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Attention Mantetsu Owners: A Survey


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Okaaaayyy. Just found a '43 Nan stamped blade with a "W" stamp and a '44 Ren stamp with a "W" stamp! With the current understanding that the unfinished blades sent to Tokyo Arsenal recieved the W stamp, that throws out the idea that the Ren stamp came from the Nanman Arsenal. Of the two theories, the W theory at least has single piece of evidence pointing to it, sooooo ... back to square 1 on the Nan and Ren stamps.

 

Of course other options could explain this: 1)As of '43, The SMR Mantetsu factory began useing the Nan, and '44 Ren stamps, 2) The Nanman factory was making Mantetsu blades and sent a supply of "unfinnished" blades to the Tokyo Factory, or 3) We are still way offbase about the W, Nan, and Ren stamps!

 

To confuse the matter more, I have 4 '43s with Koa Issin and 2 '44s with Koa Isshin. So either the Rens and Nans are Nanman products and the Koa's are SMR Mantetsu, OR Mantetsu was putting both mei out simultaneously!

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Ok, I've got 3 now, all Spring 1944: Se 2340, Se 3575, and "?" 199.

 

Had an interesting discussion with someone about the "I", or rail stamp. It was proposed that the "I" means, or represents "Factory or Work" in both Chinese and Japanese. If so, the Mantetsu logo simply says "Mantetsu Factory". Likewise, the combined "Ren" and "I" would say "Mukden Factory" and support the idea that these blades were made at the Mukden Arsenal, or at least finished from Mantetsu supplied blades.post-3487-0-29533400-1549506420_thumb.jpg

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Ok, I've got 3 now, all Spring 1944: Se 2340, Se 3575, and "?" 199.

 

Had an interesting discussion with someone about the "I", or rail stamp. It was proposed that the "I" means, or represents "Factory or Work" in both Chinese and Japanese. If so, the Mantetsu logo simply says "Mantetsu Factory". Likewise, the combined "Ren" and "I" would say "Mukden Factory" and support the idea that these blades were made at the Mukden Arsenal, or at least finished from Mantetsu supplied blades.attachicon.gif msg-3887-0-95356400-1549495980.jpg

Bruce

Please check my other message.

It's could be Chinese/Kanji "工"Instead of "I"=Work 工廠=Factory,工人=Worker.

is short verse for 大連 (Da Lian City),.奉天(Mukden)also called 沈陽(Shen Yang City), they both in 遼寧省(Liao Ning Province),but  distance between  two city is about 380KM/236Miles.

大連has one of the earliest Steel Factory called 達里尼鑄鐵廠 in Northeast China,it was built in 1901.

http://www.centunion...rovince-(china)

 "工" also could be short verse for "工字鋼"  ,means shape of the railway track,that's how it called in China/Manchuria railway industrial).

It's in the South Manchuria Railway&Current Ministry of Railways(China)logo.

I guess it's possible the Type 4 Mantetsu blade used railway track steel from 大連達里尼鑄鐵廠,maybe that's why has 連&工 on the tang.

 

"工字鋼"/South Manchuria Railway Logo/Ministry of Railways(China)Logo.

post-3887-0-19195000-1549548791.jpg

post-3887-0-50501300-1549549045_thumb.png

post-3887-0-79630000-1549549070.png

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Thanks Trystan, very informative! Sorry about the "I". I just don't know how to do that with my keyboard, but I've got it now and can copy/paste "工", ha!

 

I've updated the Mantetsu Study Charts with tabulations on blades with Nan, Ren, Ren/工, and W stamps.

 

Out of 32 '43s, 14 have Nan stamps (and 1 '44 has it)

Of 11 '44s, 8 are Ren stamped, with 3 Ren/工.

I have 8 blades W stamped - 4 '42 (all Koa), 3 '43, and 1 '44

 

If our theory on the source of the W stamp being the Tokyo Arsenal finishing blades supplied by Mantetsu, as per Nick Komiya's document, it's clear the practice was in place a couple of years before the document's date of 1944. I suspect there were orders made in the previous years, and this single document is the only one we have knowledge of.

 

The existance of Koa Isshin blades in '43 & '44 raise the question of WHO was making blades with the Nan and Ren stamps. One option is that the SMR Mantetsu factory was making them all, and for some reason was making both Koa and non-Koa blades simultaneously. Another option is that, per Ohmura's theory, Mantetsu had taught the Mukden arsenal to make blades the Mantesu way and blades marked with Nan, Ren, and Ren/工 are Mukden manufactured. Option 3 is that Mantetsu was supplying unfinished blades to Mukden just as they were to Tokyo, and the finished blades were stamped by Mukden accordingly. BUT we have 2 '43s with BOTH a Nan and a W stamp, and 1 '44 with both stamps!!! This COULD bring us back to option 1, with SMR Mantetsu making them all and using Nan, Ren, Ren/工, and W stamps for reasons yet unknown.

 

So, still very little facts, and much speculation, but it's been fun chasing it down.

