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Where is a reference to the T-30 bayonet series markings?
Are they the same as on the rifles?
Thanx, Chuck.
 

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The symbols on the pommels of my bayonets look to be in a form of cursive, not easy for me to compare.
Are there examples in Johnson's book on bayonets?
Thanx Edokko-san.
Chuck.
 

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I just thumbed thru Johnson’s Japanese Bayonets, I could not find an explanation for the series markings although he refers to serial numbers. As Edokko pointed out the series marks are the same as on the rifles but many more bayonets were made than any one type of rifle (understandable, the T-30, T-38 rifle and carbine and T-99 all used the same bayonet), the plan was when they went thru the whole list of katakana syllables they started to use hiragana for the series 50 (or 49 ? I am not sure) and above. The below may help, first link is to IROHA in Katakana the second link is to IROHA in Hiragana.

http://help.adobe.com/en_US/FrameMaker/8.0/images/tx_44h.png


http://help.adobe.com/en_US/FrameMaker/8.0/images/tx_44g.png
 

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Vis is spot on. The methodology of the series-marking was devised as a way to contain the serial number marking as short as they could to prevent a looong digited serial number as the weapons are mass produced, and was strandarized for all weapons.
The bayonets which were produced in much more numbers see the higher "Two Hiragana" series territory that is elsewhere only seen on the Mukden T-38 rifles (but just due to allocation of serial number blocks, not the actual number produced at Mukden). The following is a cut-and-paste of a correspondence I made just recently for one of our important members here. It's pretty convoluted, but if you read through, you get the picture.

Quote

In follow up to our conversation today, I checked the markings regulation of 1943 and confirm that the character codes (series) to be used from range 100,000 to 4,899,999 shall be a "single en-circled Katakana" in the I-Ro-Ha order, and from range 4,900,000 and upwards shall be in "two Hiragana" character codes starting from I-I. A quick translation on that instruction will go as follows ;

- Serial numbers shall normally be within a 5-digit range. Hence if the number reaches the 6th digit, it shall be kept within 5 digits and specific codes shall be added to the top, per following method (BTW, this description proves that a specific "series" will start with a 00000, and end at 99999. TJ) :

1) The size of the code shall be the same as of the serial number, and positioned on the left of the numerals of the serial number in the same interval spacing as between the numerals.

2) Serial numbers 100,000 up to 4,899,999 shall be coded with a Katakana which is to be encircled and placed in order of I, Ro, Ha .....

Some examples of such markings : Actual number / Marked number
1 / 1
99999 / 99999
100000 / Circled Katakana "I (イ)"- 0
199999 / Circled Katakana "I (イ)"- 99999
2000000 / Circled Katakana "Ne (ネ)" - 0
3456789 / Circled Katakana "E (エ)" - 56789
4899999 / Circled Katakana "N (ン)" - 99999

3) Serial numbers 4,900,000 and above shall be coded with two Hiragana characters preceding the 5 digit numerals. The first Hiragana to be defined as "1st Code mark" and the second Hiragana to be defined as "2nd Code mark". When the serial number reaches 100,000 increments, the 2nd Code mark shall change in order of I-Ro-Ha, and when the serial number reaches 4,800,000 increments, the 1st Code mark shall change in order of I-Ro-Ha.

Some examples of such markings : Actual number / Marked number 4900000 / Hiragana "I-I" - 0
4999999 / Hiragana "I-I (いい)" - 99999
5000000 / Hiragana "I-Ro (いろ)" - 0
5099999 / Hiragana "I-Ro (いろ)" - 99999
6900000 / Hiragana "I-Na (いな)" - 0
8356789 / Hiragana "I-Te (いて)" - 56789
9699999 / Hiragana "I-N (いん)" - 99999
9700000 / Hiragana "Ro-I (ろい)" - 0
9799999 / Hiragana "Ro-I (ろい)" - 99999
9800000 / Hiragana "Ro-Ro (ろろ)" - 0
9899999 / Hiragana "Ro-Ro (ろろ)" - 99999
11700000 / Hiragana "Ro-Na (ろな)" - 0
13156789 / Hiragana "Ro-Te (ろて)" - 56789
14499999 / Hiragana "Ro-N (ろん)" - 99999
230500000 / Hiragana "N-I (んい)" - 0
230599999 / Hiragana "N-I (んい)" - 99999
230600000 / Hiragana "N-Ro (んろ)" - 0
230699999 / Hiragana "N-Ro (んろ)" - 99999
232500000 / Hiragana "N-Na (んな)" - 0
233956789 / Hiragana "N-Te (んて)" - 56789
235299999 / Hiragana "N-N (んん)" - 99999

Somewhat complicated explanation, but hope this helps !

