Real samurai swords

Discussion in 'Japanese Swords and Sword Arts' started by PhotonGuy, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    Anybody got a real antique samurai sword that was used by actual samurai from back in the day? Unfortunately, supposedly many of those real samurai swords were destroyed after WWII. I did once know of this guy in my neighborhood, though, who did have such a real samurai sword which he got during WWII.
     
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  2. donald1

    donald1 Senior Master

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    if i had one id probably just have it for a wallhanger. generally the only weapons i use are ones i practice forms with. but enough of that. my answer no, but would sure like to see one in person
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    I would think these would be valuable antiques.
     
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  4. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

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    I would as well. Would love to see the blade up close.
     
  5. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

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    Probably priceless too.
     
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  6. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think if you hang it on your wall your insurance company might not be too happy considering how much you would have had to pay for it. The Lanes Armoury
     
  7. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

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    What was like. Did you get hold it?
     
  8. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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  9. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

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  10. Mephisto

    Mephisto Black Belt

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    Is this your same friend that also trained with Bruce lee? I'm totally impressed...
     
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  11. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    I wonder if this isn't like most things, where age is just one factor. Historical significance, quality of materials and uniqueness of the piece will also play a role.

    Regarding putting it on a wall, what else would one do with it, regardless of value? I don't understand the insurance comment.
     
  12. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

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    You would ensure something like that in case it got burgled.
     
  13. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Yeah, I get that. But why wouldn't you hang it on the wall? What else would you do with it? Put it in a safe?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  14. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

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    It probably would be. Something of that value I would and a replica on display.
     
  15. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Maybe if I were rich enough. But I can't imagine having something just to hide it away. That's what the insurance is for.


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  16. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

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    You would put faith in a insurance company on such a high value item? I know I wouldn't
     
  17. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    I used to have a small collection of antique Japanese armaments, and have dealt with them for a couple of decades now. What I had were a couple of katana (one Showa-jidai, one late Edo), a Sengoku-jidai era yoroi doshi, an Edo naginata, an Edo yari haft, and an early Edo sode garami. That one was quite an interesting piece…

    Besides that, I've personally inspected items ranging from machine-made, oil-cooled slabs of steel mass produced for WWII, through to museum quality Koto blades back to the Kamakura-jidai. And that's the thing to remember… not all swords are equal… not all genuine blades were even ever used by the samurai back in the day… and "back in the day" has a number of potential times. For example, the sword wasn't even considered a primary weapon of the samurai until basically the Edo-jidai… at which point, the constant warring had ceased, and the country was at (relative) peace.

    True. There are quite a number of stories about swords being taken as souvenirs by soldiers in WWII, as part of the surrender, only for the soldiers to get tired of the novelty on the ride home, and toss them overboard. While some of these were simply the mass-produced items mentioned above, there were also historically significant blades (to the point of being classed as National Treasures), and any range in-between… with no real way to tell just how many blades were lost in this way… or simply lost as they were forgotten in an attic or basement somewhere.

    Yep, not uncommon. That's where the vast majority have come from (in the West, particularly the US). Again, though, it could have been anything from the largely "junk" blade to a true collectors blade… I'd need to see it (in person) to make any assessment.

    Some, yeah… some, no. More no, honestly.

    Again, maybe, but doubtful. If it was something like a basic shin-gunto, it may well have been one of these mass-produced items (not forged, not folded, no differential hardening, not made with tamahagane, oil-cooled, possibly a combination of oil and water, likely not water by itself, with basic stamped koshirae, and so forth)… truly priceless blades aren't common… which is one of the things that makes them priceless, really.

    Yep, absolutely. Add to that the quality of representation of the five major "schools" of swordsmithing, who the smith was himself, the quality and level of the polishing (although that can be improved in many cases), the fittings, are they original, or later additions, whether or not the blade itself has been altered (to fit a different set of koshirae, to fix damage [such as shortening the blade and creating a new kissaki]), a whole range of particular features and criteria, from the shape to the specific metallurgical elements, and so on.

    There's a lot that goes into it…

    Well, that would depend on why you bought it… if you're an Iai student, you might be actually using it… if you're a collector, it would obviously be part of a collection… but I wouldn't simply "hang it on a wall", depending on the value of the item itself.

    If you own it here, yeah. Same as a gun, really… there are the same restrictions to owning a shinken (live blade), and yeah, they need to be under lock and key, in a safe… or in a specially designed display case, if they're on show.

    Interestingly, that's exactly what the samurai would do… they would remove the blade from the koshirae, and put a wooden, or bamboo "blade" in it's place, to have the fittings on display. The blade would then be housed in a shira saya (plain scabbard) made of a particular wood designed to keep out moisture and other damaging elements.
     
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  18. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

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    @Chris Parker. Interesting. I guess that the Samurai status would mean that outsider would know. Not that I could imagine one robbing a Samurai and getting away with it.
     
  19. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

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    #not
     
  20. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Really, it was more about preserving and taking care of the blade itself… if it was left in the koshirae itself, there can be pools and build-ups of oil, there can be rust issues, and so on.
     

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