Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Sword info

  1. #1
    Member Member Tone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    543

    Default

    Not long ago I inherited a sword from my grandfather, which I assume he took off a captured Japanese Naval officer WWII. I received it with a note saying it was a Hiroyasu blade c. 1346 but that it had been remounted and scabbarded with standard Jap WWII naval fittings. I haven't touched the blade, but on a close inspection I can see what appears to be a tiny rust patch.

    I've looked on the net but can't find much info. So does anyone know where I can track down anything further on the swordsmith, and where to get hold of someone who is qualified to remove the rust and polish up the blade.

    I thought some of you guys in here would be my best bet. Any help much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Senior Member Idaho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Exeter, England
    Posts
    6,507

    Default

    GO TO A SPECIALIST NOW!!!!

    Sorry to shout but that blade is probably worth about £50,000!!! Take it too a professional weapons restorer and do it soon! Then give it to me.
    "The republicans will draft your kids, poison the air and water, take away your social security and burn down black churches if elected." Gawain of Orkney

  3. #3
    Member Member Tone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    543

    Default

    I hope your having a laugh Idaho. I don't even have home contents insurance. OTH can't remember what the letter called it in Japanese but it also has a slight forgeing flaw, so it may not be that good a sword.

    Do you know the first thing I thought when I was given it was "I'll give this to Idaho"

  4. #4
    karoshi Senior Member solypsist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    New York New York
    Posts
    9,020

    Default

    i wonder about the authenticity of an englishman having a japanese blade. i'd be much more inclined to believe the story (not that yours isn't true, tone) if someone who was american, or australian had been given a sword by his grandfather.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Senior Member FwSeal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    490

    Default

    Remember that the British saw quite a bit of fighting against the Japanese in the China-India-Burma theater - ended up giving a pretty good account of themselves, too

  6. #6
    Member Member Anssi Hakkinen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    2,079

    Default

    The British battleship Duke of York (or was that Prince of Wales?) was sunk in the Pacific, by Japanese planes. There were other lesser British warships operating with the ANZAC navy, too. The Brits were very much involved in the Pacific theatre.

    But if that sword is really 1346 vintage, that's just incredible. For cryin' out loud, take it to a specialist! Even if the note you mentioned is unclear and it really says 1846, it's still worth a fortune!

    ------------------
    "Daddy, where what were you doing during the Mongol Invasion?"
    "Well, I was shoveling $#!+ in the Shameful Spam thread..."
    "It is a good viewpoint to see the world as a dream. When you have something like a nightmare, you will wake up and tell yourself that it was only a dream. It is said that the world we live in is not a bit different from this".
    - Yamamoto Tsunetomo: Hagakure

  7. #7
    Member Member Vile's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Please, under any circumstances DON'T touch the blade with your fingers! It'll rust quite easily. You should also avoid any humidity to the blade (don't even breath towards it).

    I seriously doubt that what you have on your hands is an actual Hiroyasu blade (he lived in Chikuzen province and his peak of producing blades was around 1336), but like everyone else, I recommend you take it to an expert for evaluation. IF it is what the note says, you have a vey important (not to mention valuable) piece of history on your hands, that in my oppinion belongs to museum. Preferrably to a Japanese one.

    I don't think there are too many people outside Japan who should polish a sword like that and expert polisher's in Japan are not cheap, but ofcourse it's worth the money. One very good source of information is the Nihon-To mailing list. You could find out information about who could evaluate it and if needed, where you should get it polished and so forth.

    Here you can find how to join the Nihon-To mailing list:
    http://expert.cc.purdue.edu/~aikido/...rd/part005.htm

    Please inform us how it turned out

    [This message has been edited by Vile (edited 04-04-2001).]

  8. #8
    Member Member Tone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    543

    Default

    Soly:

    I think there are alot of British veterans of the far east who would be justifiably upset by your comments. My grandfather was a proud member of the Burma Star Association and was highly decorated in more than 3 years of fighting against the Japanese as were tens of thousands of other British servicemen. I in no way wish to criticise the Australians who also fought very bravely against the Japanese but they were certainly a minority in the British forces in the far east. I don't know how your post was meant, and it doesn't particularly bother me, but many British servicemen would find it offensive. You perhaps need a fundamental re-read of your history books.

