Rise of the sword

Rise of the sword

Joined: April 16th, 2004, 12:27 pm

May 15th, 2012, 12:17 am #1

Over the years I have collected some nice knives such as Bowies, boot and folders but recently became aware of some swords in production (some better than the origionals) in the form of Japanese Katanas and other traditional Japanese blades.
Been aware of all the fake swords for many years inspired by D&D, lord of the rings and such so never took a lot of note until I chanced upon a new Katana for sale (which I bought) after a lot of resaerch I must say I have been amazed at the quality, workmanship and utility of these current production swords and at a low low price, a real bargain and great for collecting as well.
However I cant help but be a little concerned with the ammount of these deadly weapons about wheather by accident or design these things are sharp and will cause damage or fatality in immature hands and at such a low price point I can see a world of hurt on the horizon.

Any who I shall be buying a few more, the engineering that goes in alone interests me.

Graeme

If it ain't broke you arn't trying hard enough
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Joined: December 21st, 2008, 9:14 pm

May 15th, 2012, 1:10 am #2

granted some of the current blades ARE pretty darn nice and certainly better than the crappy late war NCO Katana but if you are talking some of the late hand made Katana in Shin Gunto mounts, if it is still in full polish there is little comparison
even the pre WWII machine ground blades were for the most part still using blade blanks forged around the soft iron core and are greatly superior from todays monlithic blades
some of the ancestrial Koto era Katana are wonderfully executed
there are still a handful of sword smiths in the Japans that produce blades the old way but the wait is long and the price high.

same can be said for modern repros of Viking era blades
monolithic modern steel versus mutiple layers hammer forged over an iron core on the higher end originals
of course there really are not many surviving barbarian blades in any condition on the market
different story with Japanese iron

as far as danger
yeah...in college my place was one of the campus animal houses
had a decent collection of original Japanese and Moro swords on the living room walls
never failed that there was at least one drunken goon that had to play
most memorable was a star quarterback who pulled down a 19th century ivory mounted Moro battle Kries sword
told him to put it back before he hurt himself as he tested the edge with his thumb
response was "This isn't even sharp" as he slowly drew the blade across the inside of his curled fingers severing a couple tendons in the process...didn't even realize it until the blood welled up...fool fainted dead away like a highschool girl
needless to say the police and ambulance ruined an otherwise peaceful party although the stupid coach blamed me for the loss of his star...
after that everything went into storage in advance of the Keggers

folks have really no idea just how bloody many early battles must have been
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Joined: October 10th, 2003, 5:24 am

May 15th, 2012, 1:18 am #3

Over the years I have collected some nice knives such as Bowies, boot and folders but recently became aware of some swords in production (some better than the origionals) in the form of Japanese Katanas and other traditional Japanese blades.
Been aware of all the fake swords for many years inspired by D&D, lord of the rings and such so never took a lot of note until I chanced upon a new Katana for sale (which I bought) after a lot of resaerch I must say I have been amazed at the quality, workmanship and utility of these current production swords and at a low low price, a real bargain and great for collecting as well.
However I cant help but be a little concerned with the ammount of these deadly weapons about wheather by accident or design these things are sharp and will cause damage or fatality in immature hands and at such a low price point I can see a world of hurt on the horizon.

Any who I shall be buying a few more, the engineering that goes in alone interests me.

Graeme

If it ain't broke you arn't trying hard enough
They are nice swords but they are not true copies of the traditional samurai blades. Those take a long time to manufacture and there are but a handful, if that, of master sword smiths who can do this. For one, the blades are laminated, which accounts for their extreme sharpness. If you could get a current sword done in the traditional style, it would cost you dearly. Following WWII, the US outlawed the possession of samurai swords by the Japanese. This was lifter some years later and thereby generated quite a demand for new blades. Many of the old swords were lost during WWII, either through their use in combat (refitted for field use) or when the Allies occupied Japan. I remember reading where some soldiers went into the Imperial War Museum in Tokyo and came out with armfuls. When I see the old swords at gun shows here I often wonder which family back in the home islands is missing them.

