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David Flynn

Arsenal Stamps.

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Hi Dave, thanks for your report on "star" blades receiving papers at SF shinsa...

 

Can you just clarify...the shinsa panel? told you that "star" blades they papered as true gendaito in SF would be destroyed upon entering Japan...despite having papers ?

Was the panel NTHK or NBTHK...or?

 

Nice to hear about the Kanehide and Katsukiyo...great news for Showa gendaito gunto collectors.

Regards,

George.

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Dear All

 

Today at the San Francisco NTHK shinsa there were two star stamped swords that were

papered

 

Kanehide dated 1943 and Katsukiyo dated 1944.

 

I was told that if a star stamped blade was sent to Japan it would be broken up as

a weapon -- so even with papers you would NOT want to send to Japan with the star stamp.

Also I was told that there are oil tempered star stamped blades that would not

get papers so it is all in the blade not the stamp.

 

later

david

 

 

 

 

As far as star stamped blades being "broken up as a weapon", this is plain wrong on two accounts.

 

First, I have imported star stamped blades into Japan in the past on numerous occasions without incident.

 

Secondly, if a blade is rejected at the import licensing/shinsa, you are allowed to have it returned to the sender rather than have it destroyed.

 

This was the NTHK-Yoshikawa shinsa, not the NBTHK or NTHK-NPO. When it comes to WWII era blades, they are hardly the last word.....

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This was the NTHK-Yoshikawa shinsa, not the NBTHK or NTHK-NPO. When it comes to WWII era blades, they are hardly the last word.....

 

and sometime Koto i may add, this was called gendaito on one of their bad days....hey we all have them, not a knock, just to let you know all is in the eye of whos calling what what.

post-21-14196786753655_thumb.jpg

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HI Guys

can i post this one for some feedback, the blade is signed yoshinaga 1943 not sure if factory or traditionally made blade,

many thanks,

Peter

post-1679-14196786754951_thumb.jpg

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Dear George

 

As Chris said this is the NTHK-Yoshikawa shinsa. And from what I was told I got the impression that blades with star stamps 'might' be treated as weapons like other gunto's

so one should be very careful in sending a star stamped blade to Japan.

 

I think that the 'shinsa' papers would not be traveling with the sword and a star stamped blade might be viewed the same as a seki stamp. -- hope this helps

 

And just to muddy the waters it sounded like not all swords with star stamps would get papers. So some star stamped blades may not be traditionally made????????

Again just passing along some thoughts as I drive back home from the show.

22 hours on the road!!!

 

As Chris said I thought that that a gunto would be sent back to the owner and not broken up but I thought that the group should know what was said.

 

I have not tried to send a star stamped blade to Japan so do not know what would happen but from what I heard -do not think I would take the chance. All it takes is one person in Japan that receives the blades to not like WWII weapons.

 

Both blades were well made swords.

 

david

 

Hi Dave, thanks for your report on "star" blades receiving papers at SF shinsa...

 

Can you just clarify...the shinsa panel? told you that "star" blades they papered as true gendaito in SF would be destroyed upon entering Japan...despite having papers ?

Was the panel NTHK or NBTHK...or?

 

Nice to hear about the Kanehide and Katsukiyo...great news for Showa gendaito gunto collectors.

Regards,

George.

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Hi David, You said, you "got the impression". What gave you this impression? We had a NTHK-Yoshikawa grp Shinsa in Sydney last year and were told Star stamp swords are fine. However, there wasn't one submitted. I went to the NY shinsa in 06, and was very suprised by the amount of Seki and Showa swords submitted and rejected. Because of this factor, we didn't want anyone submitting a sword that didn't have a chance. We considered this to be bad policy. I was in charge of the recieveing the swords for the shinsa and so made a point of asking what was acceptable. Also, I have not heard of an oil tempered Star stamped sword.

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Also, I have not heard of an oil tempered Star stamped sword.

 

I have never heard of one nor have I seen one. Theoretically, due to the requirements imposed on RJT, they should not exist. Seeing that exceptions are the rule, I would not be surprised to see one at some point. A shinsa team with experience will know the difference.

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Hmmm...first time I have seen the "ren" stamp...does anyone know the significance?

 

Just on the Shinsa points discussed above...I have never seen an oil-tempered RJT blade either, but as Chris says, there is the possibility of one popping up. However, as my translation of the requirements of the RJT inspection system show...this should not happen...if it does then it is a fraud on the RJT rules....or a fake star stamp on a non-RJT blade.

