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Rise of the sword

May 14 2012 at 8:17 PM

  (Login ghce)
YFOT

Over the years I have collected some nice knives such as Bowies, boot and folders but recently became aware of some swords in production (some better than the origionals) in the form of Japanese Katanas and other traditional Japanese blades.
Been aware of all the fake swords for many years inspired by D&D, lord of the rings and such so never took a lot of note until I chanced upon a new Katana for sale (which I bought) after a lot of resaerch I must say I have been amazed at the quality, workmanship and utility of these current production swords and at a low low price, a real bargain and great for collecting as well.
However I cant help but be a little concerned with the ammount of these deadly weapons about wheather by accident or design these things are sharp and will cause damage or fatality in immature hands and at such a low price point I can see a world of hurt on the horizon.

Any who I shall be buying a few more, the engineering that goes in alone interests me.

Graeme

If it ain't broke you arn't trying hard enough

 
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(Login Riversidesports)
AR&P

I'd dispute that any of the New Katana are better quality for less money than the original

May 14 2012, 9:10 PM 

granted some of the current blades ARE pretty darn nice and certainly better than the crappy late war NCO Katana but if you are talking some of the late hand made Katana in Shin Gunto mounts, if it is still in full polish there is little comparison
even the pre WWII machine ground blades were for the most part still using blade blanks forged around the soft iron core and are greatly superior from todays monlithic blades
some of the ancestrial Koto era Katana are wonderfully executed
there are still a handful of sword smiths in the Japans that produce blades the old way but the wait is long and the price high.

same can be said for modern repros of Viking era blades
monolithic modern steel versus mutiple layers hammer forged over an iron core on the higher end originals
of course there really are not many surviving barbarian blades in any condition on the market
different story with Japanese iron

as far as danger
yeah...in college my place was one of the campus animal houses
had a decent collection of original Japanese and Moro swords on the living room walls
never failed that there was at least one drunken goon that had to play
most memorable was a star quarterback who pulled down a 19th century ivory mounted Moro battle Kries sword
told him to put it back before he hurt himself as he tested the edge with his thumb
response was "This isn't even sharp" as he slowly drew the blade across the inside of his curled fingers severing a couple tendons in the process...didn't even realize it until the blood welled up...fool fainted dead away like a highschool girl
needless to say the police and ambulance ruined an otherwise peaceful party although the stupid coach blamed me for the loss of his star...
after that everything went into storage in advance of the Keggers

folks have really no idea just how bloody many early battles must have been

 
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RedFeather
(Login RedFeather)
YFOT

A co-worker had one of these

May 14 2012, 9:18 PM 

They are nice swords but they are not true copies of the traditional samurai blades. Those take a long time to manufacture and there are but a handful, if that, of master sword smiths who can do this. For one, the blades are laminated, which accounts for their extreme sharpness. If you could get a current sword done in the traditional style, it would cost you dearly. Following WWII, the US outlawed the possession of samurai swords by the Japanese. This was lifter some years later and thereby generated quite a demand for new blades. Many of the old swords were lost during WWII, either through their use in combat (refitted for field use) or when the Allies occupied Japan. I remember reading where some soldiers went into the Imperial War Museum in Tokyo and came out with armfuls. When I see the old swords at gun shows here I often wonder which family back in the home islands is missing them.


 
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(Login Riversidesports)
AR&P

the Japanese regarded family swords as much as some here might regard a family Bible

May 14 2012, 9:38 PM 

the level of post VJ day looting in the Japans was incredible
worst example I have seen was a pair of ornate door lintels that were sawn from a Temple and later installed in a home in the Dakotas
Museums were hit hard as were the Imperial collections...ceramic collections were utterly smashed to bits in some cases.
for Many years the Japanese government has been quietly buying back their cultural antiquities, mostly Imperial Katana and ancestrial blades

some of this did go on in Europe as well but not nearly to the scope and scale as it did in the Japans

buddys grandfather showed me great pix years ago of his "job" during the occupation
he managed a couple hangers where the Japanese surrendered all things sharp and pointy
his duty was sorting the best out into another pile for GIs to pick through for their personal war trophy
in the pix you can see piles of Katana over a story tall
asked him what was done with the left overs
dumped in the ocean...

to the victors as they say...

