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A Little Help Please


Stevedei
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Hey guys, I’m new to the site and looking for a little help. I’m actually a surplus gun collector. And in my search for the next addition to my collection I ran across a guy with a Japanese Nambu that his grandfather brought back from WWII along with an officer’s sword. Long story short I bought the pistol and was intrigued with the sword because of the tag on it. It had the Joint Intelligence blue triangle, his grandfather’s name and “Japanese Sword”written on it. So if the story was true I wanted to keep the sword and pistol together. And now I’m a sword collector lol.

I’ve done some research and I believe it was made by Okitsugu Isshin, but I’m not sure of the date. This is one thing I need help with as well as info on restoring the sword. I don’t want to do anything to it till I research the proper way to go about this. I also want to know if anyone has a data base and would be interested in adding my sword to it. I’m going to try and upload a few picks of the tang and more pictures later. Any help would be appreciated, thanks in advance.4FEF766F-3753-4A76-B97A-618A4FFE02B4.thumb.jpeg.9546544cb6a64e22a3fb50ba737cdf19.jpeg8760CAE5-1803-46C5-86F6-4FB40780998A.thumb.jpeg.8af3fc12e35fc5003475492bc12c7617.jpeg

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There should be some little markings on the back of the tang (the top, near the collar and guard when held in hand).

Take a picture of that also, it will give the series production number.

Bruce Pennington  has a database for these and a topic to read is called Attention Mantetsu owners .

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1 hour ago, Stegel said:

There should be some little markings on the back of the tang (the top, near the collar and guard when held in hand).

Take a picture of that also, it will give the series production number.

Bruce Pennington  has a database for these and a topic to read is called Attention Mantetsu owners .

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Hi Steve!  I had the same difficulty getting a clear translation of my first Mantetsu Koa Isshin when I first started.  The WWII era kanji are not the same as Japanese kanji used today.  Plus practically every kanji has multiple translations/uses, so if you don't have experience with the context of what's written, it can be difficult to get the original meaning.

 

You can read about our discovery process in this NMB thread: Attention Mantetsu Owners: A Survey

And read an article some of us put together about the SMR Mantetsu sword production: South Manchuria Railway - The Mantetsu Blade

 

I restored mine and even paid to have it polished.  They are currently selling at a price high price, to you would likely get your money back, depending upon how much you paid for it.

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Oh, and the serial number "YO 57", assuming SMR used the Fiscal Year calendar, and production numbers were linear throughout the year (both are assumptions though) puts this blade around August of 1941 (fiscal year began 14 April each year).  If calendar year, then it was an April'ish production.  The "YO" line is at the end of the first third of the katakana produced in 1941.

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Your sword is a 15th series Mantetsu made by the South Manchuria Railway Company (SMR).  It is a commercial pattern and is dated Spring 1941.  This is the sixth 15 series Mantetsu recorded so far and the serial number range is ヨ11 to ヨ352. 

Tang top: ヨ 五七 = YO-57.

Obverse: 昭和辛巳春 = 1941 Spring.

Reverse: 興亜一心 満鐵作之 = Kōa Isshin Mantetsu saku kore.

満鐵 is an abbreviation for SMR so 満鐵作之 simply means "SMR made this" or "made by SMR."

 

If possible, can you post a picture of the overall view with the scabbard placed below the blade.  And finally, a picture showing the entire tang, either side will do.  This is so that yours truly can count the holes in the tang!

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Ok

Heres some more pictures. Unfortunately the tip of the blade has some issues. Don’t know if this can be repaired or how much this devalues the sword. I appreciate everyone’s help, I’ve learned a lot because of you guys.

I’ve read the SMR story Bruce, great read. Kiipu great info thx and I’ll post better pictures of the tang for you.

 

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I’m also saddened by your friend throwing the Nambu in the river Bugyotsuji. I understand why they did it but I’m saddened that we lost another piece of our history. We seem to be loosing more and more of it lately. I for one am going to do my best to save and preserve every piece I can for future generations to enjoy as I have.

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Thank you, Steve, and I agree. That was not the first, and not the last trip to the river with him.

 

Some years ago I found a Tanto in the castle moat. Perhaps I can now better understand why someone would do such a thing.

The sword and gun law has been strictly and heavily enforced since WWII.

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Maybe...maybe not. Not so strict that you cannot find plenty of unregistered swords at flea markets. And I'm sure you remember the rusted relic Type 99 machine gun under the table at the the country flea market when you were with myself and Nix?
I would have kept the Nambu. Or deacted it solid. But I understand the Japanese are a VERY law abiding population who don't like to make waves.

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Haha, yes I do remember the (de-activated) type-99. The problem with having something interesting is someone might rat on you. I had a Winchester 1873 for a while, but was warned never to show it to anyone! Even deactivated!! I mean, what's the point if you can't show it to your buddies??? OK if you're a visitor, but playing with fire if you live here with a hard-won residence permit and you know just how ana... robotic the police are.

 

As to unregistered blades at markets, 99% if not all of those on open display are registered. A dealer might have a secret rusted blade in his van which he will pull out surreptitiously if the customer looks interested and is obviously not with law-enforcement. :ph34r: Foreigners get a free face-pass there.

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