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Bruce Pennington

Attention Mantetsu Owners: A Survey

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22 minutes ago, 16k said:

Might be me, but the signature looks off and more recent than the rest of the nakago. And the Hamon looks like a Seki blade.

Agree

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On 12/29/2020 at 2:47 PM, Bruce Pennington said:

mei cutters (word for that?)

 

Maybe called 銘師/打銘師/刻銘師?

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On 12/29/2020 at 2:47 PM, Bruce Pennington said:

We have another Mantetsu with the same inscription by Takanobu.  It's a Spring '42, where this new one is Winter '42.

 

 

MantetsuTakanobu1.jpg

Bruce

According to Ohmura san:「春」銘が多く「秋」銘の刀が少い。「夏」銘を見かけない。 ※2の現物写真で初期満鐵商標刻印の刀身に「冬」銘が確認されている.

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

There are many "spring" inscriptions and few "autumn" inscriptions. I don't see the "summer" inscription.
The "winter" inscription is confirmed on the blade with the initial Mantetsu trademark engraved in the actual photo of * 2.

The winter made Mantetsu only saw on the very early ones.The blade Quenched by Takanobu 鈴木鷹信 might not follow that rule?

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3 hours ago, waljamada said:

Another wavy hamon Mantetsu.  Kinda odd these are popping up all of a sudden in a clump.  Could be its just coming to my attention in a clump and not in general.

 

Also this one has no stamps/number  on the back of the nakago.

SmartSelect_20210203-135502_eBay.jpg

SmartSelect_20210203-135508_eBay.jpg

 

 

 

 

Well! I just got an answer from the seller, who claims this blade was “not made for use in the field therefore has no serial number”!  I am sensing a trend here with these blades with wavy Hamon and no serial number.

 

I responded that I have never heard of blades made not to be used in the field. And wondered if he had a source for that information.  Awaiting his response.

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31 minutes ago, Bruce Pennington said:

Well! I just got an answer from the seller, who claims this blade was “not made for use in the field therefore has no serial number”!  I am sensing a trend here with these blades with wavy Hamon and no serial number.

 

I responded that I have never heard of blades made not to be used in the field. And wondered if he had a source for that information.  Awaiting his response.

 

The seller mentioned it possibly being made for the 1944 Exhibition.  Wonder if there are entry records on such things.  I think the seller is trying to fit answers for differences.  Could be...and if so that's cool, if not something funny could be afoot.  However, I do think that test blades, experimental pieces, exhibition or example pieces to send around as it was "new" sword tech would all exist.  So there could be room for odd ducks.

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16 hours ago, BANGBANGSAN said:

The winter made Mantetsu only saw on the very early ones.

Trystan,

Yes, I only have Winter blades in '38 and '39.  So this would be a big exception.  The big "BUT" in the room, though, is as a custom made blade, he could have deviated from the norm. 

 

It is the same problem we are having with all these potential "custom" blades.  All the deviations we see are because they are custom.

 

I've some some comparisons of the latest one with no serial number.  It seems to fit almost all aspects of a Mantetsu.  My only notable complaint is the "tetsu."  It's pretty bad.  I found some slight variations on "tetsu" with other blades, but none as bad as this one.  Personally, I feel that if the mei cutter is going to mess anything up, it wouldn't be the company name!  The seller was told that the blade "might" have been made for the Yasukuni shrine - I doubt the company would have let a blade go to a shrine with their name cut messy.  UNLESS, the mei was cut by the smith doing the custom blade, and not by a professional mei cutter.  Harumph!  too many what ifs.  I've filed it in the "Possible Fakes" file of the Mantetsu study.

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9 hours ago, BANGBANGSAN said:

One more

Good one Trystan! Thanks!  I suppose there's no chance of getting a better view of that mark at the end of the nakago?  I could be a "W/M", but can't make it out in that shot.

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Thought I would pull together Mantetsu/Koa Isshin swords from 1938 to 1945 inclusive (in date order) , I have the years in-between, but this is to show the variety of Mei. Bruce has the Mune stamps already. 

The purpose of doing this is to discover what other Mei may exist out there. The 1938 has a Manchurian Railway stamp, right through to the 1945, that only has a Mune stamp.   

a4.jpg

a1.jpg

a2.jpg

a3.jpg

a5.jpg

a6.jpg

a7.jpg

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2050389742_headblowup.jpg.cab525ead12664addc42517da205c277.jpg

You might have felt a mild tremor around the globe as my head just exploded!!!

 

In reading Livio W. Cillo's book "An Oshigata Book of MODERN Japanese SWORDSMITHS 1868-1945", page 95, on the Mantetsu, he states:

"The best examples of Koa Isshin Mantetsu To produced in Japan were made in Zama, Kanagawa prefecture."

 

SAY AGAIN?!?!?!?!  He doesn't cite a reference for that HUGE tidbit of information, and looking in the back for a reference didn't show anything seemingly connected to the topic.  I looked up Zama and it's located south of Tokyo a little ways.  Does anyone have any insight to sword production in this city?  @mecox - do you have any info on their operation?

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8 hours ago, Bruce Pennington said:

2050389742_headblowup.jpg.cab525ead12664addc42517da205c277.jpg

You might have felt a mild tremor around the globe as my head just exploded!!!

 

In reading Livio W. Cillo's book "An Oshigata Book of MODERN Japanese SWORDSMITHS 1868-1945", page 95, on the Mantetsu, he states:

"The best examples of Koa Isshin Mantetsu To produced in Japan were made in Zama, Kanagawa prefecture."

 

SAY AGAIN?!?!?!?!  He doesn't cite a reference for that HUGE tidbit of information, and looking in the back for a reference didn't show anything seemingly connected to the topic.  I looked up Zama and it's located south of Tokyo a little ways.  Does anyone have any insight to sword production in this city?  @mecox - do you have any info on their operation?