 
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RedFeather
(Login RedFeather)
YFOT

There was probably less destruction in the home islands

May 14 2012, 10:27 PM 

hence more loot remained to be plundered. We can look back at this from a sixty year vantage point but we can't duplicate the feelings or emotions of the time. To put it mildly, the Japanese did not engender much sympathy.


 
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(Login Riversidesports)
AR&P

agreed, that and race

May 14 2012, 11:45 PM 

The Germans didn't engender a great deal of sympathy either but they were after all, Caucasian
some of the war time cartoons were quite racialy ugly regarding Orientals
it made it far easier to regard their culture as something to be destroyed

 
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Scot Heath
(Login ish00ttrap)
YF

You don't have to go overseas to see the tragic loss of heirlooms.

May 15 2012, 12:50 AM 

Right here in the USA we took family heirloom pieces from second generation american citizens and moved them to prisons where they spent the duration of the war. Nothing was returned and in many cases, they returned to their former homes and businesses to see them ruined in the name of patriotism.

This past fall, due to the efforts of a small dedicated group of people, the Japanese American members of the 442nd Regiment, the 104th Infantry Battalion, and the Military Intelligence Service were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. Way too little and way too late but at least a token of recognition and apology for our unthinkable treatment of our own citizens:

375548_2397615454779_1082769855_32484788_1726274590_n.jpg

311344_2397588494105_1082769855_32484780_1363975446_n.jpg

I'm lucky to have been there as my wife attended in honor of her deceased father. Our current military pulled out all the stops and played the perfect hosts. It was one of the most moving events of that size I have ever seen.

I'm also lucky enough to be be in possession of a genuine WWII Japanese officers sword.

-Scot


    
This message has been edited by ish00ttrap on May 15, 2012 12:53 AM


 
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(Login Riversidesports)
AR&P

not "prisons" nor "internment camps"...they were Concentration Camps pure and si

May 15 2012, 1:15 AM 

and very little different than many in Axis controlled Europe in theory or practice.
while most are well aware of how Americans of Japanese ancestry suffered what is overlooked is much of this was motivated by a land grab for their rich comunal agricultural holdings particularly in the San Fernando Valley.
another equally little discussed component of our Yankee Concentration Camp network is that it included a large number of 1st generation Italian and German families who unlike the American Japanese never recived any form of compensation from Congress
Even the Japanese reparations really only applied to those still alive and took until Regan to start.
some very very sad history

then again we could go into the thousands Lincoln incarcerated in the North as "Disloyal"

hopefully this is not history we are doomed to repeat in this Great Nation

 
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Mach-1
(Login Mach-1)
AR&P

Red Feather - The Problem With Preemptive Action

May 15 2012, 9:25 AM 

Preemptive actions taken to avoid future bad results are always subject to questions. There is seldom any proof that the action taken actually prevented any bad results.

Failure to take preemptive action is much easier to judge because the bad results are allowed to happen.

 
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(Login boscoebrea)
YFOT

so tell Israel,bet they would disagree...or did I read you wrong?

May 15 2012, 10:28 PM 



    
This message has been edited by boscoebrea on May 15, 2012 10:28 PM


 
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Mach-1
(Login Mach-1)
AR&P

Jesse - Yep You Read It Wrong

May 16 2012, 11:51 AM 

Was just stating a truth about preemptive action.

Putting your comment in context. Should Israel or any country take action to prevent Iran from producing nukes; they would have to face ever after those that will argue Iran was never going to use those nukes anyway.

There is not a good rebuttal because the bad action predicted was prevented. So it can never be proven that it would have actually happened.

Some say England failed to warn the USA about the Pearl Harbor attack because they didn't want any preemptive action taken. Had the attack been avoided with preemptive actions then the USA may not have entered the war in time to win the war. Simply putting our military on alert may have caused Japan to abort the attack.

Say England did warn the USA and the attack was aborted. Today we could be saying arguing England was just trying to pull us into the war and that Japan was just running military exercises and had no plan to actually attack.

Get the point?

 
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jesse
(Login boscoebrea)
YFOT

Thanks for your clarification,it seems philosophical,never-the-less

May 16 2012, 7:50 PM 

I get it.....but....it is what it is...and I am glad you elaborated..

