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WW2 Japanese sword help

Article about: Hello, I have been pouring over posts on this website for days now and there is a lot of great information here. I was recently given some WW2 "bring backs" from my deceased Grandf

  1. #11


    Real swords were worn only by officers. They could have a machine made military sword or a hand made antique blade that could either be a family piece or a purchase from a sword dealer. As previously stated, this is not mounted for military wear and was likely a piece held at home. It is impossible to say if this came from a samuraii family due to the disbanding of the samuraii. Unemployed, many sold their swords for the necessities of life and their was a redistribution of blades. After nearly 70 years, it is basically impossible to return a sword as the owner is likely deceased and even if you found descendants, after several generations, who would you give it to? There is also the problem of bringning a sword into Japan due to their strict weapons registration policy. As one of my old teachers in swords once said, it is better that some swords remain in the West to be appreciated and educational as to Japanese history and culture.


  2. #12


    Your Grandfathers gift may be interpreted as a learning step in your family's a Zen kind of way.

  3. #13


    Amazing. Thanks. I can't imagine handing over my weapons voluntarily as a civilian regardless of who occupies the US. "Individual Liberty endowed by your creator" means something to many of us. Appreciate the insight.

  4. #14


    Quote by BOB COLEMAN View Post

    Real swords were worn only by officers. ...
    This statement is generally correct, but there were a few NCOs who carried "real" swords. My swordsmanship teacher was a special fencing instructor in the army and always carried a real sword -- he had to demonstrate cutting techniques, and the issued NCO sword would not do.
    Quote by Nakamura Taizaburo

    ...On this one I used my own sword which was an unnamed shinshin-to (swords made from 1781 to 1886) which was 2 shaku, 3 sun, 5 bu in length (72 cm). I readied myself by spreading my feet wide and raised my sword high over my head in an O-jodan posture. In this instant I brought spirit, sword, and body together and cut downward. My blade cut through the jugular and carotid arteries right through the neck bone; ...
    Oh ... the above happened in Japan at the end of the war -- he was butchering a cow. The single cut got through half of the neck and the cow exsanguinated. The cook made a stew for him from the butchered cow, but he couldn't eat it -- remembering all the blood. He butchered three head of cattle in three days.

    He also wrote: "...Although I was later called "Sergeant Bull-cutter"* and "Sergeant Demon,"** the nicknames were not considered bad. At that time I was a 32 year old sergeant in search of shugyo (martial arts perfection). I do not think there is anybody else since the war who has killed three living cows with a (Japanese) sword. ..."

    *I guess that would be 牛斬り軍曹 Ushi-giri Gunsou or ** 悪魔軍曹 Akuma Gunsou!!

    Here's a ca. 1950s TV footage of him doing a test-cutting demo -- very grainy, but you can imagine what he would look like in uniform just a few years earlier!!


  5. #15


    Very interesting footage. After my last post, I realized my statement was not 100% correct. There is no reason a NCO would not carry a genuine katana if available to him. The vast majority did not likely due to financial reasons. I have seen one unsigned gendaito mounted in the standard NCO mounts. It was not a well made blade and I always wondered if the blade had been made by the man carrying the sword.


  6. #16


    Great footage of extreme swordsmanship , thanks for the link Guy .

    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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