Warm regards

Takehito

Unquote

So, serial #235,299,999 would have been the end of the line for a T-30 bayonet have the war lasted longer !
 

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that actually makes perfect sense to me...Im either learning or Ive lost the few marbles I had left.
 

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Thanks Edokko,
A perfectly clear explanation; it really helps to have the examples showing the '0' numbers.

Now, would you have an explanation or ideas for why so many more bayonets appear to have been made than rifles?

Lost? Broken in training? Lots of poles to be equipped?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That is certainly what I am seeing.
Many thanx Edokko, Vis35 and all!
Chuck.
 

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Morning Edokko, 03man, vis35, davef & lambo 35 :
That was what my find at the Phoenix show was why I was crowing all about, the bayonet is JB-90 series 50 serial number "0". I have not been able to get help with the computer & camera. So I am mailing the bayonet in question to my friend "byf45" in Oregon so he can photograph it and insert it into Gunboards, that way all of you can see for yourselves.
Like I mentioned before bayonet production was issued numbers into the 150 series range, not all the numbers were used up as Japan at the time was trying to hide true production figures. Regardless enen if say 100 series markings were manufactured, then there should exist 100 such bayonets marked "series & 0 ". Although T-30 bayonet production may have reached the 7 million mark if one counts production from 1897 thru 1945, it was just about what the total rifle production from T-30 to 99.
The marking system was an ingenuous system that allowed production to be marked efficiently no matter how many bayonets were made.
Vicasoto
 

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Don, Vic, the bayonets were made in substantially higher numbers than the rifles. This is clear from the yearly production numbers data that was gleaned from the arsenal annual reports archived at the JSDF library in Tokyo. The numbers are not truly accurate to the dot, but it is fairly apparent that the bayonets were made in far greater numbers than the rifles. The reason could be anything, but I think that in the IJA mind-set, the bayonets were considered not to be "just" a mere accessory of the rifle, but more of like a morph of a sword that an olden samurai warrior would wear. Good tool to beat the "spirit" into a layman soldier fresh off of the rice paddy. Hence a great vast number of soldiers were needed to be issued with bayonets vs mostly the combat ready infantry were being issued rifles. Does that makes sense ??
 

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Hence a great vast number of soldiers were needed to be issued with bayonets vs mostly the combat ready infantry were being issued rifles. Does that makes sense ??
Very much so. One of the things I gleaned from “Long the Imperial Way”, which is fiction but is based on Tasaki’s experiences as a soldier in China, is that bayonets were carried as a sidearm in their own right. He describes soldiers going on leave in occupied China carrying bayonets as self defense weapons.
 

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Number 0 !

Great picts, thanks Vic and John.

Great find Vic. Pretty much nails the '0' was the "first" number in a series.
 

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Hello H W :
You can look at it in two ways, it is the 100,000 serial number of the previous series; but since a series ends at 99,999 then the next one is serial number zero of the next series.
Therefore there should be 20 + such T-99 rifles so marked, I have seen 6th series # 0 ten years ago, they are out there.
Vicasoto
 

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Thank you Eddoko for the explanation of the katakana and hiragana use in bayonet serial #s.

Thank you Vic for the comments regarding the "0" serial # usage.

I have been identifying my bayonets using the PV 1 2 3 as on the www.japanesebayonets.net web page. Also have recorded all JB no.s I could identify from past posts on this board. (Too cheap to buy the book). As mentioned above, I,too, am having trouble IDing some of the markings. Wife thinks I'm nuts to sit and stare at a bayonet butt through a magnifying glass.

jim
 

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Hello H D :
I have been messing with bayonets for nearly 20 years, yet I am finally getting the hang of the system. I was fortunate to have access to Ralph Allen and his 200 + bayonet collection for years to study with, have corresponded with Larry Johnson and Thomas Keep on the markings & series.
Johnson created a simple system of recording by his JB numbers, unfortunatelly not enough people have used it as a quick identifying method of correspondence before the PC invasion. Now we have less need as we are able to look at pictures of the item in question, it does involve a higher technology and not everyone uses it or knows how to operate it.
Johnson's book was a less than 50 Dollar item when it came out, it has now become
"collectible" therefore it's ridiculous prices. Unfortunately in the late 1980s Larry was just starting to tackle the series story, he made mention in a 1991 article in Banzai page 67. Ten years ago he should have revised the book, but didn't; now it is in need of a new book and maybe someone else or in cooperation with Larry might be able to come up with a replacement.
Katakana isn't bad as the characters are straight, it is the cursive style of hiragana the one that will wear your eyeballs out, it doesn't lend itself to be stamped on metal. But despite the problems we are breaking new ground and learning more.
Vicasoto
 

