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Type 95 Black Saya


Shamsy
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I was getting a bit of a laugh at the enthusiastic bidding, but I thought I'd better say something.

 

I'm sure most members that care for such swords are aware of this one (and keeping it secret). https://www.ebay.com/itm/Very-Interesting-Japanese-WW2-NCO-Navy-Sword-Matching-Scabbard/133091062265?hash=item1efcd871f9:g:YwIAAOSwZbFdC73w

 

Rather than let people down, better to share my opinion. Which is just that, though backed up with experience and some research from Nick.

 

Firstly: every black painted saya I have been able to get my hands on is not original. Hold on there before you desperately defend your treasure! To clarify, I've seen two kinds:

1) modern respray, sometimes with or without aging effects

2) genuinely aged patina on black saya. However, these have all, without exception, had remnants of the original brown/green paint.

 

So obviously, that begs the question. Are the original? Well as far as I'm concerned, no. BUT they do appear to be period. Now research I mentioned. Nick was asked about black saya. They were never issued or listed in provisions. As far as he's concerned, they're not authorised. So why do we see them? Insert conjecture here.

 

Now, after a long and disjointed rant, I'm going to categorically state that the listed and pictured 'interesting sword' certainly is interesting! Because it looks so obviously post war. Obvious scratches where the black paint was removed. A rather shiny area around the design where the steel patina does not match with the rest of the saya. Then the more opinionated side. If you're going to personalise a saya, wouldn't you at least paint over your addition? I mean really? The Japanese were not lazy or sloppy people by any stretch. It's ridiculous to think that after a repaint to black (yeah, the original brown even shows in the picture) that someone thought to sand it down and add a motif.

 

Unless of course you think it would be a good way to attract attention.

 

It is my opinion this sword has been tarted up post war, ruining a perfectly good example of a legitimate black repaint.

 

Okay, let's hear all the defensive comments and justification now. Oh,before the omnipotent Dawson is quoted (great book and such a boon to the collecting community), "just because it is written does not make it so" - Frankie Four-fingers. Dawson has made a few mistakes in the book.

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These things make me crazy! What bugs me is that the item in question often seems too well crafted to be a fake. Yet, everything you list, and more, cry out "Bubba-job"!!! Look at the file marks that aren't quite covered by the emblem. No self-respecting Japanese koshirae craftsman would leave such ugly detail unfinished.

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A while back, I saw a nice Type 95 with a black saya from a different seller (no emblems or anything messed with, just a black saya) … I avoided it once the bidding became realistic (I would have purchased the sword below value  :laughing: )  -  That said,  I recall finding some reference for the Type 32 NCO swords where sayas were painted black, but as stated ..nothing for the Type 95.   

 

Interesting to note that this seller requires bidders with a minimum of 10 Feedback,  I wonder if that's because he is trying to avoid "dubious bidders??"   :glee:

 

Dan 

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i personally see nothing offensive, but saying this i have always said the type 95 is over rated and over priced. this may cloud my opinion.

 

peaple whom see differant swords from whats listed in the 3 bibles of IJM swords seem to dismiss anything not shown 

 

 

what if this 'after market' work was done by the owner who was skilled craftsman, who just had alot of spare time??? that work is far beyond a simple hack job or amateur 

 

the paint looks aged to me,  i have seen type 32's that have be re-issed with simular black paint.

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i personally see nothing offensive, but saying this i have always said the type 95 is over rated and over priced. this may cloud my opinion.

 

peaple whom see differant swords from whats listed in the 3 bibles of IJM swords seem to dismiss anything not shown

 

 

what if this 'after market' work was done by the owner who was skilled craftsman, who just had alot of spare time??? that work is far beyond a simple hack job or amateur

 

the paint looks aged to me, i have seen type 32's that have be re-issed with simular black paint.

Yes, an amateur job is an amateur job. One done in the field during the war would be indistinguishable from one done post-war. And inspite of Nick's adamant stand that such non-spec mods wouldn't have been tolerated, we know that non-regulation things were done by troops of all nations, in every war. That's why things like this are just so difficult to know for sure.

 

Steve,

I took a re-look at my black saya 95. It's got plenty of scratches in the paint and I just can't tell whether the brown I'm seeing is tarnished steel or original paint. I'm leaning toward tarnished steel. But the quality of the paint job is much poorer than a legit factory job, so I'm leaning to wartime repaint. The one in this post has a similar low-quality look to it as well, with evidence of being painted over an original paint with scratches and dings.

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i personally see nothing offensive, but saying this i have always said the type 95 is over rated and over priced. this may cloud my opinion.

 

peaple whom see differant swords from whats listed in the 3 bibles of IJM swords seem to dismiss anything not shown 

 

 

what if this 'after market' work was done by the owner who was skilled craftsman, who just had alot of spare time??? that work is far beyond a simple hack job or amateur 

 

the paint looks aged to me,  i have seen type 32's that have be re-issed with simular black paint.

