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Attention Mantetsu Owners: A Survey


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Guys, you made my day.

 

This is what NMB was born for. To gather the greatest world specialists outside Japan able to discuss at length the difference between two screws or tassels on Mantetsu or Showato.

 

I bow to your knowledge and am proud to be part of this unique Forum which has become what it is thanks to Brian and John and you all my friends. Who has ever seen a Forum where all members are friends despite from time to time minor trifle disputes. :)

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Great thread! and very interesting!

I have been on the outside looking in so to speak, and as this topic is spread over a couple of forums, and numerous sources, it can get a bit dis-orientating for me. (just like a good suspense novel)

 

So just on a side note, if you are only following one thread, namely this one, then maybe this helps, as it helps me with my understanding:

 

In English, it is common to use acronyms to shorten words, generally the first letter of each word used. So this now becomes the abbreviated form.

We can see this in Ohmura's web page where he mentions this :

South Manchuria Railway Co,Ltd (SMR).....  where SMR is in this case a TLA (Three Letter Acronym) or as i prefer.. abbreviation.

 

In Japanese/Chinese where Kanji is being used (and i believe the nature of the languages also), they use contractions, as the context or "intended interpretation" can be very important to the final reader of the phrase. 

Over on the Warrelics forum, in the sister thread to this one here, it is explained by Nick in post 64 and expanded in post 66 to show possible interpretations depending on kanji positioning.

The conclusion being that these contractions cannot be translated literally, without some knowledge of the language at least.

Some contractions are also used in archival documents from what i gather.

 

What i think was my personal eureka moment, was not a moment at all, more of a very long and slow realisation over time. Some things began to fall in place, and make some sense, especially with certain posts and document referrals made here by Thomas, and also Nick over at warrelics.

 

However, i'm still not 100%, perhaps i'm still in the 'moment'.

 

The big advantage is in being a native speaker/reader and familiar with the lingo, past and present, and it's these guys that most of us will have to rely on for info from the archives.

 

Thanks to Bruce for your tenacity and persistance with this thread, also Nick and Thomas/Kiipu for sifting the info out and presenting it.

 

It all makes for a very interesting and 'suspenseful' read on my behalf.

Great work!!



 

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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.

Thomas,

Still catching up with you - "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." Where does this come from? Is it a seperate business from SMR? Who is this?

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Guys, you made my day.

This is what NMB was born for. To gather the greatest world specialists outside Japan able to discuss at length the difference between two screws or tassels on Mantetsu or Showato.

I bow to your knowledge and am proud to be part of this unique Forum which has become what it is thanks to Brian and John and you all my friends. Who has ever seen a Forum where all members are friends despite from time to time minor trifle disputes. :)

  

 

 

 

Great thread! and very interesting!

I have been on the outside looking in so to speak, and as this topic is spread over a couple of forums, and numerous sources, it can get a bit dis-orientating for me. (just like a good suspense novel)

 

So just on a side note, if you are only following one thread, namely this one, then maybe this helps, as it helps me with my understanding:

 

In English, it is common to use acronyms to shorten words, generally the first letter of each word used. So this now becomes the abbreviated form.

We can see this in Ohmura's web page where he mentions this :

South Manchuria Railway Co,Ltd (SMR).....  where SMR is in this case a TLA (Three Letter Acronym) or as i prefer.. abbreviation.

 

In Japanese/Chinese where Kanji is being used (and i believe the nature of the languages also), they use contractions, as the context or "intended interpretation" can be very important to the final reader of the phrase. 

Over on the Warrelics forum, in the sister thread to this one here, it is explained by Nick in post 64 and expanded in post 66 to show possible interpretations depending on kanji positioning.

The conclusion being that these contractions cannot be translated literally, without some knowledge of the language at least.

Some contractions are also used in archival documents from what i gather.

 

What i think was my personal eureka moment, was not a moment at all, more of a very long and slow realisation over time. Some things began to fall in place, and make some sense, especially with certain posts and document referrals made here by Thomas, and also Nick over at warrelics.

 

However, i'm still not 100%, perhaps i'm still in the 'moment'.

 

The big advantage is in being a native speaker/reader and familiar with the lingo, past and present, and it's these guys that most of us will have to rely on for info from the archives.

 

Thanks to Bruce for your tenacity and persistance with this thread, also Nick and Thomas/Kiipu for sifting the info out and presenting it.