 

From my readings for Masatsugu (in NMB Downloads):  Due to demands on supplies, including food, and the expansion in numbers of students, in November 1941 teaching activities of the Denshu Jo were transferred to the new Nihonto Gakuin  日本刀学 (Japanese Sword Academy) which opened at Sagamihara, Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture. This is on the Sagami River around 35 km SW of Tokyo, and was on the grounds of the Imperial Army facility which also housed the Army Officers Academy. The Gakuin was headed by Yoshihara Katsukichi   Kuniie (also called (Akihiro)(昭広)(1894-1970) as chief instructor.

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On 2/19/2021 at 8:56 AM, IJASWORDS said:

Thought I would pull together Mantetsu/Koa Isshin swords from 1938 to 1945 inclusive (in date order) , I have the years in-between, but this is to show the variety of Mei. Bruce has the Mune stamps already. 

The purpose of doing this is to discover what other Mei may exist out there. The 1938 has a Manchurian Railway stamp, right through to the 1945, that only has a Mune stamp.   

 

 

a2.jpg

a3.jpg

 

 

 

Neil

Your 1938 Mantetsu unlike all the other Mantetsu in the same Rinji mount, has only one 目釘穴 instead of two. Also, the other Rinji Mantetsu we saw was all made in 1944 or no year on the tang, we don't see Rinji Mantetsu made in any other years but your 1938. It got me thinking, is it possible an early Mantetsu blade remount later for some reason?
Trystan

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Hi Trystan, of course anything is possible, but in the case of the 1938, there is only one hole in the handle as well. And everything fits perfectly. At one time, I had similar thoughts to you, but wondered if the factory was cleaning out its factory of retained samples of blades, and decided to mount them, who knows.  

I only wish there was more information on this model, in the mean time the detective work continues. 

By the way Trystan, do you know of any Mantetsu blades in regular Japanese RS (type 3) mounts? 

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15 minutes ago, IJASWORDS said:

Hi Trystan, of course anything is possible, but in the case of the 1938, there is only one hole in the handle as well. And everything fits perfectly. At one time, I had similar thoughts to you, but wondered if the factory was cleaning out its factory of retained samples of blades, and decided to mount them, who knows.  

I only wish there was more information on this model, in the mean time the detective work continues. 

By the way Trystan, do you know of any Mantetsu blades in regular Japanese RS (type 3) mounts? 

 Not sure why ,my 2 Rinji Mantetsu both have 2 holes on the tang , but one hole on the handle, I think your other 2 maybe the same.
I never saw Mantetsu in regular Type 3 mount.

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4 hours ago, mecox said:

Nihonto Gakuin  日本刀学 (Japanese Sword Academy) which opened at Sagamihara, Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Sounds like this supports his claim.  Is it safe to assume a Sword Academy makes swords?  Or is it about sword fighting skills?

 

3 hours ago, IJASWORDS said:

the detective work continues.

As Trystan says, other options make  this idea completely debatable.  But the author's statement certainly opens up the possibility these were being made as early as 1938.  While we haven't seen middle years in the model, there are other things we haven't seen either.  The author quoted Ohmura (or they both were quoting the same source) when he said that Mantetsu supplied swords to "...Shanghai Army & Navy....".  I don't recall ever seeing a Mantetsu blade in Navy fittings.  And until very recently, we had never seen a 1945 blade with an unheard-of slogan.

So I only put the fact out there to begin laying out the facts, as few as they are, when they appear.

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Bruce

I thought you might be interested in this, a  friend of mine in China just found this Mantetsu sewer cover still in use in Fu Shun 撫順.

 

WechatIMG23080.jpeg

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Hi Bruce,

Are you still doing the survey and compiling the chart ?

If so here are details of my Mantetsu.

Shona Mizunoto Hitsuji (Spring 1943 )  Serial Number Yu 432

 

Gwyn

IMG_4421.JPG

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20 minutes ago, Moley said:

Hi Bruce,

Are you still doing the survey and compiling the chart ?

If so here are details of my Mantetsu.

Shona Mizunoto Hitsuji (Spring 1943 )  Serial Number Yu 432

 

Gwyn

 

You bet I am!  Thanks Gwyn.  I could use pics of both sides of the nakago too.  I like a shot or 2 if the fittings as well.  There has been some  interest in tracking them to see if we can figure out whether SMR, or local shops, or Tokyo shops were doing the fittings.

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Hi,

seem this sword for sale seller does not  give very good photos said to be a shrine presentation sword.

jap 22(11)-1.jpg

jap 1(13).jpg

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2 hours ago, Markdd said:

a shrine presentation sword.

Mark,

I don't see the Mantetsu kanji.  Is this supposed to be one?  If not, maybe Brian can move this to a new post in the Military Section?

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5 hours ago, Moley said:

If so here are details of my Mantetsu.

Shona Mizunoto Hitsuji (Spring 1943 )  Serial Number Yu 432

 

This is the first commercial 39th (ユ) series to surface. The 39th series low is YU 115 and the high is YU 543.  Of the six reported, three are army contracts, two are unknown, and one is commercial.  What are the fittings for your sword: Type 94, 97, 98, 100, CV, SS, or SMR?

四三二 = YU 432

昭和癸未春 = Spring 1943.six report,

興亜一心 = Kōa Isshin.

満鐵作 = Mantetsu saku = Made by SMR.

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6 hours ago, Kiipu said:

army contracts, two are unknown, and one is commercial.

Thomas,

I'm not used to this terminology.  Are you referring to the fittings - IJA fittings vs civil fittings?

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