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Evening Master Edokko:
I see where the ronin has been badmouthing the dried squid again !, me thinks a bit of shochu ought to mellow the beast. Looks like Phoenix may be another memorable meet.
I am so glad to be able to share that JB-90 bayonet with you fellows, as the old saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words; this could not be truer here, I have been fortunate to have seen a demilled 99 receiver 6th series serial # 0 ten years ago, so I knew that such things existed and suspected that series bayonets would be same same.
Finding that bayonet last month at Phoenix was a thrill of the season for me. Not only proving the system of marking, but being able to share that with all the fellows who are into Japanese Militaria.
I do have a question that I have posed to Keep-san and would like your input as well,
in an old Gunboards thread on Osaka bayonets from 2003 that was recently replayed here makes the connection that the JB-41 Kokura-Osaka bayonets ( 3942474 to 3976764 ) and Kokura only JB-35 bayonets within the Osaka serial number range ( 3953228 to 3981887 ) are really the 39th series production.
Known T-30 production by Tokyo Arsenal was in the early 3 million range, Kokura continued the production into the 3200000 range. Apparently at that point the series system took over marking. As was explained by Larry Johnson in his article in Banzai 1991 pg. 67 the katakana system of marking began with the 33, 35, 36, 37, & 38 series, thus the series numbering represents numbering up through 3899999 except for the absence of the 32 & 34 series.
It is at this point that the Osaka numbers occurr.
Bayonet numbering under Kokura continues with sub-contractors Hikari & Matsushita who were asigned the 32, 34 and continued with series 35 to 41 & 42 to 47 but all are the script style Hiragana characters.
It doesn't make sense to reach 3200000 go to Katakana, go back to 3940000 and then go to Hiragana. To me the Kokura Arsenal production was asigned to Matsushita to continue the 3 million range ( also the change from A to C variation bayonets ) and then continue with the Hiragana series markings. Is the 39 in 3900000 the same as the 39th series ?.
Vicasoto
 

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Hey Vic, ole shochu meister, I am definitely geared up for the Phoenix show, practicing up to beat you guys in the squid eating contest.

Got your question about the "series" abberations. Not sure if this answers you but for sure the per-se Osaka (Matsushita ?) 3,900,000 range serial numbered bayonets should be equivalent to the 39th series. As with the Mukden 5,000,000 range bayonets (and same with the rifles), these blocks of 3,900,000 or 5,000,000 serial ranges were probably assigned as arbitrary ranges that will start with a high enough number that at the time was thought it would not interfere with the existing range of serial numbers for the Tokyo turned Kokura production (and some T-38 production at Nagoya). However, these assigments to Osaka-Matsushita and Mukden were either made prior to the "series" marking method being incorporated, or the two arsenals just did not adhere to the "series" rules until later on their runs. After that, Kokura continued their run into the Katakana "series" upto the 38th series, and then since the 39th series was already assigned and given to Osaka Matsushita, they hopped to the 61st series which is represented with a single Hiragana character "wa". This is also an abberation of sorts, but I presume they used the single Hiragana character "wa" as the 61st seires, since the single 13th series "wa" Katakana was not used and could not be confused. Of sourse this does not go with the rules of series marking on the 1943 regulations but I suppose they were just lax about it.
I'm not sure what Larry means by his comment that you mention "the katakana system of marking began with the 33, 35, 36, 37, & 38 series", since I believe the "series" marking method started from the 32nd for Kokura, and simultaneously possibly other series number for other arsenals such as the 39th series for Osaka-Matsushita and the 51st series for Mukden.
Also, not sure about your comment "and continued with series 35 to 41 & 42 to 47 but all are the script style Hiragana characters", since I understand that 35 to 47th series are all single Katakana characters and not Hiragana. Also I don't think Hikari Seiki was assigned the 32nd series, but the first Hikari is the 38th series.
 
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