 

It all makes for a very interesting and 'suspenseful' read on my behalf.

Great work!!

 

Jean & Stegel - It is truly a joy to be a part of this great group of friends, thank you for your kind words. And I, too, consider everyone here my friend.

 

There have been some fascinating discoveries made (on more threads than this one!), some new, and some just catching up with Ohmura-san who has been right on many things. We are just finding verification of some of his ideas.

 

I'm growing more impressed every day with our Thomas! He is turning out to be NMB's version of Nick Komiya at Warrelics!

 

Oh, and Stegel has pointed out a failure on my part to transfer some updates - Nick Komiya on the Mantetsu thread at Warrelics has made a clarification of the late-war mei "満鉄鍛造之 (Mantetsu Tanzo Kore)" The Mantetsu contraction singularly stands for SMR. Many older threads have mistranslated this phrase to "Made from Manchurain steel" or "Made from Mantetsu steel" or "Made the Mantetsu way." It is simply "Mantetsu forged this."

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Still catching up with you - "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." Where does this come from? Is it a seperate business from SMR? Who is this?

 

It is the full company name for Mantetsu's sword factory and it coming via Ohmura sensei.

http://ohmura-study.net/221.html

 

The name breaks down into three parts.  Written in the usual Japanese manner of top to bottom.

南満洲鉄道株式会社 South Manchuria Railway Co., Ltd. (SMR).

[More commonly know by its abbreviation of Mantetsu 滿鐵 = 南道株式会社.]

大連鉄道工場 Dairen Tetsudō Kōjō Dairen Railway Workshop.

刀剣製作所 Tōken Seisaku-jo Sword Factory.

 

鐵 = 鉄.

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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.

 

Document Parts

其一 昭和十九年度鍜錬刀軍刀生産計画表

Part 1 1944 Fiscal Year Forged Sword Military Sword Production Plan Table.

鍜錬刀 = tanren-tō = Forged Sword.

其二 昭和十九年度造兵刀軍刀生産計画表

Part 2 1944 Fiscal Year Arsenal Sword Military Sword Production Plan Table.

造兵刀 = zōhei-tō = Arsenal Sword.

其三 昭和十九年度特殊鋼刀軍刀生産計画表

Part 3 1944 Fiscal Year Special Steel Sword Military Sword Production Plan Table.

特殊鋼刀 = tokushukō-tō = Special Steel Sword.

 

Arsenal Abbreviations

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

名造 = 名古屋陸軍造兵廠 = Nagoya Army Arsenal.

大造 = 大阪軍造兵廠 = Ōsaka Army Arsenal.

小造 = 小倉陸軍造兵廠 = Kokura Army Arsenal.

南造 = 南滿陸軍造兵廠 = Nan-Man Army Arsenal.

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So annual sword production for FY1944:

 

東一造 = 東京第一陸軍造兵廠 = Tōkyō 1st Army Arsenal = 50,000

 

名造 = 名古屋陸軍造兵廠 = Nagoya Army Arsenal = 65,000

 

大造 = 大阪軍造兵廠 = Ōsaka Army Arsenal = 115,000

 

小造 = 小倉陸軍造兵廠 = Kokura Army Arsenal 5,700

 

南造 = 南滿陸軍造兵廠 = Nan-Man Army Arsena = 6,000

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  • 3 weeks later...

It is interesting that both the blades that I have with this stamp were made for a Rinji (Type 3), with extended nakago jiri and second mekugi ana.

 

I have been of the opinion for some months now that Nan-Man Army Arsenal was the one assembling these Mantetsu Type 100 Officer's Contingency Swords.  The lack of the M partial inspection mark is the only evidence that would seem to support this opinion at the moment.  Some months back, I read over a hundred pages of wartime production records from Nan-Man Arsenal and could find no evidence that they had anything to do with swords prior to 1944.  Nan-Man was not even a small arms producing facility for that matter.  The easiest sword for them to setup for and start assembling would be the Type 100 and that appears to be what happened.

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So a book it is!

 

Ohmura Tomoyuki 大村・紀征. Shinsetsu tatakau Nihontō 真説 戦う日本刀 [True Theory, Japanese Sword Fighting]. 2019.

http://ohmura-study.net/601.html

 

The contents can be found at the link below.

http://www.hiden-shop.jp/SHOP/mb-oom1.html

 

Looks like chapter 5 has a section on Mantetsu.

