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Japanese Type 95 Sword for NCOs


Shamsy
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Bruce/Steve,

 

One final word on the line of thinking of consecutive numbered pieces of equipment. 

 

In addition to IJA 'operational field swaps', allied soldiers also 'gathered' swords, many of which would have become separated from their sayas in the heat of battle.  So it may also be just a case of, following hostilities, 'matching' a sword with a saya without any regard (or possibly knowledge) for individual numbering.

 

Rob

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Is it simply a matter of IJA soldiers being issued consecutive numbered factory/arsenal equipment on commencing/leaving basic training? Largely, the men from those units would remain together during their various postings and logically, would make whatever 'field swaps' they needed to in order to remain operational.

 

Seems straightforward to me.

 

Regards

Rob

This thought had occured to me as well. And I find it more likely than a G.I. grab or even a dealer swap around.

 

Steve, I wish I could remember where I read the story, but it was someone's story of being in battle, grabbing a bare blade from a dead soldier (why he wouldn't have grabbed the saya too, I don't understand), and later before going home, finding a scabbard to stick his bare blade in. So I know it happened. But it seems so unlikely in these cases we're posting due to the closeness of the numbers. With serial numbers ranging from 1 to 200,000+ of the metal handled versions, it would be more likely for the GI to grab a 153XXX saya for his 56XXX blade, just due to randomness.

 

When I mentioned factory/arsenal, I really meant as a replacement for a damaged saya, but after thinking about that, Ha, it's even more unlikely than the G.I. grab.

 

So, to me, Rob's idea seems quite possible as a large unit in the field sustains causalties, battle damaged gear, etc, it would be possible that a buddy's saya, who died, is used to replace a guy's damaged one.

 

It just seems too unlikely that a dealer could get his hands on enough 95s at one time to swap saya around on gunto with serial numbers that close. Now a collector like Shamsy or Stegel with 50 on-hand ... Ok, sure, it could happen!

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I briefly touched on this, but Rob has provided a better example of what MAY have happened. "Can I believe that after a battle that a NCO with a damaged sword/saya collected one from a deceased and used that? Absolutely."

 

Arsenal seems the least likely scenario to me. I agree that battlefield grabs/savage from both sides seems more likely. I don't think that the idea of dealers mixing parts up is far fetched though. That happened/s with fittings all the time, matching up the 'best' parts to make a more attractive sword. I'm not sure matching numbers mattered as much in the good ol' days as now.

 

It's probably a good mix of all three. Salvage during the war, dealers and collectors post, which has resulted in mismatched examples.

 

Would love to see some actually evidence, but that's the best supposition gets for now.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...

Fascinating, and quite significant discovery happening over on the Warrelics thread about Type 95 history.  The last couple of pages reveal that there was a large warehouse supply of Type 32's when the type 95 was being introduced.  These 32's were being converted to Type 95s!!!  There may have only be a few thousand converted, so they are quite rare (in-line with copper and side-latch numbers).

 

https://www.warrelics.eu/forum/Japanese-militaria/short-development-history-type-95-gunto-676112-19/

 

 

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Yes - I am following the warrelics chat (Bruce mentions) on the Type 32/Type 95 and it has me breaking out the digital calipers later tonight  😁  ... fascinating topic.    I just hope Monkey doesn't see that thread and throw one of his handles on a type 32 and create another "prototype"  (sorry to be negative, but that thought crossed my mind!)   Dan  

 

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11 hours ago, zook said:

Yes - I am following the warrelics chat (Bruce mentions) on the Type 32/Type 95 and it has me breaking out the digital calipers later tonight  😁  ... fascinating topic.    I just hope Monkey doesn't see that thread and throw one of his handles on a type 32 and create another "prototype"  (sorry to be negative, but that thought crossed my mind!)   Dan  

 

 

 He will have been doing it already if he thought it a viable proposition. What we now have is a way of detecting them.

 

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  • 2 months later...

I mentioned on another thread, somewhere, that I felt the Quality Control at the Tokyo Arsenal was tighter than that of the Nagoya Arsenal.  I don't remember what part of the gunto I showed at that time, but today I was looking at the bo-hi of each, and the starting-point is cleaner and more uniform on the Tokyo blades than it is on the Nagoya blades.  I even have one Nagoya blade where the bohi starts at the habaki edge on one side, but is off-set on the serial number side.

Some examples:

 

Tokyo

Bohi159557Tokyo.thumb.jpg.fb5e172f9e763fe84388fe0d3c57a87d.jpg

 

Nagoya

Bohi202446SidelatchNagoya.thumb.jpg.e64843ed30be3e01ea110f0009f73357.jpgBohi10506Gifu.thumb.jpg.6267b2c1880ae8fef6f57aaa0c24d319.jpg

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7 hours ago, Bruce Pennington said:

I mentioned on another thread, somewhere, that I felt the Quality Control at the Tokyo Arsenal was tighter than that of the Nagoya Arsenal.  I don't remember what part of the gunto I showed at that time, but today I was looking at the bo-hi of each, and the starting-point is cleaner and more uniform on the Tokyo blades than it is on the Nagoya blades.  I even have one Nagoya blade where the bohi starts at the habaki edge on one side, but is off-set on the serial number side.

 

 

That's the main reason most of my 95's were Tokyo's.

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  • 3 months later...

