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"600-Year-Old Japanese Sword Returned" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian29 Sep 2022 3:56 a.m. PST

A 600-year-old Japanese sword that had been in American possession since World War II was returned to the Japanese in a private ceremony Sept. 19 at AFA's Air, Space & Cyber Conference…

Air & Space Forces Association: link

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2022 5:27 a.m. PST

That was very kind.

Personal logo Choctaw Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2022 6:11 a.m. PST

That's pretty cool.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2022 6:13 a.m. PST

Very cool – good way to keep a friend!

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2022 6:23 a.m. PST

It is good that people can overcome the "I stole it fair and square!" syndrome to return items of cultural importance. If everyone did this most of the world's museums would be swapping stuff like mad, not to mention nations and territory.

huron72529 Sep 2022 8:22 a.m. PST

That is a really cool thing to do.

On a side note: I just finished a book by Stephen Hunter that has this very thing as its plot. It is fictional but it is a good read. "47th Samurai" Check it out.

Murvihill30 Sep 2022 10:42 a.m. PST

If the sword was taken off a Japanese soldier it was legitimate war booty and the property of the American soldier to do with as he pleased. If it pleased the soldier or current legal owner to return it, so be it.
If it was taken from a museum or home after the surrender it is stolen goods and needs to go to its rightful owner.
The fact that it is old or valuable has no bearing.

Heedless Horseman30 Sep 2022 7:31 p.m. PST

As a 'gesture'… a very honourable and 'nice' thing to do.
As 'Policy'… forget it.
Too many Nations/cultures are 'Demanding' artifacts being 'returned', when THEIR ancestors lost them… whether as 'loot', 'souvenirs'… or 'sold'.
They have no 'right' to them.
A gesture is good.
'Guilt' is not a factor that should be considered.

If your neighbour/ friend/ enemy returned a tool/ book/ Record after a whole lot of time and some anger at it's 'loss'… would you demand it's return… or feel 'good' with the gesture of it being returned?

If someone returned my 10 speed bicycle, stolen in 70s… I would be glad for him… and hope it was in good nick!

Marcus Brutus13 Nov 2022 5:22 a.m. PST

It might be added that many artifacts that are now considered valuable were in their time when taken considered worthless or near worthless. Now that they are valuable they are wanted back. But I agree, national treasures stolen should be returned.

Blutarski13 Nov 2022 6:36 a.m. PST

Japanese officers were issued swords as a mark of rank. These swords resembled the classic swords of the Samrurai era, but were of modern manufacture.

There were, however, more than a few cases of Japanese officers from old families which traced their heritage back to the classical samurai period taking their family's old and revered heirloom swords to war. These were typically the original blades remounted in standard service furniture and scabbards. Some of these blades were extremely rare and finely crafted examples of classical Japanese sword-smithing.

Many other such heritage weapons were confiscated in the immediate postwar general disarming of the Japanese population. It is unknown how many rare, finely crafted heirloom swords (and other weapons) were seized and unceremoniously scrapped.

Those that have survived are really wonders to behold. The Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem MA has an impressive collection of antique Japanese blades. They used to take them out for cleaning and a public display and lecture once a year. If the museum still does so, it is IMO a very worthwhile event to attend.



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