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Bruce Pennington

Attention Mantetsu Owners: A Survey

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Is it  peened pins or screws that hold on the koiguchi to the metal saya, and what is the best way to remove the wooden liner for cleaning?Thanks,

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Generally it's screws but they are very delicate and most likely seized with age. On earlier swords like Type 94 sometimes the Ishikuze is peened.

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On mine they are missing entirely; i was considering using some brazing rod and peening it over as a pin, otherwise the koiguchi is only held by friction.

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Autumn 1942 - Koa Isshin Mantetsu - YA 350

 

*update have slight buyers remorse as this stated "excellent condition blade with no scratches" has tiny surface scratches down the whole blade (hike?) from an amateur cleaning attempt. Otherwise it is in excellent condition. Seller will take a return with full refund, which is solid of him, so I'm debating it now.

Autumn 1942 - Koa Isshin Mantetsu - YA 350

 

*update have slight buyers remorse as this stated "excellent condition blade with no scratches" has tiny surface scratches down the whole blade (hike?) from an amateur cleaning attempt. Otherwise blade/mounts are in excellent condition. Seller will take a return with full refund, which is solid of him, so I'm debating it now.

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A little known aspect of presentation Mantetsu swords is the box they came in.  Only a handful exist.  Below are links to two of them.  Does anyone know of others?

 

満鉄太刀

http://ohmura-study.net/314.html

 

"KANJI WRITTEN ON A SWORD BOX"

http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/13945-kanji-written-on-a-sword-box/

 

The sword that was in the box above.

"koa isshin with the South Manchurian Railway Company logo"

http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/13946-koa-isshin-with-the-south-manchurian-railway-company-logo/

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Here is a Mantetsu in China, I think it's possible a high-grade copy(Original Gunto Fitting and Japanese blade with the fake signature). What do you guys think?

 

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Fitting should be from authentic Gunto, but the Kabuto gane has To(,Tokyo first arsenal)mark on, it shouldn't be on the Mantetsu 's fitting though.

And I feel the signature is kind of not that natural as other Mantetsu, especially the & .

First time saw number ( 180) on the bottom of Nakago match the numbers(180)on the seppa .That makes me a little skeptical as well.

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I believe this to be genuine too. 

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I think this is an original, would need to see the blade closeup to be certain but the mounts look authentic.

I just have some doubt about this one.

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Trystan to be honest if they are making fakes this good and detailed then I'm genuinely afraid as a collector.

I hope they never get that good too

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Hi Bruce...

One more for your record keeping..

 

Joe,

What kind of fittings is this '38 N408 in? I see it's missing the boar's eye seppa. I just got a '38 in combat saya and it doesn't have those seppa either.

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Hi Bruce,

not sure if you already have this one, but just stumbled upon another Mantetsu that seems to have the “w” stamp.

 

https://www.artswords.com/a_minty_gunto_mounted_mantetsu_sword_091812.htm

 

even though it’s already sold, the pictures are clear and good for the records.

 

Denis

Denis, sorry for the late reply, but yes, we have that on in our records. Thanks for looking out for us, though!

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Autumn 1942 - Koa Isshin Mantetsu - YA 350

*update have slight buyers remorse as this stated "excellent condition blade with no scratches" has tiny surface scratches down the whole blade (hike?) from an amateur cleaning attempt. Otherwise blade/mounts are in excellent condition. Seller will take a return with full refund, which is solid of him, so I'm debating it now.

Adam,

Considering the good price you got this at, I think it's a keeper! The fittings are nearly immaculate and I've always liked that style habaki. It's a gunto worthy of preservation. And like you say, at most angles, the blade looks quite beautiful.

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A little known aspect of presentation Mantetsu swords is the box they came in.  Only a handful exist.  Below are links to two of them.  Does anyone know of others?

 

満鉄太刀

http://ohmura-study.net/314.html

 

"KANJI WRITTEN ON A SWORD BOX"

http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/13945-kanji-written-on-a-sword-box/

 

The sword that was in the box above.