A nice example of stamping mistakes, Bruce. As well as stamps being missed, I have an example with the first serial number on the blade being vertical instead of horizontal, stamps in the wrong order on the fuchi and very poorly struck stamps, double stamps etc. There was obviously a human element that was not quite perfect! I like to add these to the collection as funny examples.

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1 hour ago, Shamsy said:

A nice example of stamping mistakes, Bruce. As well as stamps being missed, I have an example with the first serial number on the blade being vertical instead of horizontal, stamps in the wrong order on the fuchi and very poorly struck stamps, double stamps etc. There was obviously a human element that was not quite perfect! I like to add these to the collection as funny examples.

Steve

I recall saw one on the 30k range had first or the last number stamped vertical. Here is one with vertical 東.

 

WechatIMG2737.jpeg

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  • 10 months later...

Steve, found this fully leather-wrapped Kobe 95 on this Warrelics Thread.  Also interesting was the owner's observation that the tsuka details were poor, aligning with what we've learned that the Kobe shop losing their contract because of poor workmanship.

 

It also has the double chevron or "W" stamp on the nakago!

IMG_20211011_151231.jpg

IMG_20211011_151303.jpg

IMG_20220112_151653.jpg

IMG_20220112_151703.jpg

IMG_20220112_203253[1].jpg

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5 hours ago, Bruce Pennington said:

 what we've learned that the Kobe shop losing their contract because of poor workmanship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I thought it was the Mizuno 水野 got canceled contract due to the poor workmanship.

 

42 sept.jpg

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Kobe had a very limited run of around 2,000 swords (that's the serial number range at least). I think you had speculated that Kobe may have changed their logo to the 'Ichi', Bruce, based on the serial numbers. My Kobe are all first rate too, really well made. Trystan is right, I think Mizuno was the one that stopped producing swords after getting only 1,000 serial numbers assigned and I am pretty sure Nick mentioned it being due to unsatisfactory results or production issues. How many swords Mizuno actually made is unclear, but considering the sample size and rarity, not many!

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The sword is not genuine, it is made up from original parts.

The fuchi does not belong with this sword and neither does the habiki

looking at extra pictures over at war relics, i would go so far as to say that the originality of the tsuka and tsuba is also doubtful.

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Astute observation. 

 

Had a quick look and agree, definitely a mutt. Kobe range from 37k to 39k, so blade does not match the fuchi. The saya doesn't match blade or Kobe range numbers either. The habaki doesn't appear to fit, so agree there, though it does look as though the seppa is removed in the photo, so could just be not fitted together? It looks a bit sanded though and shape is bad. As I mentioned, the Kobe I have and have seen all look excellently made, great examples.

 

Don't really see anything obvious about the tsuka or tsuba being reproduced, but the photos would been to be a bit larger and show more detail. I am also looking on a phone, so small screen. The leather on the tsuka looks pretty genuine though and it's not something I've seen faked on 95s. Is there anything in particular that stands out, @Stegel?

 

At best, this is a parts sword, at worst, there may be some replacement parts. Either way, such a shame as a leather clad sword like this would lovely to see, if original. I wonder if this is a Monkey special?

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6 hours ago, BANGBANGSAN said:

Steve 

Do you know what is the Ser# range of Mizuno?

124k to 125k. Last I remember speaking to Stegel, we were aware of about 15 examples existing. I expect they made far less than 1,000 swords.

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The owner states in his 3rd paragraph, that the tsuka looks to be in poor shape, but did not take photo's before restitching the leather wrap back on.

 

Quote

The Bad would be the aluminium tsuka which is nothing like i have seen before on a gunto even the cheap fakes as it has no cast detail such as menukis other than the wrap texture. (Really should have thought to take a picture before restitching the leather cover.) Also when I originally got it it came with a habaki that did not fit at all (rattled about and actually covered the first few digits of the serial number so the one you are seeing is a replacement i shaped and put on it just to make it solid along with an orignal spare nco seppa I got in a job lot, the habaki is about but i have misplaced it unfortunately) as well as only having a single poor seppa that was soldered on! Also the only screw holding the entire thing together is the top screw as despite the the tang having two holes there is no hole in the tsuka or its wood lining to take one.
 

here's a better pic of the pommel/sarute. 

 

pommel.jpg

The tsuba is very rough in my opinion too.

tsuba.jpg

This sword should be an Iijima product (not Kobe), with more likely a round steel tsuba.

 

I know F&G mention 'emergency' field cast tsukas being provided for 'field  repairs'.... perhaps this is one of them, but i would like to see more before making any call like that.

The fact that the menuki screw is missing bothers me, and casts doubts in my mind of any field repair.

 

Looking at the studs used on the leather scabbard cover also makes me think that something is not quite right there also.

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Oh gee. Well that better picture of the tsuka really makes it look poor. I agree, little to no detail... almost looks sanded. The detail on the tsuba is pretty lacking too. It didn't fit together... restitched leather. Yeah, calling this one a bust.

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Thanks for the update, @Kiipu. What a mess. This is not a third example of the 'field cast' (from F&G or the one that I have posted here) as it doesn't match at all. Main difference being the locking latch, lack of a lower peg and the better details of the tsuka. The 'field cast' also appear to have different saya and tsuba, evident in both F&G and the picture below.

 

Just looks really bad tsuka, low detail, either badly worn/sanded or far below the usual quality. I would say Stegel is right in his doubts about the originality of the tsuka. The whole sword is just a mash of parts pretending to be a 95. The fact the cover removes is not a good thing. 

1558008d1641843338-short-development-history-type-95-gunto-3798-1.jpg

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