We're all aware of your opinions regarding 95s. Please don't share them.

 

Oh we agree on something! Amazing! Yes, the three books are aged and incorrect on so many aspects. I couldn't agree more! I've had many great bargains thanks to the ignorance of potential rivals. I remember not that long ago when an early aluminium handle was called fake because so few people are aware of the difference.

 

Yes I'm sure the owner of the sword (the Emperor of Japan) would have added the symbol! Okay, seriously, I would have thought it obvious that this is not original, but hey.

 

As I said, the black paint is of the correct patina and age. Shame about the obvious sanding where the symbol is. That metal certainly lacks the same patina as the other bare patches. There are plenty of 32s in black. See the part where I mention that the black paint is period, but not original.

 

You seem to love trying to contradict whatever I share, which is fine. It's good exercise. As I never got a right of reply in the last thread where you demonstrated your expertise with the 32s, yes, I am aware that there are 32s which were employed by and stamped by foreign armies. F&G mention it briefly in their book from 1996. Old news.

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There was a Type 98 with remnants of old black paint on it from another ebay seller, sometimes I wonder if some are original war time paint like the white Saya from Northern Manchuria.

They are! Maybe I wasn't clear enough on that point...

 

There are plenty of modern black respray. However, there are plenty of evidently period black painted saya on 95s. They are not original though in my opinion. They are repainted from the original green/brown at some stage, maybe in the field once the original paint was badly degraded (conjecture!). They weren't issued like that. They are legitimate wartime swords though.

 

Oh, edit to add that the very poor quality examples of 98s with wooden scabbard and Seki inspection stickers were all black. Completely legitimate pattern.

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Steve,

I took a re-look at my black saya 95. It's got plenty of scratches in the paint and I just can't tell whether the brown I'm seeing is tarnished steel or original paint. I'm leaning toward tarnished steel. But the quality of the paint job is much poorer than a legit factory job, so I'm leaning to wartime repaint. The one in this post has a similar low-quality look to it as well, with evidence of being painted over an original paint with scratches and dings.

Yes, the black is period! That's not the issue with the sword. I've obviously missed the mark with the initial post. I was trying to get the point across that black paint is period, not original, but the message was lost in my suspicion of the sword.

 

Pretty much all of the period black repaint seem to be in spotty condition. I think the black, semi gloss used was of poor quality and not very well applied. They usually don't have the same wear pattern indicative of use so I think they were probably done a bit later in the war (some loose evidence based conjecture).

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Never noticed this seller before, agree with the sentiments, lot's of "good" stuff suddenly coming out of the woodwork.

Yep. As was bound to happen when something goes from meh to suddenly commanding higher prices than what are frankly very nice, respectable officers swords. I'm glad there's so little information published on these swords, or we'd have more eBay monkeys on the drills and punches, suddenly making extremely rare variations more common than an unadulterated sword. There's a reason half these swords have less than 2 dozen known examples, and that's because there are so few examples for people to see!

 

The idea that all rip-off merchants are lazy and shonky is entirely far fetched too. Just ask any collectors of German militaria. When a sword has reached $1,100USD 15 hours before closing, it's worth a little effort.

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steve please don't take my post as a dig or slight at your post or opinion.

It was just a flippant remark I made on the sword you posted that was all. all points have be made about paint quality ETC

 

if it means anything to you if I saw this for the right price I would buy it,

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Understood, Hamish. Ultimately while I myself am comfortable in my opinion, it is just that. I always try to welcome debate and it is important that we all do, because that's how we learn. I come across as very flippant in my reply, which my excuse would be that I'm rather stressed and tired right now. But excuses are like arse holes - they stink. Instead I apologise for my overly defensive reply.

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  • 5 months later...

Found another one Steve: https://www.ebay.com/itm/WWII-Japanese-OFFICERS-SWORD-NCO-TYPE-95-COLLECTIBLE-RARE-COPPER-HANDLE/113703961728?hash=item1a7948c480:g:dmcAAOSwALdcmsZn&redirect=mobile

 

Seems like the Nagoya side-latch must have had a run where they were making them with black saya. This is like mine.

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I saw that one, Bruce. It certainly has the correct look of patina consistent with being original. I've further discussed my thoughts with Stegal regarding the black saya being 'period but not original', and our experiences differ. I have yet to find a period black saya without evidence of being originally another colour (hence my speculation that these are period 'refurbishment' of some kind), though Stegal has see period examples that are entirely devoid of other paint.

 

I have an example of a black saya in my collection at present. It's frankly a poor sword with little value, but it does clearly show traces of original colours under the black. I will reevaluate when I can, but I believe my initial examination concluded the black displayed appropriate patina and age to be considered 'period'. I will provide some photos of it, along with other black saya I have owned and recorded for your consideration.

 

On another note: we also discussed the frequency and consistency of the gold paint on 95 and 98 swords. You've previously thought these are post war painted, but we are not so sure. When I am finally able, I will do some more digging. The black saya 95 I have also has a golden tsuka.