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Joined: December 21st, 2008, 9:14 pm

May 15th, 2012, 1:38 am #4

the level of post VJ day looting in the Japans was incredible
worst example I have seen was a pair of ornate door lintels that were sawn from a Temple and later installed in a home in the Dakotas
Museums were hit hard as were the Imperial collections...ceramic collections were utterly smashed to bits in some cases.
for Many years the Japanese government has been quietly buying back their cultural antiquities, mostly Imperial Katana and ancestrial blades

some of this did go on in Europe as well but not nearly to the scope and scale as it did in the Japans

buddys grandfather showed me great pix years ago of his "job" during the occupation
he managed a couple hangers where the Japanese surrendered all things sharp and pointy
his duty was sorting the best out into another pile for GIs to pick through for their personal war trophy
in the pix you can see piles of Katana over a story tall
asked him what was done with the left overs
dumped in the ocean...

to the victors as they say...
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Joined: October 10th, 2003, 5:24 am

May 15th, 2012, 2:27 am #5

hence more loot remained to be plundered. We can look back at this from a sixty year vantage point but we can't duplicate the feelings or emotions of the time. To put it mildly, the Japanese did not engender much sympathy.

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Joined: April 16th, 2004, 12:27 pm

May 15th, 2012, 2:31 am #6

the level of post VJ day looting in the Japans was incredible
worst example I have seen was a pair of ornate door lintels that were sawn from a Temple and later installed in a home in the Dakotas
Museums were hit hard as were the Imperial collections...ceramic collections were utterly smashed to bits in some cases.
for Many years the Japanese government has been quietly buying back their cultural antiquities, mostly Imperial Katana and ancestrial blades

some of this did go on in Europe as well but not nearly to the scope and scale as it did in the Japans

buddys grandfather showed me great pix years ago of his "job" during the occupation
he managed a couple hangers where the Japanese surrendered all things sharp and pointy
his duty was sorting the best out into another pile for GIs to pick through for their personal war trophy
in the pix you can see piles of Katana over a story tall
asked him what was done with the left overs
dumped in the ocean...

to the victors as they say...
yes to the victor goes the spoils but the real tradgedy is the loss of the historical continuity of these unreplaceable items.

graeme

If it ain't broke you arn't trying hard enough
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Joined: October 10th, 2003, 5:24 am

May 15th, 2012, 3:00 am #7

perhaps if the officers in the field hadn't interrupted the continuity of prisoner's heads and shoulders with them, more of these swords would have survived.

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Joined: November 27th, 2009, 1:08 am

May 15th, 2012, 3:38 am #8

If you wish to know more of this, read the book "Flyboys" It's a real eye opener !! And, they were pretty quick about removing their own soldiers heads as well, just to "make a point" It has been a number of years since I read it, so my spelling is most likely off, but they referred to their own field soldiers as "iecho-san" or something like that, roughly translated, "less than a penny" They would pull 2 guys out of a line-up, and say.. "You.... cut off his head" And if you didnt... they would pull another guy out, to cut off yours. Ah well, practice makes perfect.
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Joined: December 21st, 2008, 9:14 pm

May 15th, 2012, 3:45 am #9

hence more loot remained to be plundered. We can look back at this from a sixty year vantage point but we can't duplicate the feelings or emotions of the time. To put it mildly, the Japanese did not engender much sympathy.
The Germans didn't engender a great deal of sympathy either but they were after all, Caucasian
some of the war time cartoons were quite racialy ugly regarding Orientals
it made it far easier to regard their culture as something to be destroyed
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Joined: April 16th, 2004, 12:27 pm

May 15th, 2012, 4:35 am #10

If you wish to know more of this, read the book "Flyboys" It's a real eye opener !! And, they were pretty quick about removing their own soldiers heads as well, just to "make a point" It has been a number of years since I read it, so my spelling is most likely off, but they referred to their own field soldiers as "iecho-san" or something like that, roughly translated, "less than a penny" They would pull 2 guys out of a line-up, and say.. "You.... cut off his head" And if you didnt... they would pull another guy out, to cut off yours. Ah well, practice makes perfect.
But of course this is not just a Japanese practice, you only have to look back at european armies, look up the word decimation and it origions, truelly horrific stuff.

Graeme

If it ain't broke you arn't trying hard enough
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