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The military product


Dave R
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I am a sword collector, British, German, Japanese and from all over the place. Nihonto are just one area of my interest,... And Military blades  (a big area of collectors interests generally.) another. Military swords sort of crop up when nations put national armies together, and medieval and ethnic collectors accept that this is a different area of collection and go elsewhere, collectors of such do not go onto Military sites and criticise collectors of Prussian Imperial Army  blades for example. This sort of criticism seems to be unique to Japanese sword collecting. When Japan decided to "modernise" they took sword production to another place, while recognising and valuing their traditions. Perhaps Japanese sword collectors should do the same. Just saying, German collectors love the late war ersatz products, and respect them as a nation fighting to the end...... 

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I get what you're saying, Dave. I think it's mainly because after the war, the Japanese swordsmiths and collectors had to move their craft out of the "Martial" and into the "Art" box. Japan was focused on getting past the war, and they focused on Nihonto as exclusively objects of art and culture. The huge number of non-nihonto swords made during the war were purposfully dismissed as all being low-quality and without any artistic merit, regardless of if that was actually the case or not. And when the Western collectors got into the game, they not surprisingly picked up this attitude up from their Japanese counterparts. 

 

I do like to think that boards like this are helping to change collectors' attitudes. There definately seem to be a lot more people collecting Japanese swords these days, both Nihonto and Showato. Look at how many swords sell on Ebay and the like. And the prices keep going up. Having a forum like this to come to, to learn and talk with other collectors is really the best way I can think of to improve the overall perception of Japanese Non-Nihonto blades. 

 

 

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Dave, are you hinting at '"sword snobbery"? I have said many times that a machine made NCO sword for example, is a genuine part of Japanese sword history, because it was taken to war the defend the Empire. The military sword cannot be ignored or passed off as inferior, tell that to the troops who carried it into war, or attacked a tank with it when they ran out of ammo! 

Anyway, a sword is made of 2 parts, a blade and Koshirae. The military Koshirae is unique/varied/interesting/beautiful.   

The blade can range from a family heirloom, to one made of mill steel. 

A photo attached of a ancestral blade in military mounts, and papered, is this an inferior sword?   

a9.jpg

a8.jpg

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I thinks Bradley nailed it.  It fits my collecting tastes as I came into the sword world from a follower of WWII, not from a sword art frame of mind.

 

It's a shame Japan had to resort to the "art sword" angle to save their swords, but what is done is done.  Now we all have to do what you're doing - talk it up, re-educate, etc to help others "see the light!" 

 

Thanks for posting the topic.

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I enjoy swords and militaria from all nations, but WW2 swords used by the Japanese and their collaborators are my main area of interest. Not purely Japanese in make or art swords. I appreciate these as another fantastic and fascinating part of history, but I prefer general military history over purely Japanese sword history.

 

I enjoy seeing all swords that are posted, find it educational and enjoy the discussions. Differences of opinions are welcome when presented in a constructive and evidence based manner. There has been a great deal of educational material compiled and a number of discoveries due to the tireless efforts of members and those willing to share and research. Thank you all.

 

As a side note, I have a tiny collection of kaskara just because I like them. Not great pieces, not valuable, nor fancy. I buy one every few years if I particularly like it.

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1 hour ago, Shamsy said:

As a side note, I have a tiny collection of kaskara just because I like them. Not great pieces, not valuable, nor fancy. I buy one every few years if I particularly like it.

 

 I have a fondness for them as well, and you get a lot of sword for your money!

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