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I know I have posted this before. It is a saya from a copper Handle '95. It is gilt (brass) plated NOT painted. I reckon it's original, you can see signs of use, like where the suspension ring has worn through the brass. 

I have no question that it is original, only why. 

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I know I have posted this before. It is a saya from a copper Handle '95. It is gilt (brass) plated NOT painted. I reckon it's original, you can see signs of use, like where the suspension ring has worn through the brass. 

I have no question that it is original, only why.

 

John, mine is the same way. I want to say it's some sort of undercoat or steel sealant, before the army green was applied; but I don't really know.post-3487-0-16839700-1576298090_thumb.jpg
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  • 3 weeks later...

Neil and Bruce,

Here's a picture of one of mine, it too uses the gold 'wash' /gilt plating as an undercoat before the usual top coat of paint.

Two other ones i have are similar, but another even earlier one appears to use a grey primer as the base coat, and is in poorer condition.

I'm aware that the Type 32's had 'rust' and paint issues with scabbards,  and with the introduction of the Type 95's these were being addressed. This may be the result of this effort.

My guess would be that it was time consuming and not an economical viability to continue, as i don't see examples of it later on, in the other patterns.

There were definite issues with 'black' paint in the early years which appeared to have been resolved later on.

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I think I made some vague commitment to follow up with a sword I spoke about. It's period, but not originally black painted. It also has a fair bit of gold paint over the tsuka...

 

I'm interested in further discussion regarding the number of swords with some or all parts painted golden. I've discussed this a little with Stegal and we think these may also be period. Anyone have any solid evidence or tests to determine the veracity of this theory? A theory without evidence is sadly quite useless.

 

Best I can remember is someone talking about celebrating the Emperor's birthday by painting swords gold??

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Not a Type 95 question, but i made a purchase arrangement with Ed for the Mantetsu he was selling, which has a funky green paint job which he said seems to have been worn that way for a time. maybe they were having supply issues and that color was all that was available at the time. That said, my question is, do the members here think it should be repainted a more "appropriate" color, or should it remain as is.....after some reconditioning of the blade, I will probably resell it at a later date.

http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/30670-mantetsu/

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Hi Steve,

 

Only my personal preference, but I tend to leave swords as they are. In my experience, as with the black saya and a gold saya, while there may be 'original paint' underneath, there may also just be a mess. I was told a story about a woman's father, a Greek veteran, who brought home a 95 and painted it blue. Definitely not original, but to me that's a part of the history, by a veteran, which makes it worth preserving. Unless you know the repainting is modern and badly done, better to have some genuinely aged paint than a crappy bare metal saya.

 

The mantetsu you have from Ed looks fine. To me, repainting it would devalue the sword. There are a ton of colours and shades used in 95s, all genuine, so could very well be original.

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I was going to buy Ed’s Mantetsu before you did (I ended up buying Bruce’s, which will remain as is, but with the addition of a nice tassel). Personally, since the paint, the tsuka ,and even the bend in the blade weren’t original, I was envisioning this as a project piece. Straighten the blade, try to remove the active rust on the kissaki and make the rest look as though it was a Mantetsu just out of arsenal. I would normally not do that but here, the mountings were too far from their original state.

 

I understand the “it’s part of the sword’s history” and usually agree with that, but here, the saya could be a bubba job made in the 80s, so my restoration would have also become part of the sword’s history, just better made.

 

In the end, I guess it’s yours to decide so long as you care for the blade and preserve it for future generations. Who knows, maybe the next owner will put it in a Edo koshirae for Iai and this will become part of the sword’s history too. Preservation of the blade is what matters most I think.

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I think I made some vague commitment to follow up with a sword I spoke about. It's period, but not originally black painted. It also has a fair bit of gold paint over the tsuka...

I'm interested in further discussion regarding the number of swords with some or all parts painted golden. I've discussed this a little with Stegal and we think these may also be period. Anyone have any solid evidence or tests to determine the veracity of this theory? A theory without evidence is sadly quite useless.

Best I can remember is someone talking about celebrating the Emperor's birthday by painting swords gold??

Steve,

Years ago I had a lengthy discussion of gold-painted gunto on the SFI site (http://www.swordforum.com/vb4/showthread.php?115526-Gold-Painted-Shin-Guntos!).

 

There was a reference in a book about gold scabbards glinting in the sun at the emperor's coronation. But that took place in 1926! So it wouldn't make sense that 95s and 98s would be painted gold for a coronation since they were made years after the fact. I have pics of a kyu painted gold, which by date could have been there.

 

I've since stripped my 2. The late-war one still had it's original paint underneath, but the aluminum-handled one had been stripped to the bare metal before painting gold (although the screw tab on the saya throat piece still had the original green!). In both cases, the painted came off with acetone, which I was led to believe wouldn't take off WWII era paint.

 

I've pics of gold-painted gunto I could share, but we're starting to turn your black saya thread into something else.

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