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Old 02-04-2010, 12:35 PM   #1
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
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47 Ronin, WWII, old swords

I recently read the book, "The 47th Samurai" by Stephen Hunter.

The book is based upon the story of the "47 Ronin" ( http://victorian.fortunecity.com/duc...0/47ronin.html) and the sword that Lord Asano used to commit seppuku and was used to behead the official Kira by Asano's Samurai for revenge.

The book also talks about the factories during WWII making swords for their officers and how some patriotic families donated their old swords to be modified for this purpose.

Is this true that some Japanese families donated valuable swords to be modified and used by Japanese officers of WWII?

Does the sword of the story of the "47 Ronin" exist today?

What are some of the more famous swords valued by the Japanese today?

David
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:05 PM   #2
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
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Re: 47 Ronin, WWII, old swords

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
I recently read the book, "The 47th Samurai" by Stephen Hunter.

The book is based upon the story of the "47 Ronin" ( http://victorian.fortunecity.com/duc...0/47ronin.html) and the sword that Lord Asano used to commit seppuku and was used to behead the official Kira by Asano's Samurai for revenge.

The book also talks about the factories during WWII making swords for their officers and how some patriotic families donated their old swords to be modified for this purpose.

Is this true that some Japanese families donated valuable swords to be modified and used by Japanese officers of WWII?

Does the sword of the story of the "47 Ronin" exist today?

What are some of the more famous swords valued by the Japanese today?

David
David:

I am sorry that you were not able to swing by NYC to see the Samurai Arts exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum (October through the beginning of January 2010). It was over ten years in the making and was the best collection of swords (and other samurai pieces) EVER put together anywhere in the world! This exhibit was beyond amazing. You can go to the museum website and order the book that was made of all of the pieces in that exhibit. It is a pricey book but well worth it for anybody who is interested in that subject matter.

There were over thirty swords (36 I think) that were designated National Treasures! Many of those swords were priceless. Swords from legendary sword makers and famous blades themselves were on display.

It was very awe-inspiring to look at swords that were around 400-500 years old. They were magnificent to look at and when you noticed nicks some blades, they were a reminder that these blades were not simply works of art, but earned them in battle (aka- people living and dying).

Marc Abrams
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:17 PM   #3
Chris Covington
 
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Re: 47 Ronin, WWII, old swords

Hi David,

I'm not sure if Japanese citizens would donate their swords for general redistribution but they would often send a family sword off with their son if he left for the front. The blade would often be refit into military mountings although in some cases only a new saya would be made. I have a nice Osaka shinto wakizashi that has a military tsuba and military saya fit to it, with an old rattan wrapped tsuka. It isn't uncommon to come across a WW2 military sword that has a rather old blade inside.

I'm not sure about the sword used by Lord Asano but a number of the 47 ronin's personal effects are displayed in the small museum at Sengakuji temple in Tokyo. Somewhere I had a list of all of the swords owned by the 47 ronin. It showed the name of the smith and the various demensions of each sword. Sadly I have no idea where it went. If I find it I'll let you know. You might be able to find the info online somewhere.

Best regards,

Chris Covington
Daito-ryu aikijujutsu
Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryu kenjutsu
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:50 PM   #4
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Re: 47 Ronin, WWII, old swords

Quote:
Chris Covington wrote: View Post
Hi David,

I'm not sure if Japanese citizens would donate their swords for general redistribution but they would often send a family sword off with their son if he left for the front. The blade would often be refit into military mountings although in some cases only a new saya would be made. I have a nice Osaka shinto wakizashi that has a military tsuba and military saya fit to it, with an old rattan wrapped tsuka. It isn't uncommon to come across a WW2 military sword that has a rather old blade inside.

I'm not sure about the sword used by Lord Asano but a number of the 47 ronin's personal effects are displayed in the small museum at Sengakuji temple in Tokyo. Somewhere I had a list of all of the swords owned by the 47 ronin. It showed the name of the smith and the various demensions of each sword. Sadly I have no idea where it went. If I find it I'll let you know. You might be able to find the info online somewhere.

Best regards,
I found this website.
http://home.earthlink.net/~steinrl/nihonto.htm
that has this web page.
http://home.earthlink.net/~steinrl/ronin.htm

David
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Old 02-04-2010, 05:15 PM   #5
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,277
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Re: 47 Ronin, WWII, old swords

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
David:

I am sorry that you were not able to swing by NYC to see the Samurai Arts exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum (October through the beginning of January 2010). It was over ten years in the making and was the best collection of swords (and other samurai pieces) EVER put together anywhere in the world! This exhibit was beyond amazing. You can go to the museum website and order the book that was made of all of the pieces in that exhibit. It is a pricey book but well worth it for anybody who is interested in that subject matter.

There were over thirty swords (36 I think) that were designated National Treasures! Many of those swords were priceless. Swords from legendary sword makers and famous blades themselves were on display.

It was very awe-inspiring to look at swords that were around 400-500 years old. They were magnificent to look at and when you noticed nicks some blades, they were a reminder that these blades were not simply works of art, but earned them in battle (aka- people living and dying).

Marc Abrams
I am sure I would have enjoyed it.
Hopefully Cleveland or Pittsburgh will have some kind of exhibit.

David
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:19 AM   #6
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
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Re: 47 Ronin, WWII, old swords

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
I am sure I would have enjoyed it.
Hopefully Cleveland or Pittsburgh will have some kind of exhibit.

David
David:

Unfortunately, this was a once-in-a-lifetime exhibit! You will have to do an awful lot of traveling throughout Japan in order to see some of those blades. Some were from private collections and are not going to be available for public viewing.

The standard exhibit of Japanese armor, swords, etc. at the Metropolitan Museum is itself one of the better exhibits outside of Japan and worth a trip anytime you are in the Big Apple.

Regards,

Marc Abrams
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Old 02-05-2010, 11:25 AM   #7
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: 47 Ronin, WWII, old swords

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
David:

Unfortunately, this was a once-in-a-lifetime exhibit! You will have to do an awful lot of traveling throughout Japan in order to see some of those blades. Some were from private collections and are not going to be available for public viewing.

The standard exhibit of Japanese armor, swords, etc. at the Metropolitan Museum is itself one of the better exhibits outside of Japan and worth a trip anytime you are in the Big Apple.

Regards,

Marc Abrams
I would have loved to make it to that exhibit. I didn't even get to see the one in California that they had last year. ::sniffle::

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~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
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