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Friday, March 10, 2017

Wartime Japanese Rifles


From the perspective of the modern wartime Japanese sword collector of vintage Japanese swords, the words “very fine” don’t often belong in the same sentence as “wartime Japanese swords.” This is not just opinion or snobbery, but a hard-coded element of Japanese law, as established during the Occupation era. According to legend, General MacArthur was prepared to ban all ownership of Japanese swords, traditional or otherwise, as part of the post-War disarmament before a group of leading experts convinced him that with proper training and preparation, an inspector could tell the difference between traditional and non-traditional swords; in essence, that a line separated “art” from “weapon” when it came to swords. Anything above that line was a treasure worthy of preservation (language still seen on certification paperwork even today), and anything below was a mistake to be forgotten.

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