    Vile:

    Unfortunately I can't follow that link you gave (not authorized) do you have another. As you seem to know a fair bit Here's what the letter said.

    "The blade is a Hiroyasu c.1346 that has one 'kizu' forging flaw which looks like a hairline crack. The blade is considerably older than the mounts which are standard 'kai-gun-to' naval."

    The other parts of the letter imply that it was looked at as part of an academic study on captured swords. Unfortunately the address of the person who sent it back is no longer valid, and I can't trace him.

    If the blade is genuine and as important as people think then I think it was given to me in ignorance of this and I shall pass it to my mother (his eldest child) to decide what is done with it.

    People seem to be implying that even later swords are important. Not realising this I didn't mention that I also recieved a Fuyuhiro c.1716 blade. Is this also important? Should I look into getting this one polished etc. too?

  9. #9

    Default

    and dont use the word "Jap" like you did Tone...
    In my sword; the wind, in my heart; courage, in my eyes; death...I am Minagawa

  10. #10
    Senior Member Senior Member Kurando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    2,171

    Default

    Tone was you grandfather at Imphal/Koehima?

    Of course, that was one of the bloodiest Battles of WW2. The British lost three Generals killed in direct action, but put up a resilient defense to win the Battle against a huge Japanese invasion force.

    To my knowledge it was the only non-Eastern Front battle in which Allied Generals fell in direct action + it was a real Donny Brooke they say.

    RE the sword: this may sound crazy, but have you ever considered trying to return it to the family of the Naval officer? -I understand it has great monetary value, but maybe there is a chance for you to do something very meaningful here? (Just a thought).



    [This message has been edited by Kurando (edited 04-05-2001).]
    Modern civilization is a vast conspiracy against silence

  11. #11
    karoshi Senior Member solypsist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    New York New York
    Posts
    9,020

    Default

    Tone: no offense meant; I didn't know the Brits did much, or any, fighting in the Pacific. Thanks to your correction (and those of others) I won't make the same mistake twice.


  12. #12
    Member Member Tone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    543

    Default

    Apologies Minagawa it was intended purely as an abbreviation for fast typeing, I should have put a '.' after it, as in i'd say i was a Brit.

    Kurando-san He wasn't at the defence of Imphal directly but was part of the 5th brigade that fought their way through the Japanese lines to relieve Koehima (awarded OBE). Then during the following days was part of the attack on Firs Hill and Gun Spur with the eventual capture of Naga village(awarded DSO or? DSC). Due to their heavy casualties during these actions the unit was given a secondary role during the subsequent attack to relieve Imphal itself.

    My Grandfather never spoke about any of it, i only found out when i helped my mother write his obituary. Several Japanese Generals said that it was the bloodiest fighting their army was involved in, losing 53,000 killed out of a force of 83,000 at Koehima alone. I don't know the British casualties but it is well recorded that several Regiments numbered less than 10 men by the end of the fighting. One of the British Generals said something along the lines of: The Japanese fought to the last man and we very nearly did too.

    On the sword thing, not crazy at all. I already feel quite uncomfortable about having it. To me yes it looks nice and could be worth alot of money, but to someone else it means far more than I can imagine. The final decision would rest with my mum, but knowing her she would feel the same way i do. I've just started putting all my Grandfathers papers in some sort of order, so a good place to start would be to try and find any record of where and when he got it.



    [This message has been edited by Tone (edited 04-05-2001).]

  13. #13
    Member Member Tone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    543

    Default

    Soly-san I'm sorry, i was a bit hard on you. Our units that fought in the Burma/India theatre are often called 'The Forgotten Army'. It has long been an issue of contention in Britain that they never received the recognition they deserved here at home let alone abroad.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Senior Member FwSeal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    490

    Default

    Its good that you were able to learn about your grandfather's services in that exceedingly harsh campaign, Tone. That so few people know much about that part of the war is a shame.
    As for the sword, returning it would be a nice gesture, though I'd wager that actually finding out who used to own it would be well nigh impossible. On the other hand, you could treat it as a legacy of his service for England and pass it down to your own descendants. That might be worth far more then the money it might bring now.

