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How were Japanese "souvenier" swords marked for GI's taking them home if at all?

Article about: I recently bought what I thought was a junk sword/WWII take-home which turned out to be a Shinto era piece from the mid to late 1600s. I was told the previous owner got it from her uncle's e

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    Default How were Japanese "souvenier" swords marked for GI's taking them home if at all?

    I recently bought what I thought was a junk sword/WWII take-home which turned out to be a Shinto era piece from the mid to late 1600s. I was told the previous owner got it from her uncle's estate; her uncle died about 40 years ago and it was believed he brought it back from WWII:
    Here's a gallery of pics if you're interested: https://imgur.co/a/1gy2V

    I've since learned it's signed "Sesshu Ju Fujiwara Tadayuki"... a smith who was the younger brother of the famous Tadatsuna and was active in the 1660s. It has fairly high-end (Higo style) fittings, including a rare "Botan same" saya but it's otherwise in pretty rough shape.



    My main question is about some orange number scribbles on the saya:



    I thought I remembered something about orange painted serial numbers put on souvenir swords shipped back to the states but I can't find anything about it... anybody know?

    My other thought is that it might be a sales price written right onto the saya once upon a time. All I can make out on it is the number '3". Thanks for any help or info you can share with me.

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    Can't get the link to work... here are some more pics:


















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    Your link will not load:
    Quote by Firefox
    Unable to connect

    Firefox can't establish a connection to the server at imgur.co.
    The orange looks like a price tag. It looks like 35.00 to me.
    To place the $35 price in context: an unmarried private E1 made $35 ($45 if overseas) per month in 1944 [and a soldier in the 1880s also made $30/month). See Barron's National Business and Financial Weekly, April 24, 1944 for other rank comparisons .... they are annual sums, so divide by 12.

    --Guy

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