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2019年10月

2019年10月25日 (金)

Gold Mitsuuma ‶Junk or Jewel″ (Part 2)

次回この記事の日本語版を投稿します。

As mentioned in the previous post,  Gold Mitsuuma ‶Junk or Jewel″ (Part 1), in this installment we shall examine the details on this bicycle which indicate that, back in the early 1950's, this was one of the top high-end models. 

Let's start at the front. First up is the fender ornament.  She is weather-beaten but miraculously still intact. There are many fender ornaments, but not many as prominent as this one.  Click on the following link to see a closeup of what this  sleek stallion looked like when she was new.


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If you look closely you can just make out the remnants of the chrome tipped fork a good indicator that this was indeed a high-end model.
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This generator appears to have lost its badge as can be seen from the two rivet holes on the body.

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Black center line rims along with the Mitsuuma trademark stamped on both sides of the valve hole. Again, another indicator that this was indeed a high-end model. Note also that the hub is equipped with a grease nipple.

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Cloisonne enamel badges, these types of badges are true works of art.
Each of the various colored pigments was actually applied by hand,  one at a time and then the badges were baked in an oven to achieve glossy glass finish.  These badges are over 60 years old.  The bicycle is weather-beated yet the badges maintain their high gloss finish.
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The registration plate is still attached.  
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Note the handlebars.
This style of handlebars, "through the bar" style, is yet another telltale sign of a high-end model.  Unfortunately, over time the original grips have literally disentergrated.
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Although the original grips have disintergrated, the teardrop grip ends are still intact, another high-end model hint.46

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Front fender badge complete with Mitsuuma trademarks casted into the tiny bolt heads.
(Click on photo to enlarge and note the trademark on these tiny bolt heads.)
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The seat tube has the Mitsuuma emblem.  This does not appear to be a typical riveted badge, possibly a brazed on emblem.10_20191019171901

This badge indicates that Mitsuuma proudly received the distiguished Ministry of Trade & Commerce Award.
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Here again, is another cloisonne enamel badge.  At the very bottom of the badge are two characters which together are read 謹製=kinsei.  To me, no other word better conveys the spirit of the craftsmen and women of this period, or the Japanese spirit to provide the best product possible than this word 謹製=kinsei.  It is written with two characters 謹=kin and 製=sei. The first character 謹=kin means "humble", and the second character 製=sei "to manufacture".  The meaning is "to pour one's heart into crafting the best product possible".    

You can see photos of other badges bearing this word 謹製=kinsei here (post is in Japanese language only).
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The last badge at the bottom of the seat tube is a badge indicating this Gold Mitsuuma is a "Special Grade" model.
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Is she "Junk" or "Jewel"?   
You be the judge.
But wait, don't pass judgement just yet.

Wait until all the evidence is in. In the next installment in this series we shall continue to take a closer look at the remaining details on this bicycle which indicate that, back in the early 1950's, this was certainly one of the top high-end models.

2019年10月13日 (日)

ゴールド三馬自転車 「ジャンクそれともお宝 第1回」

I'll be back with another English post soon until then stay trued and happy wheels.

昭和20年代後半の特級ゴールド三馬自転車です。 
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かなり風雨にさらされて壊れて錆だらけでプロジェクトの選択として決して頂点とは言えません。

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しかし、この特級三馬自転車は、戦後の国産自転車黄金時代と言っても過言ではない昭和20年後半~30年前半の最高級モデルだったようです。
次回、その詳細を 取り上げる予定です。

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このブログをよくご覧下さっている方は、山口マルワイ號をレストアしたHさんのことを覚えているでしょう。
この特級ゴールド三馬に一目惚れして、戦後間もなく自転車が現代の自動車として主役でどれだけ工芸品を現代及び後世の方々に
分かって頂くためにレストアをすることにしたとのこと。

錆だらけ。
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長い年月に風雨にさらされた。
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壊れて荒れ果ている。
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一部欠品。
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しかし、よい物は必ず甦る。
腐っても腐ってもまだまだ鯛。
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ジャンク?
それともお宝?
皆様の判断にお任せします。
ただし、この連載が終わるまでご判断はお待ちください。

次回、この特級ゴールド三馬號の詳細を取り上げる予定です。

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