 

Document 3.0 attached.mantetsu serial numbers (1)-converted.pdf

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Or maybe the Mantetsu swords' tang has 南(Nan) or 連(Ren) were complete in 奉天(Mukden)Arsenal by using the Blade from SMR's Da Lian Steel Factory?

 

And the swords' tang has 連(Da Lian)/工(Work) were manufactured in 大連鑄鐵廠(Da Lian Steel Factory)for the whole sword?

 南滿洲鐵道株式會社(South Manchuria Railway Co.) 's Headquarters was in 大連 (Da Lian City).

It all just guessing...

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Or maybe the Mantetsu swords' tang has or were complete in 奉天(Mukden)Arsenal by using the Blade from SMR's Da Lian Steel Factory?

 

And the swords' tang has 連/工 were manufactured in 大連鑄鐵廠(Da Lian Steel Factory)for the whole sword?

 南滿洲鐵道株式會社(South Manchuria Railway Co.) 's Headquarters was in 大連 (Da Lian City).

Yes, I like it! Good idea!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Fascinating presentation Koa posted by Dale (DGARBUTT) on the Translation Assistance forum: http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/28095-mantetsu-blade-with-long-inscription/

 

It's a Spring '41 Koa (still waiting to get the serial number from Dale!!!) with an added inscription:

 

吉林

哈爾浜

斉々哈爾

各鉄道局

 

Presented by the railway companies of

Jilin

Harbin

Qiqihar

(Thanks to SteveM for the translation!)post-3487-0-45435000-1550777913.jpgpost-3487-0-91799700-1550777921.jpg

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G'day Bruce and all,

 

Yesterday I looked over an old family edged weapon collection out of the woodwork, a real sleeper.  Two Japanese swords, a Burmese Dha dagger, six kris of various sorts, and a very smalI Indian Katar, the latter most unusual.

 

One of the Japanese swords was a Shinguntô with a Mantetsu blade, so I post here FYI.

 

Blade is 66.6 cm long, tang 21.3 cm.  Blade is signed KÔA ISSHIN      MANTETSU KORE SAKU and dated SHÔWA KANOTO MI HARU (Spring, 1941).with a nakago mune stamp.

 

BaZZa.

post-671-0-20735600-1552302960_thumb.jpg    post-671-0-05939200-1552302991_thumb.jpg

 

post-671-0-12541300-1552303021_thumb.jpg

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Thank you BaZZa! A new one for the study! Did you pick any of them up, or just look and enjoy the collection?

 

Interesting trivia this brought to my attention: Of the 31 '41s only 5 are numbered over 400, whereas of the 36 '42s only 6 are under 400. The other years seem to have an even spread of numbers across the spectrum.

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for Bruce

 

 

BTW collectors looks like traditional forged blade check out, Hamon,  Kissaki, Habaki, cut out tsuba!

Thank you Stephen! Are you able to read the certificate and tell us what it says? This is being sold in Japan right? (I can't read Japanese). If so, it's seems unlikely that someone in Japan would buy a Komonjo gunto off fleabay to resell in Japan. The price they're asking is less than they would have paid Komonjo for it.

 

I have seen 2 or 3 other Mantetsu-to with wavy hamon. This is the first I've seen that looks fully nihonto though. It would not surprise me. We have already seen several specially made blades from Mantetsu, for various purposes.

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Hey Bruce, is it too early in your study to have any clues on who and where made them?

 

Neil,

The short answer is "yes, too early." We know that SMR brought in a smith (or 2?) to design the blade and teach the workers how to make them. But we have no documentation to tell us who those workers were. I might sit down and start comparing mei on a line, like the '42 "Ra" line, since it's pretty big, and see if the mei match, then compare those mei to another line to see if there is a noticable distinction. BUT, we already know that some factories (no idea about Mantetsu's practice) used mei cutters that were completely seperate from the actual smiths, so this might be a wild goose chase.

 

As to where? Still no proof. The latest discoveries are hinting that most blades were made at SMR Mantetsu, with several thousand "finished" at Tokyo 1st Arsenal and maybe Mukden. It's seems possible, too, that some (Ren with 工) were fully made at Mukden, but that is pure speculation at this point.

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Is it possible that the mounts give any clue as to where they were finished or finally assembled? Were Mantetsu blades available for purchase from the normal officers clubs or arsenal issued?

 

Ha! I think you're going to have to join me and take on that study, my friend! I've saved many pictures, but not one of them includes the mounts. In general, I can say I've seen them in 98, Type 3 (Rinji), and combat saya fittings. But it would take someone more versed in koshirae to tackle that question.

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Bruce it says nothing other than the mei date and measurments, far left column i'm not sure but think its the local.

 

BTW when i posted last night it was under 100, i naively contacted Kelly for a low ball bid, after all it was less than a day auction. haha by time we hammered out the deal n fees it was over my bid, had a laugh over that.  430 AM its over 290,000Y 3 hours to go

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That workmanship (hataraki, hamon, hada) is so far from Mantetsu, that I really think something was altered and this didn't start out life as a Mantetsu. In Japan, Gunto are fetching crazy money...more than mumei antiques, and it would not surprise me.....

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