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Shin Gunto Type 3 tang kangi translation help


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Hello all!

I just purchased my 1st Type 3 "Late War" Officers Shin Gunto for my personal collection.  This is a pretty nice piece.  It was claimed to be "unmolested" and "as found", after receiving it I believe it.  It had the original mekugi in it that I'm 99.9% confident had never been removed since the swords assembly.  So after removing them and inspecting the tang I was greeted by a nice surprise of kangi (both sides) and arsenal stamps.  So I've been trying to decipher the markings and I could use some help.  I think I might be close on the date but the "math" doesn't add up, so I'm not understanding something correctly.  On the other side of the tang I have not been able to translate the markings.  It has two Gifu-in-sakura stamps and a painted serial number ( 396...if I translated correctly).

 

I believe the date to say Showa 20th year, 5th month...but the 20th year of showa would be 1946 and that's after the war so I'm guessing I'm missing something.

 

Thank you!

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Thank you Mark, I appreciate your translation.  What might I be missing on the year translation...I'm new to trying to understand kanji and dating.  I got the showa (1926) and it appeared to be the 20th year.  I'm guessing I added the 20 years to the 1926 and didn't actually count 20 years FROM 1926...which would have been 1945.  I'm learning as I go.  Thank you for the Smith translation as well. 

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Your blade is now the 3rd May 1945 blade on record.  Only one dated blade older, a Jun 1945 owned by @Ryubiken.  Thanks for posting.  If you haven't already found the articles by Nick Komiya on this model, a Contingency Model, or in Japanese Rinji seishiki (we're starting call them "Rinji" or "RS" for shorthand), check them out:

 

Rebutting the "Type 3" term

 

True Significane of the Contingency Model

 

Unveiling the Rinjiseishiki sword in 1940

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Haha, I feel special!  Thanks Bruce for the reference material links...I will certainly check it out.  I've been trying to find out some information on the Saku but there seems to be little information available.  Yoshihide (Ito Nobuyoshi).  The type 3 seems to be a bit of a strange hybrid being as late in the war as it was produced.  Other then the "bronzing" of the saya...which certainly may have come later by a collector unless this was a special order of some kind...it has the earlier type 3 tsuka but not the lacquered wrap. Does have the cherry blossom fuchi not the plan stamped and the saya and fittings are of an earlier model (regardless of the plating treatment).  It doesn't have the dust collar but the Kuchi-gane also doesn't have a provision for one...so it appears this piece was not made to have one.   The Chūsō is plan and not with an ornate button like the earlier versions. 

 

-Eric

   
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Gotcha Bruce!  I though this Type 3 being built so late in the Japanese war effort might have the koshirae more similar to the version listed as a "Last Stage Type" on the Ohmura- Study sight http://ohmura-study.net/754.html As for the Saku I was referring to Yoshihide (Ito Nobuyoshi),  I should have better described that sentence with blade smith...I was not very clear on that...my apologies.

 

Thanks!

Eric

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