"koa isshin with the South Manchurian Railway Company logo"

http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/13946-koa-isshin-with-the-south-manchurian-railway-company-logo/

Thanks for the info on this one Kiipu! I've added a new folder to the files "Presentation Box" and added the pics to the C17 file as well.

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Here is a Mantetsu in China, I think it's possible a high-grade copy(Original Gunto Fitting and Japanese blade with the fake signature). What do you guys think?

Trystan,

I did some looking at '43 & '44 blades and found a few with almost identical strokes on that second Koa kanji, and some others that were a bit creative. My gut feel is that in the latter years, they were gettting looser with their standardization. I don't like the yasurime on the nakago mune, but that's likely due to the same reason.

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Welcome back, Bruce!   :welcome:

Good to be back, my friend! Had a 2 week sabatical to work on marraige issues (i.e. self-imposed consequence for bad behavior! Part of the program we are both a part of to save our marraige, but already TMI for this thread! Better discussion for Izakaya).

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Trystan,

I did some looking at '43 & '44 blades and found a few with almost identical strokes on that second Koa kanji, and some others that were a bit creative. My gut feel is that in the latter years, they were gettting looser with their standardization. I don't like the yasurime on the nakago mune, but that's likely due to the same reason.

Bruce

Thanks for the comparing photos and welcome back.

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Hi guys,

 

It is just my opinion, but after viewing many Mantestu-to online plus mine in hands, I believe I noticed that those made in 1943 are slightly better made and finished than those made in the previous years, especially those made in 1942. Of course there are always exception and I am sure there are top exemples from 1938 to 1942.

 

I don't recall having seen some made in 1944 or even 1945.

 

What do you think?

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I have only two. One from 1940 and one from 1943, so that’s not enough sampleS to draw any conclusion, but it is true that the hada is mOre visible on my 43. This one was finished in Tokyo, so maybe it’s a question of polishing. Also, it could only mean that the later blades saw less action.

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Hi JP,

 

Yes maybe. Though I based my conclusion mainly on the nakago finish. To me if a part of the sword that is not supposed to be seen (nakago) is very well finished, then one can expect the visible part (the blade) would be at least as good as the nakago or even better. 

 

On the pre 1943 Mantestu-to I have seen online, the nakago were of course of quality but maybe not as well as the 1943 ones.

 

Once again, it is only my observation.

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I have only two. One from 1940 and one from 1943, so that’s not enough sampleS to draw any conclusion, but it is true that the hada is mOre visible on my 43. This one was finished in Tokyo, so maybe it’s a question of polishing. Also, it could only mean that the later blades saw less action.

 

BTW, how do you know yours has been polished in Tokyo?

 

IN general, how one can tell a blade has been finished or made in Tokyo rather than in Manchuria? In Slough book, it is said that the best examples were made and finished in Tokyo.

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The W stamp and Nan stamp. Apparently those were blades "finished" in Tokyo, whatever that means.

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So, I know our discussions of this issue have evolved over time, and it's certainly confusing to me sometimes, but not much is certain about this (how to identify Tokyo finished blades). Our discussion of the "M/W" stamp initially created the idea that it was coming from Tokyo, but now I'm not so sure. The KNOWN facts are very few:

 

In 1944 we KNOW that Mantetsu was ordered to send 5,500 unfinished KOA ISSIN blades to Tokyo, and 500 finished KOA ISSIN blades to Tokyo.

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In 1944 and 1945, we KNOW that SOME non-Koa blades were being polished at the Nan-Man Arsenal.

 

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We have no proof that either Tokyo or Nan-Man were actually MAKING Mantetsu blades, either Koa-Isshin or non-Koa's. In fact, the mei of non-Koa's state "Mantetsu MADE this", so the mei is arguing against Nan-Man actually making these blades, but they were simply polishing (finishing) them. And the MOST we can say about Tokyo is that we know 5,500 blades were FINISHED there in 1944.

 

The Nan & Ren stamps only prove that the Nan-Man arsenal began inspecting Mantetsu blades. We don't know for a fact WHERE those stamped blades were sent. We have 1944 Koa's that were Nan-stamped and some that were not.