 

A number of star stamp blades have been mentioned as papered at the SF Shinsa. Together with Chris Bowens comments on previously seeing papered examples himself, it seems that quality swords of the WWII Showa era are not discriminated against by the Japanese establishment. It seems that as we know Yasukunito, RJT and other Showa period WWII gendaito are papered by both the NTHK (Kanteisho origami) and the NBTHK (Hozon origami) as "worthy of preservation", it must mean that the various Shinsa bodies actually do judge the blades on their quality rather than on their period or whether they have a star stamp on them or not.

 

This is all good news for lovers of quality WWII gendaito, but must be bad news for those who have said that all WWII swords are "militaria", "crap", "junk" etc etc...can it mean they were wrong (quelle horreur!)?...or does it mean the Shinsa teams are incompetent? One critic is on record to have said he would have to see one papered before he would believe it...no offense meant, but...well?

Some hozon WWII gendaito are here http://www.e-sword.jp/newlineup.htm

Regards,

George.

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Just a note, to further what George has stated on quality Gendaito. I have a sword Signed Kanetsune, that recieved 75pts kanteisho at the NY shinsa in 06.

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Attached is one I never did find out about,Unsigned Katana with full length HI and fine hanyaki hamon. Mounted in Kyu Gunto army mounts and with two Mon.

 

 

did we ever figure this one out?

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file.php?id=21453

 

(top right) Tai(sha) stamp and appears on late war blades made by smiths associated with the Izumo Seiko steel works. Located In Shimane. The forge was located near the Izumo Taisha shrine and by 1945 the country was in dire need of divine assitance, hence the Tai or Dai stamp on some blades to involk the spirits of the Taisha.

 

Brian

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This blade is stamped with a seki stamp but has also have a kokuin at the bottem of the nakago...

Signed as; Seki stamp, Noshu Ju Minamoto Kanehisa saku, Kokuin.

post-2519-14196795902575_thumb.jpg

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Dear NMB-ers,

 

To give this topic some new material for discussion....

I have found an artikel written by former chairman of the Dutch To-ken Society; Mr. Han Bing Siong.

 

It's mentioning a star stamped blade with the signature of;

 

Hizen Kuni Masatsugu

Koki Nisen Roppiaku San Nen Uzuki Kichi Jitsu

(On the Mune) Kogi

 

Lenght 66,1 cm

Shinogi Zukuri, ihorimune, mihaba hiroku, torii sori, chu kissaki nobiru.

Tighly forged ko-itame hada, wazukuni nagare, on omote some o-hada, ji nie, chikei, shirake, which becomes a vague bo-utsuri along a large part of the hamon.

The hamon is Sugu ko midare ko choji ha, ko ashi, some kinsuji, nioiguchi shizumu.

 

This blade was send to Japan for Shinsa and passed examination!!

 

I quote;

 

This smith is Taguchi Kiichi, born in 1904 and a pupil of KURIHARA AKIHIDE.

As from 1935 he worked in Karatsu in Saga-district of the former province of Hizen. He passed the army's examination for RUKIGUN JUMEI TOSHO in 1941 and was awarded a gold medal and the Minister of the Navy prize in 1939 and 1940.

 

After the war he participated in the swordsmith-contests of the Nippon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai as from 1957 and won several prizes.

The nioiguchi shizumu is not accordance with the tradition style of the TADAYOSHI-School of Hizen. Its kitae as well is somewhat different. But as this smith was a pupil of KURIHARA AKIHIDE, he did not specialize in making swords in the TADAYOSHI-Style.

 

In view of the sword-characteristics as discribed above, this blade is clearly a hand forged sword. A star stamp like the one on this blade therefore does not necessarily indicate that the sword is an arsenal made sword.

A prerequisite for gendaito, however, is that the blades are both hand forged and made of tamahagane. Consequently, the question was, wether this sword was made of tamahagane from a tatara, or made of western factory made steel.

 

It has been pointed out by western metallurgists that western factory made steel cannot possible show any patterns after being folded many times. If so, then Japanese swords made of western steel would either only show loose patterns (due to the limited number of foldings) or justhave difficult to discern patterns.

 

As this sword has a tightly forged pattern in its steel, suggesting a manifold of foldings, the conclusion was that it would have been made of tamahagane.

But the question remained, why was it stamped with a star??

 

According to Mr. FULLER the star stamp was used on blades of unknown smiths. But this sword was forged in 1943, when this smith had allready appointed Rikugun Jumei Tosho. He therefor was no longer unknown to the authorities.

 

To obtain certainty for academic reasons the Netherlands Token Society sent this sword to Japan to be submitted to shinsa.

