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IJA Shin Gunto TYpe 98
Old 01-29-2020, 10:21 AM   #1
Ian Hulley
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Default IJA Shin Gunto TYpe 98

As I haven't posted this before I thought I would ask you gentlemen for an approximate date for my only sword. It is signed by Kojima Katsumasa, made for the Seki Arsenal and I am assuming it's an early to mid-war period ? Maybe '41 to '43.

I'll start with the Tsuka and add all the photos in groups ..
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:23 AM   #2
Ian Hulley
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Tsuba etc ...
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:26 AM   #3
Ian Hulley
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The signature and blade.

I hope everyone likes it as much as I do.

Cheers, Ian.
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Old 01-30-2020, 12:09 AM   #4
BruceP
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Ian,
It is a nice gunto, thanks for sharing! Just some minor correction to your description - there was no Seki Arsenal. Seki was an area, and a swordsmith guild. In your case it is refering to the area. 70% of WWII blades were made by smiths in the Seki area.

If there was no date on the other side, I honestly don't know how one would guess at the date. Sometimes if there is an arsenal inspector stamp we can begin to narrow a date down, but from the pics you've provided, I don't see any.

If the smith worked for only a short period during the war, you might be able to bracket some dates that way (I'm not one to track smiths).
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Old 01-30-2020, 03:17 AM   #5
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Katsumasa died in 1947. His teacher, Kaneyoshi, might be the one I highlighted in red; the other two are sons of Kaneyoshi. The "Meiji" Kaneyoshi died in 1896 so can be ruled out since Katsumasa was born in 1892; the "Taisho" Kaneyoshi could also have been the teacher.

Katsumasa would have been 15 in 1907, just when Kaneyoshi founded the Seki-based Token Tanrenjo. 15 is not an uncommon age to begin an apprenticeship, I think.

--Guy
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Old 01-30-2020, 03:52 AM   #6
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Thank you both Guy and Bruce, here is the missing stamp ...

Apart from the fish tail style file marks there are no ther marking on the other side.

Ian
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Old 01-30-2020, 09:47 AM   #7
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Ah, now we have something! The Seki stamp! Ohmura says that the Seki guild was using the stamp prior to 1939, when they switched to the Showa stamp, and the Nagoya arsenal begain using it. But so far, no actual examples have been found with it prior to December 1941. So, I would personally put this blade in the '42-44 range.
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Old 01-30-2020, 11:02 AM   #8
Ian Hulley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceP View Post
So, I would personally put this blade in the '42-44 range.
That's great, many thanks for your help

As a kid I remember seeing the Airfix 1/32 and 1/72 scale Japanese Infantry figures with the 'Samurai swords' and I've always had a hankering to own one. Being a medal/ribbon bar collector I decided to just have one sword, a classic WW2 combat piece, as nice as I could get/afford and this one ticked all the boxes.

Thanks again, Ian.
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Old 02-03-2020, 08:20 PM   #9
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For a collector wanting just one iconic example in good condition you did well. Thanks for showing.

Regards,
Stu
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Old 02-04-2020, 11:07 AM   #10
Ian Hulley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu W View Post
For a collector wanting just one iconic example in good condition you did well. Thanks for showing.

Regards,
Stu
Many thanks Stu

Ian
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