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Vet to return WWII 'capture' sword to Japanese family.

Article about: As per the title. Thought maybe some would find this interesting - I know I did. Too bad the pic isnt better or some here might say more about the blade itself. There ought to be a law stipu

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    Default Vet to return WWII 'capture' sword to Japanese family.

    As per the title.
    Thought maybe some would find this interesting - I know I did.
    Too bad the pic isnt better or some here might say more about the blade itself. There ought to be a law stipulating, that all articles about swords/weapons ought to have several hi-res pics showing details.
    About the source; I merely chose the article with the best and largest pic, that turned up amongst random sites with a brief search. Some had no pics, others very small pics.
    Personally, I cant help thinking about all the swords captured and what happened to them on the field of battle nor can I help thinking about all the ones ordered to be turned in as symbols in Japan post war. Some were taken back as souvenirs as the one in the article. Vast amounts were destroyed or dumped in Tokyo Bay...., which amounted pretty much to the same thing.
    World War II veteran to return 'souvenir' Japanese sword | Fox News

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    That's all nice but will the grandson be able to take it back to Japan

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    Not wanting to sound negative but would the family want it back?....
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

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    Thank for the link it's a nice Idea and in this case he found it but I wonder what would happen if it was accepted as a symbol of surrender,capture and defeat.From what I have learned Japan is a very different country now but their sense of honor is still important,not my area of collecting but still very interesting and I wouldn't mind going there one day.


    Jon

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    An interesting story , after all this time !
    REGARDS AL

    We are the Pilgrims , master, we shall go
    Always a little further : it may be
    Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow
    Across that angry or that glimmering sea...

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    Quote by RH1941 View Post
    That's all nice but will the grandson be able to take it back to Japan
    Good question. Would there still be any legality problems as per the Japanese post war constitution, if this is a family sword (no matter the monetary value), you think?
    I wouldnt know. Swords were outlawed post war as they were symbols whilst some have been elevated to 'national treasures' (or what ever the correct term is).
    Some of the resident Japanese sword experts might contribute, as they'll surely know.

    Quote by Gunny Hartmann View Post
    Not wanting to sound negative but would the family want it back?....
    Not negative at all in my book.
    Of course a scenario could be thought of, where this might be the case, but on the other hand its my impressions that some of these family swords (if thats indeed what it is) are revered and some families would be perfectly happy to have it back.



    Quote by Lord Page View Post
    Thank for the link it's a nice Idea and in this case he found it but I wonder what would happen if it was accepted as a symbol of surrender,capture and defeat.From what I have learned Japan is a very different country now but their sense of honor is still important,not my area of collecting but still very interesting and I wouldn't mind going there one day.


    Jon
    Thank you.
    You pose an interesting question. Again, those who know more about the ins and outs of Japanese post war sword culture than I might know more.
    Personally, I dont see the swords a symbols of defeat, but thats just me - as touched upon above, the swords might on the other hand mean a lot to the individual family and be revered....or the factors you include may come into play.
    I look forward to what the 'sword guys' think of this.

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    Quote by Alan M View Post
    An interesting story , after all this time !
    Yes, thats what I thought.
    Interesting implications - a USMC waiting to invade Japan from a ship near the Japanese islands and now all these years later 'believes in peace' (his words) and wants to give the sword back.

    A nice gesture on his behalf.

    (but I hope he doesnt have any grandkids who grow up to be interested in blades! ;-) )

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    Much will depend on if the blade is a traditional made item or a machine made blade. If a traditional blade, it will have to pass inspection at the airport when entering into Japan. If passing, the sword will have to be registered with the government and a license will be issued that has to be kept with the sword at all times. The most common manner is to wrap it around the scabbard and afix it with a rubber band.
    In the case of a non traditional manufacture, I am not sure as to what will happen in that case. I do know that veteran soldiers in Japan were allowed to retain their swords with special registration. However, with this being a relative of what is likely a case of a deceased original owner, I am not sure what the fate of such a blade would be. I would hope these details would be worked out before the sword is handed over as without the proper advance work, it could be confiscated and destroyed.
    BOB

    LIFE'S LOSERS NEVER LEARN FROM THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS.

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    Thanks Bob, I knew I could count on you. Much appreciated.
    It doesnt bear thinking, that the sword might be confiscated no matter the monetary value IMO.
    Be it a traditional blade or a generic machine made blade, its still fantastic, that the previous owner (or at least a relative) were tracked down.
    Ive often pondered, just how many hundreds of years old Japanese traditional family blades were lost either during the island hopping campaign (destroyed or lost to the Japanese family in the sense that a GI brought one home) or ordered brought in and destroyed as per the decree of 'Dugout Doug' McArthur post war.

    This begs another question; would it not most likely be a traditional blade, as these would have writing on it and thus better be possible to find the source of through research?
    As opposed to a non-descript machine made blade (I dont suppose many of these were marked in the field).

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    There is an incorrect belief among collectors that all hand made blades from the feudal era were passed down in samurai families. This is incorrect. When the samurai class was discontinued in the Meiji period, the majority of samurai had only their swords and armor as all necessities of life were supplied by their lord. The majority of samurai sold these items to exist. Many of the older blades found in military mounts were actually private purchase by the officer. Recors were never retained as to who owned what sword and how it was signed unless it was designated a Importan Cultural Asset or a National Treasure. Many older blades bear no signature due to either being part of a mass order or the blade being shortened and the signature cut off.
    The samurai sword in Japan was saved from extinction by Col. James Caldwell, who was in charge of all military police operations in Japan immediately following the surrender and occupation. One of the first orders issued was to surrender all weapons including swords, matchlock guns and bows. Many sword blades were melted down. Col. Cadwell was approached by Dr. Junji Homma, who was a respected sword appraiser and keeper of a family collection that was given up. He, along with Dr. Sato, explained and convinced Col. Cadwell of the historic importance and art value of the sword. They also showed oncerns that blades of the two important catagories previously cited were disappearing from Japan. Col. Cadwell intervened and from that point on, boards were set up to inspect all surrendered swords to stop the export of historically important pieces.
    Dr. Homma went on to found the Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai, a sword museum in Tokyo that issues respected certification papers on signatures and blade quality. In the lobby of the museum, is a bust of Col. Cadwell. Dr. Homma felt that through the export of other swords, that Japanese history and culture could be spread abroad. He would often say it is difficult if not impossible to reunite a sword with it's owner. it is better that it be kept by an individual who understodd and cared for the blade. Dr. Homma encouraged the foreign study of swords and was a man of great vision. My last meeting with him was at his Tokyo home in 1989, six months before he passed.
    I was only able to find one sword owner in all my years of collecting. My wife told me it would be impossible as the address in Osaka was an area devistated by bombing. I sent a letter along with a SAE and received a reply in several weeks. The man was a military doctor so the post office knew him and where he lived. His blade was a very important piece and he had no idea how his family got it as they were farmers. He sent me two studio pictures of him in uniform with his sword. Once again, likely a case of a samurai trading his sword for food. I hope this enlightens all as to what happened in that time so long ago.
    BOB

    LIFE'S LOSERS NEVER LEARN FROM THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS.

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