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Edged Item - Japanese Sword

Discussion in 'Knives & Edged Items' started by Guest, Feb 23, 2003.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    seb1899
    Member
    Posts: 13
    (5/18/02 8:17:29 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del All Edged Item - Japanese Sword
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    I'm not sure if this the right venue but here goes-

    We have a sword that was a "bring back" by my wife's uncle from Japan after WWll.

    It is in excellemt condition but it is absolutely devoid of any markings. The people that have looked at it say it is of excellent quality and in remarkable condition but the handle/grip must be removed in order to see if this is an authentic "Samauri" sword.

    Does this sound right and how much should I expect to pay for this service? Is it a difficult task and would I expect to have this done in a a major metropolitan market place and should I be present for the whole process?

    I guess my faith in human nature is showing but I thought I should ask the experts.

    Thanks for any help/advice that is given.


    LIKTOSHOOT
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 4903
    (5/18/02 9:01:40 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Edged Item - Japanese Sword
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    First it needs to be taken to a qualified person to verify and yes....some must have the handle wrappings removed to view the symbols/makers marks. This must be done "also" by a qualified person, because if they are damaged...it`s value does too. That is why you must have someone who is an expert to verify just what it is, as many cheap knockoffs were also brought back. Having the sheath is just as important and sometimes worth as much, or more than the sword. On a side note......most of these, "IF" truly original and of quailty....have been returned to the families of the original owners and more than likely.....you will be made aware of this program by a honest dealer. The families will pay for all shipping expenses. Once returned to it`s family line, you will have a friend/family afar for life. There is NO better feeling. Best LTS
    T.F.F.

    Rustybore
    Member
    Posts: 1
    (5/21/02 8:35:33 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Edged Item - Japanese Sword
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    I, too, have a bring back naval sword. I took it to a qualified person who disassembled the handle. Not a major process, as I watched the whole process. There is a small bamboo plug that is pushed out and the handle slips off, no damage to the wrapping. The tang underneath the handle has the makers marks, etc. Shouldn't take long, and is very interesting.
    Kevin in Or.

    cal414
    Member
    Posts: 20
    (6/9/02 9:08:43 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Edged Item - Japanese Sword
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    LTS,
    I had no idea that such a program existed. Any idea's how they tell who/what family it belonged to? I was under the impression that most swords in WWII were mass produced and issued, not personally owned heirlooms. Keep in mind that the ownership of "samari swords" in Japan is now illegal and any family that took ownership of one would have to jump thru legal hoops. Thanks LTS.

    LIKTOSHOOT
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 5303
    (7/3/02 6:37:35 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Edged Item - Japanese Sword
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    414, sorry I missed this. Yes there is a program in Japan for these. There were issued ones and there were "carried" into battle ones (self owned and handed down) Some of the Military issue can be traced too. The handle has to be removed (still recommend a pro do it) There will be symbols and charaters on the hilt. A paper transfer is needed (the old pencil and paper trick) There is a place where these symbols and charaters are registered. The families will pay for the shipping and sometimes great amounts of money (My feeling is it should be gifted back to them and I would suspect they would gladly pay for shipping.) As to the laws in Japan on these....I don`t know, but would expect the Government there does not give the family much grief in this area. Remember, real swords are a time of love, labor and very spritual.....a folding of hammered metal and soul. Any good pro who handles these will know how to look them up. Sorry for the delay.....just flat missed this. Regards LTS
  2. 44mag

    44mag New Member

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    I know I may be a little late, but will give my two cents worth. I have been collecting Japanese swords for about twenty years but, that doesn`t make me a expert. If this were my sword I would find a honest dealer in swords that can translate the writeing on the tang, if any. Just because a tang has writeing on it does not make it a good sword. Many signatures were forged (faked) to get a higher price out of it. Quite often a sword will not have any characters on the tang and be a very high grade and important piece. The main thing to look at is the quality of the blade. That can be a science in itself. Chances are you have a partial machine made sword with a oil (not water) temper. If you could send some pics I may be able to tell what you have. No guarentees, but will try. Your sword may be worth anywhere from absoultly nothing to priceless.:) :p:) :)
  3. 44mag

    44mag New Member

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    Almost forgot, I see someone has mentioned that some Vets have given swords back to people in Japan. DON`T DO IT! Those people started the war, not us. I don`t care if Tojo owned a sword, his family doesn`t deserve to get it back. Think of all the servicemen who gave their lives to win the war, then give back the agressors their weapons.I think not! Besides, the Japs cannot own any weapon because they are not stable enough to be trusted anymore. Their gov`t took care of that. They cannot own any firearms and all swords have to be registered if, they are of National importance and the average WWII sword usually does not qualify for that. So, if anyone has any WWII Japanese items keep them or sell them to a U.S. collector.:) :) :)
  4. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    I have a little knowledge here, based on a lot of old research, which may be of general interest.
    There were many 'factory' swords, more or less 'machine made', issued in WWII; there were also a lot of familial swords, some, 'repackaged', and many, not, in service; some would date to the 17th Century!
    The latter group, the old blades, have great value, as they are long lost heirlooms, to the families from where they originated; the Japanese revere their ancestors, and a familial sword implies a noble house, one whose forbears served the Emperor, to the death.
    As such, some are bringing prices, for their return, far in excess of a new car, often, more than a modest house.
    The old blades are a knife maker's 'wet dream', with the temper lines, hardness, and toughness we are hard pressed to match, today.
    44Mag, yes, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and essentially started the war, in the Pacific.
    But that is over, more than 50 years ago.
    We, as a freedom loving nation, locked up thousands of people of Japanese descent, into prison camps, called 'Internment Centers', because we were so scared they might side with their former country; Of this, off topic, I know much, as I worked for a man, for several years, so imprisoned.
    I say to the subject, first, identify the blade, as to maker, and dynasty.
    If it is an old blade, publish a inquiry, as to surviving heirs; listen to what they say and ask.
    If my father had died, say, in Beitut, what price might I pay to recover his remains?
    The Japanese feel so, about these blades!
  5. USMC-03

    USMC-03 New Member

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    Well said Stash!

    Quite a few years ago I had the opportunity to train with the current version of the Japanese army and become quite friendly with many of their troops. They were the most generous hosts and some of the finest people I have met anywhere in the world.

    I never met any Japanese that were old enough to remember the Second War but those I did meet had no animosity toward us. They had huge respect and admiration for the United States. It was actually very touching after all of the places I've been where "Death to America!" is the norm.

    The Samurai may be gone but the warrior spirit still resides in their military and old traditional families. As one proud people to another, and as friends, I say give the old swords back to the families if they can be found. Perhaps for the price of a round trip ticket to Japan to deliver it in person?
  6. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    Or, perhaps, I'll pay the air fare, for the satisfaction of knowing such an historic blade has finally gone home; it is the right thing to do.
  7. USMC-03

    USMC-03 New Member

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    That's good too. It's well worth it to make the acquaintance of what may very likely become a life long friend.
  8. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    Depends on Uncle Sam's whim every 3 yrs.
    "That which was always yours will be returned to you and that which was never yours will be taken away." spoken proverb
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