  15. #15
    Member Member Vile's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Hello again Tone,

    If the swords indeed have an appraisal note on them, I think it is rather easy to check the validity of the note. I still suggest that you contact people at Nihon-To list.
    Try this address:
    http://www.ii.uib.no/~kjartan/swordfaq/section05.html

    For more links about Japanese swords you can check Mr. Taylor's links (and if the above URL doesn't work directly you can check The Sword Arts FAQ link from here. You can find the information how to join the Nihon-To mailing list from "5. Are there any other net.resources?" :
    http://www.open.uoguelph.ca/swords/links.htm
    http://www.japanesesword.homestead.com/index.html has very good general information about Japanese swords.

    I am by no means an expert on Japanese swords and my knowledge is very shallow, based on couple of books and discussions with a few people with more knowledge than I have.

    It is easy to say that you should give the swords to a museum or return them to Japan to the family of the original owner (as Kurando wisely pointed out. I know this has been done by someone before and I think that people at the Nihon-To list could help if you decide to do so), but the truth is I can't say that I would be so unselfish myself if I had the swords on my hand. And ofcourse the swords can be very important to your family also. What ever decission you make I think it is the right one, as long as you TAKE GOOD CARE of the blades! If they are what the note suggests, they are very, very important cultural and historical objects that can easily be ruined by improper handling and should be handled like any other precious work of art. If you decide to have them polished, make sure the polisher is an expert and handle them very carefully yourself and tell your family about the value of the swords too.

    Both of the blades are very important no matter how much they are worth. We are talking about antique here and very important cultural objects, so hteir value is not only how much they are worth in pounds. I think they should be preserved to the future generations. I can find two Fuyuhiro mentioned in The Samurai Sword - A Handbook (by John M. Yumoto). The other lived in 15th century, so it obviously can't be him, but other's "peak of production" is noted to 1661 so it is possible that this is the Fuyuhiro were talking about. He lived in Wakasa province. Also students sometimes used their masters signature and there are a lot of falsely signed swords (how do you say forged sword when meaning a forgery.. after all all swords are forged ) around. Yumoto's book also gives an relative value for each swordsmith. If the very famous smith Masamune is 300 then Hiroyasu is 60 and Fuyuhiro is 10. The actual price ofcourse depends on the lenght and quality/condition of the blade and many other things, but this might give some guidlines. And I still stress that no matter how much they cost, they are still very important and should be taken care of properly! You seem to be very lucky man indeed Tone

    I wish you and your family best of luck with your swords, and even if they are not what the note claims, they can be very valuable and important to you. Even though the swords used in WWII are not highly regarded now-a-days (I mean swords that don't have an antique, hand forged blade on them), I think they will be in the future.

  16. #16

    Default

    apologies accepted Tone-san, as for the sword, returning it would be like returning someone who was dead back to life, it would be hard on you to forsake the monetary gains you could have if you sell it, but it is also offset by something that money cant buy, peace of mind. If the sword you say is what it is, returning it to the family it belonged to would be beyond words except for the word honor, i wouldnt blame you if you decide to sell it after all it is rightfully in your family due to right of conquest, but returning it would eran you not a single penny, but the lifelong admiration of those involved. For my part, our family sword is still with our family, it stands alone in a room as a reminder of the past and the hopes that the future would be a brighter one. I wouldnt sell this sword for any amount, returning a lost one would be like the return of a loved one thought lost. good luck!
    In my sword; the wind, in my heart; courage, in my eyes; death...I am Minagawa

  17. #17
    Hope guides me Senior Member Hosakawa Tito's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Western New Yuck
    Posts
    7,914

    Default

    Tone I believe you should consider donating that sword,in your grandfather's name,to a local museum.I couldn't think of a better way to honor him and the men who fought and died,from both sides,during that terrible war.Maybe then they will not be so forgotten.
    Tito
    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." *Jim Elliot*

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO