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Ian B3HR2UH

Missing National Treasures

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Jim Kurrasch in his article on important missing nihonto wrote of his frustration at being unable to find photographs or oshigata of the missing national treasure swords .

 

I came across this photograph of two of the missing swords and thought members might be interested in seeing them. It shows the Botan Zukuri tanto and the Nagamitsu tachi that were owned by the Aso shrine .These were turned over to the local police who handed them to the American occupation forces on the 21st December 1945. They have been missing since then.

 

The tanto was made Kokuho on the 14th of April 1906 .Its mounts are described as being of  a gold peony design . Christies New York in 2002 sold a silver and gilt copy of this sword that had been made in 1922 by Katsura Mitsuharu . This  was inscribed "A copy of a designated national treasure peony design sword "

 

The Ito maki no tachi mounted blade by Nagamitsu was designated Kokuho on the 22nd of September 1909.

 

A third national treasure designated sword is also missing from the Aso Shrine . This is the 45 inch long  Kunitoshi blade named Hotomaru that was designated on 14th December 1931. This appears in some lists of the missing swords and not others.

 

Ian Brooks

 

post-1515-0-77098400-1568512438_thumb.jpg

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Kokuho Token Zufu (here it is on my site):

http://www.japaneseswordbooksandtsuba.com/store/books/b877-kokuho-token-zufu-dr-homma

was published before the war and therefore should be an excellent source for large, high quality photos of many if not all of the missing Kokuho.

Grey

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Hi Grey , that is a nice book however Jim Kurrasch wrote of it  " John Garcia lent me a set of Kokuho Token Zufu . This is a set of 163 photographs and oshigata of the kokuho nihonto, printed in 1939 .. I absolutely can not believe that none of those missing blades were found there . "   Perhaps when he compiled the book Homma Junji didn't make it down to Kyushu to record the National treasure blades that were there ..

Ian

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What would happen if a random USGIs family were in possession of a national treasure sword? How would Japan getting possession of it work? Bidding war with a wealthy collector? Is it considered stolen from the US govt since they “took possession” of it? Is it considered a war trophy?

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Amazon won't ship to me, Peter, can i buy a copy from you? 

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