 
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(Login ghce)
YFOT

Loss of history

May 14 2012, 10:31 PM 

yes to the victor goes the spoils but the real tradgedy is the loss of the historical continuity of these unreplaceable items.

graeme

If it ain't broke you arn't trying hard enough

 
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RedFeather
(Login RedFeather)
YFOT

Well, not to be blunt, but

May 14 2012, 11:00 PM 

perhaps if the officers in the field hadn't interrupted the continuity of prisoner's heads and shoulders with them, more of these swords would have survived.


 
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(Login greasy46)
YF

Well said !!!

May 14 2012, 11:38 PM 

If you wish to know more of this, read the book "Flyboys" It's a real eye opener !! And, they were pretty quick about removing their own soldiers heads as well, just to "make a point" It has been a number of years since I read it, so my spelling is most likely off, but they referred to their own field soldiers as "iecho-san" or something like that, roughly translated, "less than a penny" They would pull 2 guys out of a line-up, and say.. "You.... cut off his head" And if you didnt... they would pull another guy out, to cut off yours. Ah well, practice makes perfect.

 
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(Login ghce)
YFOT

Yes just fodder for the more advantaged, but even worse

May 15 2012, 12:35 AM 

But of course this is not just a Japanese practice, you only have to look back at european armies, look up the word decimation and it origions, truelly horrific stuff.

Graeme

If it ain't broke you arn't trying hard enough

 
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(Login Riversidesports)
AR&P

look at it this way, not much more than 50 years earlier we were still taking scalps...

May 15 2012, 1:27 AM 

The Imperial Army and Navy was Brutal
then again we were little removed from our own atrocities by 1941
funny thing is a good share of International compacts on what was permitted in War was the direct result of European observers on the Ground during our War between the States...for example the use of Explosive Bullets in small arms
Later during the Great War it was our use of Trench Shotguns in Europe that led to them being outlawed under the Geneva Accords

 
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RedFeather
(Login RedFeather)
YFOT

Where the heck was I talking about pre-emptive actions?

May 15 2012, 2:21 PM 

I was only saying that the feelings of the occupiers towards the Japanese were not that warm, hence many items such as swords were taken as trophies. You have only to talk to some WWII veterans to get a glimmer of their wartime point of view, still passionate and only a bit mellowed after sixty years. That's the problem with looking at history through the lens of the present - we tend to dismiss attitudes and perceptions which were accepted under the mores of the times.

As to comparing the internment camps for Japanese Americans to Nazi labor camps, that's more than a little extreme. I am in no way defending what happened but Dachau they were not.

War time propaganda cartoons? Sure, each side had them. Though horrible by today's standards, it's common practice to dehumanize the enemy. Germans were depicted as apes during WWI. Again, it was a different time.

 
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Mach-1
(Login Mach-1)
AR&P

Rounding up the Japanese Citizens was a Preemptive Action

May 16 2012, 11:55 AM 

It was a choice made by the USA government to avoid subversive actions that may have been done by Japanese here in the USA.

Maybe none would have been subversive... we'll never know. But my gut tells me some would have... it is just human nature.

 
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Jim
(Login Riversidesports)
AR&P

a good part of the Japanese removal was no different than the removal of the Cherokee...

May 16 2012, 2:55 PM 

it's a particularly ugly part of FDR Concentration Camp Executive Orders
understand that up to the unconstitutional mandated sale of their property Japanese owned incredible tracts of agricultural land particularly in the rich San Fernando Valley in California. For decades these communal farms supplied fresh produce to the Cities of the West Coast
thing was there were a few wealthy agriculturalists that eyed these holding and the profits being made with envy.

FDR was actually petitioned by the then sitting Governor of California Earl Warren to remove the Japanese and this was largily done at the behest of his political benefactors who incidently ended up with most of those lands at giveaway prices per acre. Incidently FBI Chief J Edgar Hoover vehemently opposed said removal.
the truly ironic part was while All Japanese Americans living in the zone of exclusion, {the west coast states} were locked away in Concentration Camps only some 2000 of the 157 odd thousand living in Hawaii were hauled away!
yeah and folks still think this was about protecting America from subversives...incredible
it was a land grab pure and simple.