The sword passed the examination and recieved a Hozon Token Kanteisho No; 352362, dated Heisei 11-2-2.

This indicates that the sword's quatily was judged to be in accordance with the requirements for traditionally made Japanese swords. My judgement proved to be correct both as to the quality of this sword and as regards its authenticity.

 

In a personal communication, however, TANOBE MICIHIRO sensei affirmed to me, that the star stamp is certainly no guarantee that the sword concerned is equal in quality to the traditionally made Japanese swords. On the contrary, in general the stamp indicates that the sword concerned in one way or another may not be fully made in conformity with the traditionally prescribed procedure.

 

The late YOSHIKAWA KENTARO sensei informed me as well that swords with the star stampgenerally are "hantan" rather than "hontan" (Partially forged rather than truly forged) .

 

But of course exceptions do exist like in this case.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

This whritting by Mr. Han Bing Siong can be found in;

 

Japanese swords in Dutch collections [page 147 56(No.326)

 

Rob Kauffman

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Unfortunaly i don't own a scanner... so i had to photograph the oshigata, then upload them to facebook... download them to my computer and tadahhh here they are hahahaha :rotfl:

 

Rob Kauffman

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Regarding the star stamp and its use, rikugun jumei tosho, and whether or not these are traditionally made or not, modern research has shed a great deal of light and shown that in general star stamped blades were traditional in both materials and manufacture. There has been a great many falsehoods perpetuated in Japan, and elsewhere, as concerns these blades in the past. We know better now....

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I agree with Chris.

It is a pity Mr Tanobe did not state the basis for his negative remarks...even if it was "personal past inspections of these star stamped swords has shown hantan work". I have not seen an obviously hantan RJT blade but do not say this can never be...(but I, and the Japanese Army authorities of WWII, would certainly consider it a fraud on the RJT system or a fake star stamp).

 

I can attest to translating the WWII regulations to prospective RJT members and these say that ONLY tamahagane and charcoal will be issued to smiths and they MUST use this and fold-fabricate and yaki-ire in the traditional manner. ONLY if the finished sword conforms to quality and manufacturing standards set for membership in RJT scheme will the Army inspector stamp the star on the blade. The blades HAD to be signed and dated by the MAKER ONLY.

 

I am happy to send my translation to Brian for recording on our articles site as long as Morita san, who sent me the original in Japanese, agrees that this is OK with him.

 

Regards,

George.

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Hallo George,

 

Thank you for your reply.

Your comment gives me some more insight on this issue. The article i quoted was published 7 years ago..... many thinks did hapen and many thinks changed.

As Chris already mentioned "We do know better now"

 

Besites a statement... this was for me also a question..... And so, i learn some more every day, here on this board.

 

Thank's

 

Rob Kauffman

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Hi,

 

I think Tanobe and Yoshikawa sensei know very well the subject and we can have confidence in their opinion (even if it could be a bad new for the market).

 

What do you base this opinion on? Have you discussed the topic with them both at length, like I have, or is this simply idol worship?

 

Since I have spoken with them both about wwII era blades, I speak with both confidence and first hand knowledge when I say that while they are (were) unquestionable experts when it comes to old swords they have not researched war era blades to the same breadth and depth and consequently I would not consider them the final word when it comes to this topic. I hesitate to mention this but there were instances when I received inquires about WWII era blades from people who were referred to me by the NBTHK....

 

I remember when the NBTHK would not paper Horii Toshihide Mikasa steel blades. Then they did. Then they said they wouldn't paper any showa blade with any stamp, including the star stamp. Now they have papered many (star stamped blades). This is a dynamic field where not everything about the past is known.

 

WWII era blades were ignored for a long time and it is only recently that research has clarified many of the details that have been ignored, forgotten, and buried. Many misconceptions and prejudices have been corrected as a result. As I said, we know better now....

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Yoshichika katana with REALLY Odd Stamp! Okay, someone explain this one to me...I recently acquired a sword made by Yoshichika, a good quality sword with a fine hamon and strong construction...Signed with a deep stamp at the tip of the nakago with what I believe is a helmet and the word WARRIOR in English!!! It resembles Pacman with a Mohawk!

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What is interesting for the discussion in this thread however is the image Ford posted in the other thread :

 

file.php?id=24175

 

The comment states that the military ordered these stamps on all non traditional blades during the war.

Does any of you have that particular IJA directive or maybe a fascimile of it ?

 

Right now i am reading a book called The Yasukuni swords i picked up at the Japanese faculty library today, very interesting !

 

KM

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