兵廠 was planning the production of 10,000 military swords.  This comes to about 833 swords per month.  The 1945 fiscal year ran from April 1945 to March 1946.  Below is a translation of the sword related information.

 

Date

昭二〇、三、一九 兵政本 [abbreviation for 陸軍兵器行政本部]

1945-03-19 Army Ordnance Administration Headquarters

 

Table Header
品目 = item (list of articles)
單位 = unit
整備数量 = maintenance quantity

 

Table Row
軍刀 = guntō = military sword
振 = sword counter
一〇,〇〇〇 = 10,000

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So, that proves that Nanman was making blades!

 

Yes and no.  While the document is for Nan-Man Army Arsenal, it includes production from civilian companies under Nan-Man's supervision.

 

In case you are wondering, Nan-Man 南滿 translates as South Manchuria.  This means the arsenal can also be called South Manchuria Army Arsenal.

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[pulling out hair!!!] AAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!

 

THOMAS ... ok, I'll calm down .... [breathing deaply ... not helping]

 

I just got a chance to look at the chart and the translation you've given (which I completely agree with) and, correct me if I'm wrong, but this is saying NANMAN ARSENAL, not SMR Dalian, is the one the chart is showing tasked with supplying/transfering 5,500 unfinished blades (KOA ISSHIN BLADES) to Tokyo and producing 500 Koa Isshin blades. Is that what I'm seeing?!?!?

 

Additioinal request - after looking at the lines at the top of the untranslated part of the chart, it appears to be showing production numbers for other arsenals? I see the NA of Nagoya. I think a lot of people would enjoy knowing who these other are, and seeing the amazing numbers they were cranking out.

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I just got a chance to look at the chart and the translation you've given (which I completely agree with) and, correct me if I'm wrong, but this is saying NANMAN ARSENAL, not SMR Dalian, is the one the chart is showing tasked with supplying/transfering 5,500 unfinished blades (KOA ISSHIN BLADES) to Tokyo and producing 500 Koa Isshin blades. Is that what I'm seeing?!?!?

 

Nan-Man Army Arsenal was transferring to Tōkyō 1st Army Arsenal 5,500 semi-finished blades and 500 completed swords.  As to who made them, it could be Nan-Man Arsenal, SMR, some other supervised manufacturer, or a combination of the above.

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