Andrew Jackson's Executive Order removing the Cherokee, Creek and other peoples from the South East was equally motivated by the desire of certain White men to seize the lands owned by another racial group, mind you in that case no less than the Supreme Court ruled against Jackson but he went ahead and force marched those folks to their new Concentration Camp, what became known as Indian Territory, todays Oklahoma

And this practice wasn't just done to ethnic minorities
just before and during the War between the States thousands of folks in various States had everything stolen from them under Lincolns various decrees
Missouri was among the worst hit with entire populations removed to Federal camps and lands tranferred to others.

I always get a sad chuckle how we play word games with our history
such as using the phrase Internment Camp rather than the more proper Concentration adjective
here's a couple definitions of Concentration Camp:

A camp where civilians, enemy aliens, political prisoners, and sometimes prisoners of war are detained and confined, typically under harsh conditions.
A place or situation characterized by extremely harsh conditions.

Concentration camp
The Random House Dictionary defines the term "concentration camp" as: "a guarded compound for the detention or imprisonment of aliens, members of ethnic minorities, political opponents, etc.", and, the American Heritage Dictionary defines it as: "A camp where civilians, enemy aliens, political prisoners, and sometimes prisoners of war are detained and confined, typically under harsh conditions."

how about a visual quiz?
which one of these two is Not a Concentration Camp?
[linked image]
[linked image]

they both kinda look the same to me...sigh...


 
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(Login boscoebrea)
YFOT

Thanks for your expansion on the dark side of capitalism

May 16 2012, 7:54 PM 

or screw your neighbor when you can...I ain't talking no back door man either...

 
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Jim
(Login Riversidesports)
AR&P

those were nothing, consider the British Concentration Camps during the Boer War...

May 17 2012, 12:41 PM 

those were among the worst
Thousands of mostly women, children and old folks were systematically starved to death or left to battle rampant disease to break the resolve of the Boer Kommando, mind you this was after the brits had poisoned all the wells, burned the farms and slaughtered the livestock...what is beyond dispute is over 26,000 women and children met their ends in the English death camps. Most of the POWs were deported from their homeland...25,630
bear in mind this was another land grab to steal the newly discovered Diamond and Gold fields
remember this next time some political doof brags about being a Rhodes scholar as it was Cecil Rhodes of the Rhodes Scholarship that engineered this Land Grab War.

at least we treated the Japanese Americans FAR better than the Filipinos during the Insurrection a few decades earlier...
there are no recorded numbers on how many perished in our Concentration Camps there during that war but the generally accepted figure is close to a quarter of a million civilians
if you were lucky you might make to a camp as the order of that day in many cases was slaughtering every man, woman and child in rural villages
the US military term for those camps was reconcentrados and if you were a filipino found outside these areas you were shot on sight

 
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Mach-1
(Login Mach-1)
AR&P

Human nature has not changed all that much

May 16 2012, 11:59 AM 

Look at our political cartoons in the news outlets. Or the political parody passing as entertainment these days.

 
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Daniel Koster
(Login pendentive)
YF

Modern steel is better - don't buy into the hype

May 17 2012, 2:13 PM 

Our ancestors would have killed for our modern forging steel and methods. The "old ways" are just that..."old".

The difference is this - we can duplicate (and exceed) their quality, but we cannot manufacture "lore".




Dan

[linked image]

 
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Jim
(Login Riversidesports)
AR&P

Yes the steel is better and far more consistant...but

May 17 2012, 2:51 PM 

you won't equal the workmanship of an original blades with the wall hanger swords.
For example the modern, mostly handcrafted Katana made with modern steels are still multi thousand dollar works of art
so yes we can make far better swords today, the problem is that most that are being produced these days are not of those best of materials and are largily coming out of places like India, Pakistan, China, ect and are often dead soft
for cheapies, the Cold Steel swords are pretty good but have even seen those with rolled over edges from being struck against a pole...originals were of such a degree of hardness that they would chip
compare the Kries and Barong of today to that of the 19th Century or earlier
might be better steel but very horrible tempering and quality
Del Tin makes some decent reproductions but the temper still isn't up to combat standards in my opinion

 
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