 

In our data-files we have photos of:

1942 - 45 blades

1943 - 46

1944 - 15

1945 - 1

 

I made a VERY cursory scan of some of the nakago, and Brad's observation of the quality of the nakago work MAY have some merit, but when I get more time, I'll try to survey more of them.

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I know that, Bruce, but Mantetsu aside, wasn’t the W stamp used almost exclusively in the Tokyo arsenal? I personally think that (but can’t prove it) that the blades still showing Koa Isshin were made in finished in Manchuria while those made in Nanman with the W and plain Mantetsu were finished in Tokyo. This way, Koa Isshin was some sort of trademark while the plain Mantetsu absolved them of the final responsibility. Koa Isshin was in a way their equivalent of the W stamp. This is just speculation from me of course.

 

I think the non Mantetsu don’t mean "Mantetsu made this" but "made the Mantetsu way" which would be different.

 

EDIT: In 満鉄満鉄鍛造之 Mantetsu de kitaete kore wo tsukuru > Mantetsu Tanzō kore

 Mantetsu de kitaete kore wo tsukuru > Mantetsu Tanzō kore, there is the word "Kitae", which, I think means roughly steel. So in fact, I suppose that the right translation would be something like "made with Mantetsu steel" or "forged the Mantetsu way". A Japanese speaker translation would be welcome.

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EDIT: In 満鉄満鉄鍛造之 Mantetsu de kitaete kore wo tsukuru > Mantetsu Tanzō kore

 Mantetsu de kitaete kore wo tsukuru > Mantetsu Tanzō kore, there is the word "Kitae", which, I think means roughly steel. So in fact, I suppose that the right translation would be something like "made with Mantetsu steel" or "forged the Mantetsu way". A Japanese speaker translation would be welcome.

 

The translation of 満鐵鍛造之 was discussed over at the "War Relics Forum".  See posts 63 to 68.  Keep us posted on what you discover about this.

"Attention Mantetsu Owners: A Survey/Study"

http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/f216/attention-mantetsu-owners-survey-study-715028-post2028469/#post2028469

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From Nick Komiya:

 

“ To read 満鐵鍛造之 without shifting the "Korewo" to the middle is exactly the same as saying in English, "This Mantetsu forged". That will sound odd, because the objective pronoun "it" is in the wrong place for English grammar.

 

So when that sentence is read out, the word "this" serving as objective needs to be transpositioned to the grammatically correct English position at the end and you read it out as "Mantetsu forged this". That is the kind of transposition of the objective that occurs between Japanese and Chinese grammar. Mei on swords is actually written in Chinese, not Japanese, so switching of word order is necessary for reading the Mei out in correct Japanese.

 

Can "Korewo" be ignored you ask? Then you are suggesting to read "This Mantetsu forged" as "Mantetsu forged (forges)" . Because the word "tanzousu" is a verb requiring an objective , describing what was forged, a grammatically correct sentence requires "korewo" to be a full sentence. By taking out the "korewo" you are destroying a complete sentence, but people can still understand what you are saying.

 

Also note that by knocking out "Korewo" you allow the interpretation of the sentence to change to "Mantetsu does forging", as if describing the nature of their business. Thus you lose precise control over how people will interpret the phrase.

 

I will simulate for you in English how the various ways of reading out 満鐵鍛造之 will sound to a native Japanese.

 

1. The correct way " Mantetsu korewo Tanzousu" ="Mantetsu forged this"

2. Korewo ignored " Mantetsu Tanzousu"="Mantetsu forges (forged)"

3. Common mistake "Mantetsu Tanzou kore"="This Mantetsu forge"

 

The third example above is how a Japanese would do an unkind impression of a "Chinese trying to speak Japanese", but incorrectly. It is how Japanese sounds in Chinese word order, and lacking verb endings. The second example sounds less odd, but is no longer a full sentence as it was originally intended and now can be interpreted in two different ways.”

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That is very interesting. I don’t have an account at Warrelics so don’t often visit, and had missed this whole passage. I’ll be less stupid when I go to bed tonight. :)

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