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Question about the world of war era Shin Gunto manufacturing


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Hey there guys, 


I've been kind of curious about something. Some of you may have seen my post about my 1943 Takehisa Type 98 I picked up recently. Looking at the sword and reading on this forum has got we wondering about something... 


What kind of environment would a sword like mine have been forged in? Would a sword smith like Takehisa have likely owned his own small shop or would he have more likely just been one worker in a larger shop with other sword smiths? And do we know what sort of manufacturing method were used for most war time Type 98's? 


Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

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Hi Hale,


I would (greatly) recommend reading this book:




you can probably find it elsewhere at retail value and it will answer a lot of your questions about the revival of swordsmithing before and post war era. An excellent book with history, pictures, blueprints and even interviews of modern smiths.

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Sword production ranged from small very traditional producers to big factories in Seki using modern methods, to in a couple of known cases hobbyist art and craft societies. There was no set production format. 

Trawl these pages for a general idea of the variations, and research your particular smith' history. The information is out there, and more is discovered all the time.

 You might also have a look here, a site specialising in WW2 militaria with a lot of information about Shin Gunto. Japanese Militaria

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Short answer is - Yes. 


All the above were done.  As to Takehisa himself, maybe Mal Cox or George Trotter could get you some specifics as to how or where he worked.  But there were over 300 smiths working just in the Seki area under Nagoya Arsenal supervision and most of them were small family owned shops.  Yet, there were some huge operations working at the arsenals too.


You can find great videos of a swordsmith at work on youtube.

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Hey guys, 


As usual thanks for all of your input! I figured there wouldn't be any simple answer, but this is an area I want to start investigating more.


I've searched this forum for info on Takehisa but haven't been able to find out too much more about him. Interestingly, it seems like anytime his swords come up they are from 1943. At least from what I've seen.


JP that book you mentioned seems like a good read and kinda what I'm looking for, I'll have to pick up a copy in not too long here. 



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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/19/2020 at 3:46 PM, PNSSHOGUN said:

From memory Takehisa and Yoshiharu worked together, their Mei are cut by the same person and their blades are often very similar. 


Just a passing minor comment, here is a pic of my Yoshiharu mei and rubbing (on lined note paper, no less!).  Re discussion as to whether these blades are gendaito or not, I note that the file marks on the nakago are well finished at the top, showing some care for a minor detail.  Not proof, of course, but perhaps some evidence for a better pedigree.





BTW, yes, I'm back, for any who remember or care (yawn, zzzzz).  Still have the old battered and butchered Bungo and gunto, nothing new to add to the discussion.  May drop in from time, comments from the peanut gallery on the lower end while I drool over the good stuff.  ^_^


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