SAMURAI SWORDS

Jun 20th, 2009, 11:40 PM
  #1  
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SAMURAI SWORDS

Leaving for Japan next Saturday. Travelling overland from Cardiff UK Via Russia and China. I have a Japan rail pass and 22 days to go where I like.

Last year on a similar trip I visited all the sights,

This trip I want to purchase several Samurai swords and am seeking information on the best possible locations to obtain the same. Have found information on the net regarding flea markets.

Any information on shops markets private dealers etc would be appreciated.

I have several Japanese swords in the UK and want to add to my collection.

The past few years has seen an increase in the price of such items in the UK. The laws have also been changed regarding ownership of Samurai swords especially in relation to modern reproductions.
crdtny is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 12:01 AM
  #2  
 
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Last April whilst in Kyoto I bought a sword from Kuraya Hashmoto a specialist shop right next to Nijo Castle the website is:

http://www.insolco.com/japan-sword/

It was a small shop but they had a pretty good range of reproduction alloy and genuine steel swords all of the highest quality (I think there were also some antiques swords).

They will arrange shipping to the UK.

Unfortunately, when I called my father in the UK telling him that he should expect a sword in the post (we were on a year long trip) he informed me that the previous evening on the BBC news they had announced an immediate introduction of a law banning ownership or importation of samurai swords. transgression is punishable with 5years prison and /or a 5000 fine! Undersatndably my father in law was not terribly happy about the prospect of spending the foreseable future in the Scrubs so we went back to the shop and regrettably asked for a refund. I think there are exceptions made for collectors for which you may qualify but I am pretty sure you will need to register, probably your local police, before importing any swords.

The swords at this place BTW were abosolutely beautiful!
crellston is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 12:47 AM
  #3  
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Hello Crell,

Thanks for info. I willl be staying in Kyoto so will look up the shop.

The law is strange in that it applies only to curved swords and of course the cheap Samurai reproduction copies which were widely available in markets in the UK. Mostly used by yobs in the fashion of KILL BILL movie style.

I had a remington 1858 American civil war revolver stolen from where I work. It turned up at a boot fair and the seller and buyer were both taken into custody. At the police station the police could not decide if it was a firearm or not so it was sent away for examination.It was returned as an Antique and after two years wrangling I got it back.Funny thing was some elderly lady saw the gun and telephoned the Police and said there was a terrorist at the boot fair with a gun which as you can imagine got a swift response.

I have asked police officers about Samurai Swords and they all say they dont really know the answer.

My partner is Japanese but will not allow me to have swords in the house.

The first sword I brought home was a 15thcent katana and I asked her to read the characters on the tang. Well when she touched the sword she shuddered and said the sword was evil. To cut a long story short she got in touch with her mother in Japan and related the event.Her mother then went to a Shinto shrine and bought bells and scrolls which were sent to me in a from of exorcism to get rid of any evil spirits the sword may have brought into the house. The story goes on but you can imagine all the nonsense I went through with ringing bells in the house and what have you.

The haunted sword is still in my possession but not at home.

Regarding Antique samurai swords I believe it is OK for these to be imported into the UK with of course permission of the relevant authorities in Japan.Import taxes may have to be paid depending on the value so people buy at a certain price and have the sender reduce the value on declarations. Anyway I will give it a go and let you know what happens.

Thanks for replying
crdtny is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 02:40 AM
  #4  
 
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Fascinating story re the "haunted" sword! I would be really intersted to learn how you get on. It is still an ambition to own one and it provides a great reason to return to Japan!

Here is a link to the BBC web page looking at the date, it appeared a couple of days before I bought the sword (maybe I over reacted)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7331099.stm

The Home office site does not provide a great deal of info
crellston is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 04:58 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Japanese have traditionally believed that the swordsmith who made a samurai sword (called katana or nihonto or Japanese sword) has committed his soul and spirit into it. It is believed such swords crave for human blood and pulls itself out of the sheath nightly by 5-10 inches. That's why most katanas have a cord that ties up the grip and the sheath together.
Alec is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 07:33 AM
  #6  
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Talking about 'haunted swords' I also have an old 'KRIS' the origins of which are around Java and Malaysia.

From the legend point of view th Kris does a little more than 'pulling itself out of sheath' it is rumoured to be able to fly by night and seek out victims.

Swords seem to play a big part in legends of many countries from Arthur and Excalibur to Flying daggers in Malaysia.

Interestingly the sword is one of the three sacred treasures of Japanese Shinto religion and according to Japanese funeral rites it is placed upon the body of a deceased person. Bit like a crucifix on a Christian.

The flat I live in with my partner was once occupied by a Welsh missionary by the name Davies. He was an aquaintance of Gladys Alward the renowned missionary on which the film 'Inn of the sixth happiness' was based. Well he was captured by the Japanese and taken to Taiwan where he witnessed the beheading of three of his co-missionaries. Was not aware of the story until an elderly Welsh neighbour asked me some years ago if he could have the number sign of the house I lived in and proceeded to tell me the tale. I have since read articles about the missionery both on the net and in newspapers.

Just a tale about another connection with Japan.

Be nice to have a magic sword????
crdtny is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 10:55 AM
  #7  
 
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The Japanese were ordered to surrender their swords to American G.I.'s after WWII. Many were dumped at sea, and many came back to the U.S. as souvinirs.

Today I believe there are more Samurai swords in the U.S. than in Japan as a result.
BradinBangkok is offline  
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