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Sword Production Statistics

Article about: I was about to thank cabowen for his contribution to the type 3 sword thread, but the moderators seem to have closed it. Anyway, if sword fans are interested in detailed manufacturing stats

  1. #1

    Default Sword Production Statistics

    I was about to thank cabowen for his contribution to the type 3 sword thread, but the moderators seem to have closed it.
    Anyway, if sword fans are interested in detailed manufacturing stats for swords. They are all in the archives for you to study.
    Here are 3 lists for your studying pleasure.

    1. 1944 detailed list for handforged swords (shows how many Koashin blades, etc).......??????**???????????

    2. 1944 production including type 95s

    3. 1945 list

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    Sorry, the links seem to morph and become useless. I will try again when I get back home this evening.

  3. #3


    The links all turned into question marks but seem to work nonetheless.

  4. #4


    Thanks! Yes, for some reason the thread was closed after my posting.

    The documents you have linked are for production by the military only as I understand it. Privately made blades are not included in the totals.

    I have records for production from the Fukushima ken Rikugun Jumei Tosho, as well as sumi and tamahagane received, per smith, per month. I will try to dig that out for comparison if it is of interest.

    JACAR and the National Diet Library are great resources with substantial digitized, on-line, searchable, documents and publications.

  5. #5


    Thank you for the stats offer, but I think I'll take a rain check for fear that it will be "Buddah's sermon in a horse's ear" ( the Japanese version of casting pearls before swine), as I am no sword collector. I am already working on a revised version of a helmet story I wrote several years ago, so enough with swords for me for the moment. I have written about many subjects at the WAF, but this forum is totally new for me, so it gives me a chance to update some of my popular articles. A recent one I really enjoyed researching in the archives is the canteen one below. My stories are all backed up by original documents while most books on these subject only seem to tell collector legends, so almost every article I write ends up upsetting some apple cart.
    The Evolution of IJA Canteens (1889-1945) Expanded Version

  6. #6


    Chris, didn't I meet you in Zushi around 1993? You were visiting a mutual friend at the military/civilian housing and we introduced you to our iai teacher who was a pretty good polisher though he had no license. You were importing gunto at that time [if my memory is correct].


  7. #7


    Yes, Guy, I remember you!

    Not importing gunto, but a few swords at the time....

    Hope you have been well....

  8. #8


    Fair enough.....

    I know what you mean about "collector legends" and upsetting the apple cart....Keep at it!

    And thanks again for sharing your research...

  9. #9


    Quote by cabowen View Post
    Yes, Guy, I remember you!

    Not importing gunto, but a few swords at the time....

    Hope you have been well....
    Thanks Chris -- it's just good to know that not all my memories are "enhanced." (^__^)


  10. #10


    Having thought a bit more about this topic, I would like to add a few additional observations for consideration...

    While there isn't much room for doubt concerning Mr. Komiya's claim that the so-called "type 3" gunto was never fully sanctioned by Imperial decree and was rather implemented through an "emergency" order, and thus never an "official" model in the way the type 94 or type 98 were, there are a few issues raised that have me wondering...

    Firstly, I have to wonder if the shortage of officer's swords mentioned was fundamentally more a shortage of materials such as brass, used extensively in the type 94 and type 98 mountings? My reasoning is based on the requirement that the new emergency sword be handforged from tamahagane, which surely would hinder, rather than facilitate, an increase in the supply of officer's swords. If there was a dire need for a rapid increase in output, why impose such a constraint? Additionally, an output of only 3000 swords a year seems extremely low in light of the fact that the type 95 was being produced at those levels per MONTH.

    Another issue is the fact that despite the order mentioning the blades were to be hand forged from tamahagane, we know from the overwhelming majority of extant "type 3" mounted swords that most contain showa-to, or mass produced, non-traditionally made blades, rather than the hand forged, tamahagane blades specified.

    Further, anecdotal evidence based on dated blades found in these mounts seems to indicate that this mounting wasn't produced, at least in any numbers, until later 1942, early 1943 (2603) (thus the reason it has been given the "type 3" designation by collectors). It seems odd that a move to avert a dire shortage identified in Showa 13 would take 4 or 5 years to be realized.

    Knowing that the Rikugun Jumei Tosho program instituted by the IJA seems to have also come to fruition in late 1942/1943, under which smiths supplied blades to the military under contract, produced to strict specifications using tamahagane supplied by the military, it would seem that there is some connection between the "type 3" mounting and the RJT program, with the RJT program instituted perhaps to provide a supply of high quality, traditional blades, for specific use with the "type 3" mounting.

    The previously mentioned overwhelming number of "type 3" mountings with showa-to blades would seem to indicate that the private market also engaged in manufacture and supply of a "type 3" mounting along side of the IJA....

    Perhaps I could coerce you Mr. Kolick to search for documentation surrounding the origins of the Rikugun Jumei Tosho program as it might provide further insight into the "type 3" mounting....

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