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Bruce Pennington

Need Help with a Katakana

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Guys,

I'm pretty sure the first character in this number is a katakana. I want to say it's "イ" but it looks like the top is just a corrosion dot to me.  What do you say?

Kanji.jpg

toushin-ka311501-A5.jpg

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John,

I think you're right.  I checked some other blades with stamped numbers and they all had the horizontal base to the "1".  These two one's are just low and the base isn't fully struck.

 

Thanks!

InkedKanji_LI.jpg

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Bruce I think it is 'i'512. I think he is Katsumura Masakatsu of Ibaraki, which is north of Tokyo. Here is the number of my Kunishiro, also RJT and also north of Tokyo in Aomori....maybe the same RJT blade inspector guy collected both blades to take back to Tokyo for polishing/mounting and gave them his stamp?  I say this as your 'i' is from Ibaraki and my 'o' is from Aomori...both numbers 5 and 1 seem to match in font and size...just saying.

kunishiro mei pic tang number.jpg

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13 hours ago, george trotter said:

'i'512.

Well, I'm open to suggestion, but this would be the first time an English letter is used in front of the numbers.

Would this shed a new light on the other katakana found before numbers:

Munetoshi  2353

Masakazu  37 

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Bruce it is not English letter "i"  it is katakana "i" (the sound - look up katakana "i" and you will see your character)...on my sword the katakana (in pic) is pronounced "o".

 

The two numbers you have added here are katakana "ta" 2353 and "fu" 37...(actually fu is pronounced more like "who"}.

Hope this helps.

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4 hours ago, george trotter said:

Bruce it is not English letter "i"  it is katakana "i" (the sound - look up katakana "i" and you will see your character)...on my sword the katakana (in pic) is pronounced "o".

 

The two numbers you have added here are katakana "ta" 2353 and "fu" 37...(actually fu is pronounced more like "who"}.

Hope this helps.

Oh, right, yes that was my first thought on this too.

 

My question on the TA and FU was that you were supposing that the I and O were tied to locations of the smiths - so do you see a connection with the TA and FU for Munetoshi and Masakazu?

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Bruce, about "I" and "O" smiths being tied to a location...I am not saying that is the reason for the katakana stamp, BUT it might be.

The two Ta and Fu you ask about are both RJT also.  Masakazu lived/worked in Fukushima Prefecture while Munetoshi lived/worked in Niigata Pref....both north/east of Tokyo

Masakatsu (""I' 154), Masakazu ("Fu" 37) , Munetoshi ("Ta" 2353) are all north/east of Tokyo and all were foundation members of The Tobu (eastern region) Sword Forging Assoc. led by Kasama Shigetsugu. All joined in 1941 and as I understand it, these smiths (all RJT) had an agreement with Tobu who (I think) collected their finished blades and took them back to Tokyo for sale. Whether these stamps are a Tobu stamp or a RJT stamp I don't know. If it helps, Kunishiro (""O" 154) was RJT in Aoyama, north/east of Tokyo, but I don't think he was a member of Tobu.

Bit of a mystery at present, but another item we need to keep an eye on and see if a "pattern" emerges.

Regards,

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7 hours ago, george trotter said:

The Tobu (eastern region) Sword Forging Assoc. led by Kasama Shigetsugu

Thanks George.  By all appearances, stamping went regional after the Army assumed control of all sword production in 1942.  These would make sense, in that context, as regional stamps and this information about the "Eastern" Sword Forging Assoc. fits in nicely.  The Matsu stamp started in 1942 as well, so it would be convenient if a regional tie could be found.  The katakana begin in 1944, but seem possible to be tied to locations too, and it would be cool to find that they are all tied to this Association.

 

To explore some more, are these smith, whose numbers don't have a symbol in front of the numbers, located elsewhere:

Tomomaro 535

Riyuu 1301

Morinobu 95

Munimitsu 315

Akitaka 1098

Munetaka 490

Katsumara 1512

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Hi Bruce, sorry I don't know who these smiths are for sure but there are the following in Hawley Revised 1981...

 

 535...(Ueda ju) Tomomaro, Nagano1926-45  (Nagano is west and southwest of Tokyo)  TOM 85 .There is a Tomomaro listed in the Tobu Assoc.

?

95...Morinobu (wrong nobu in Hawley) Kumamoto Showa MOR 779   (Kumamoto is way down south on Kyushu Is.)

315...Mune?mitsu...there are several... 1930 Yamagata (east of Tokyo),   1950 Shimane near Hiroshima,   1930 Hiroshima near Shimane...both south of Osaka.

1098...there are several....Akitaka, Niigata, name Nakamura Fukutaro Showa AKI 68.   Also Akitaka, Saitama (next to Tokyo) , name Koyano Showa AKI 69,     also Akitaka, Saitama, Showa  "Sanjo Group" AKI 70.

490...Munetaka...didn't find any.

1512...Katsumasa?  there are these...Bungo (on Kyushu)  1926 (Hoshu ju Kojima Katsumasa) KAT 74....and  Mino 1926 (2 char. sig.) KAT 75

Not sure if this helps...some of the names you give could be mis-types?...any oshigata or pics?

Regards,

 

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On 11/29/2020 at 9:52 PM, Bruce Pennington said:

Would this shed a new light on the other katakana found before numbers:

Munetoshi  2353

Masakazu  37 

 

At a lost as to where to post this but here goes anyway.  A Type 100 by Akimitsu that is pictured in Modern Japanese Swords: The Beginning of the Gendaito Era by Kapp & Monson.

Nakago Reverse

☆ 鉄収子昭光作之 タ1246

Nakago Obverse

昭和十八年八月日

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1 hour ago, Kiipu said:

by Kapp & Monson

Thanks Thomas.  That's the first kana-led number I've seen prior to 1944.  The matsu numbers were earlier, but this is the first non-matsu number prior to '44 that I've seen.  If someone could take a snap shot of that page, I'd love to add it to the files.

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