満鉄刀 ~鉄道部品製造技術を活かした高品質刀

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I have been of the opinion for some months now that Nan-Man Army Arsenal was the one assembling these Mantetsu Type 100 Officer's Contingency Swords. The lack of the M partial inspection mark is the only evidence that would seem to support this opinion at the moment. Some months back, I read over a hundred pages of wartime production records from Nan-Man Arsenal and could find no evidence that they had anything to do with swords prior to 1944. Nan-Man was not even a small arms producing facility for that matter. The easiest sword for them to setup for and start assembling would be the Type 100 and that appears to be what happened.

Thomas,

I've been doing a survey of my files and it seems a majority (I'm still doing an inventory) of the '44 blades observed have double meguki ana even when found in Type 98 fittings!

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I've been doing a survey of my files and it seems a majority (I'm still doing an inventory) of the '44 blades observed have double meguki ana even when found in Type 98 fittings!

 

I had not noticed this and it is an important detail that needs to be looked at.  The 1944 dated 満鐵鍛造之 blades appear to be drilled as Type 100s while the 1944 dated 興亜一心 blades are drilled as Type 98s.

 

I think the ヒ HI and モ MO prefixed 満鐵鍛造之 blades are possibly coming via Tokyo Arsenal and have M partial inspection marks.  All are hilted as 98s. However, ヒ 一一五五 is drilled as a 100 but fitted as a 98.  Possibly more HI and MO blades are drilled as 100s as well.

 

The セ SE  and ス SU  満鐵鍛造之 blades were possibly assembled by Nan-Man Arsenal and lack the M partial inspection stamp.  All are fitted as 100s.

 

There is only one 興亜一心 blade in all this and it is a セ SE and it can be seen at the link below.  Notice the nakago is drilled as a 98.

https://popgun.ru/viewtopic.php?f=163&t=830563

 

Of course, all of the above is subject to revision by Bruce, JP, & Co., Ltd.

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The Kōa Isshin 興亞一心 blades used two different styles of kanji for 亞.  The early blades dating from Spring and Fall of 1939 used 亞 and those dating from Winter 1939 and after used 亜.  See Ohmura links below.  However, the Winter 1942 dated sword linked below is using the early version of 亞 and not the later version of 亜.  This is the only exception I have found to date.  Does anyone know of any others?

http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/4407-mantetsu-with-attribution/

 

興亞一心 marked blades.

昭和己卯春 W 38.

昭和己卯秋 ハ 二四 [HA 24].

昭和壬午冬日鷹信焠之 ヤ 二四六 [YA 246].

 

Ohmura Links

http://ohmura-study.net/221.html

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

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I noticed that too, on the '42 Takanobu blade. I haven't been watching for it, but I will as I continue my house-keeping job on the photo files.

 

Ok, finished survery for blades with double-ana:

 

All 1944; mix of Nan & Ren stamps:

 

Double-ana; Rinji fittings

Se 1066

Se 1143 連

Se 1310 連

Se 2439 連工

(unkn) 連工

 

Double-ana; 98 fittings

Hi 1155 南

Mo 228 南

Unkn 連

 

Single-ana; 98 fittings

Se 2409 Koa

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John, these are not from Japan. Some sword sellers in China made these. I don't know those guys, my friend in China send me this photo and told me people started to make these Mantetsu a few years ago.

 

Trystan do you know if these are direct from China or the Komonjo ones?

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I'm sorry to hear that, but thanks for the warning Trystan. Poor picture, but it appears that they will be off on the mei and the quality of the nakago looks poor. It's a bit surprising that they would attempt a Mantetsu since the quality workmanship is so high. But then, quality standards have never stopped them with any other type either. *Sigh*

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Beware of Chinese made fake signature Mantetsu sword.

 

The link below is the first one that came to my attention back in September of last year.  The serial number is way off according to Pennington's Mantetsu table.  Should be dated 1942 and not 1940.

http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/26165-attention-mantetsu-owners-a-survey/page-9?do=findComment&comment=302430

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Those seller/counterfeiters just try to fool the people don't have too much experience about Matntetsu sword but after the name of Mantetsu. They don't care about other parts, is the signature make them making a lot of money.

 

Very interesting, did he say if they were made in the Mantetsu fashion or just signed that way?

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