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Thread: Japanese Sword Display Ideas?

  1. #1

    Japanese Sword Display Ideas?

    Hey, I've been clearing through my fathers old things as he's now sadly passed on. He was a pretty big collector of all kinds of stuff. There is a lot of WWII memorabilia which makes up the majority of his collection. Besides the WWII artifacts, there are also a lot of Japanese art, crockery and perhaps most interestingly, 3x Japanese swords. My father has a mix of Asian ancestry and his grandmother was Japanese so he has a big connection to Japan. As our mom is no longer with us either, I have no idea whether these swords were bought by my father as a collector or whether all of these things were passed down through the family. Me and my wife have recently moved into a new home and I'd really like to get these put on display. In the meantime I'm going to see if I can find out more about the swords so I can date them. I also need to try and contact my fathers brother as he may be able to shed some light on their origins. I was wondering how best to display them. I don't know whether I necessarily want them lying around on a sword stand but then I do think they would look good on display in that way. I was hoping for some advice on what I could do display wise with the swords. I've seen some stands called Katana stands that you can buy. A nice wooden one of those does look good.

  2. #2
    Hi Fredrick... How you wish to display your swords is entirely up to you. Katana stands work great. The crucial thing is to leave the swords in their saya (scabbards) at all times. Never display an unsheathed blade.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Yes, a katana kake (stand) works great. That's what they were designed for, although it may be hard to find one for three blades.
    For info on dating, maker, etc. try this forum:

    http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/index.php

    Rich

  4. #4
    Fredrick,
    There are people here who can help you date the swords. We'll need some pics of 1) blade, full length; 2) close-up of the blade tip; 3) pics of tang, handle off, with blade pointed up- tang toward ground. The tang often has dating and swordsmith name. Sometimes it is without writing, and in that case the style and look of the blade gives amazingly good clues to the era it was made.
    "Treat everyone you meet with dignity"

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrick Brown View Post
    Hey, I've been clearing through my fathers old things as he's now sadly passed on. He was a pretty big collector of all kinds of stuff. There is a lot of WWII memorabilia which makes up the majority of his collection. Besides the WWII artifacts, there are also a lot of Japanese art, crockery and perhaps most interestingly, 3x Japanese swords. My father has a mix of Asian ancestry and his grandmother was Japanese so he has a big connection to Japan. As our mom is no longer with us either, I have no idea whether these swords were bought by my father as a collector or whether all of these things were passed down through the family. Me and my wife have recently moved into a new home and I'd really like to get these put on display. In the meantime I'm going to see if I can find out more about the swords so I can date them. I also need to try and contact my fathers brother as he may be able to shed some light on their origins. I was wondering how best to display them. I don't know whether I necessarily want them lying around on a sword stand but then I do think they would look good on display in that way. I was hoping for some advice on what I could do display wise with the swords. I've seen some stands called Katana stands that you can buy. A nice wooden one of those does look good.
    OK, thanks guys, I've actually found a nice wooden Katana stand here: http://www.for-sale.ie/japanese-sword-stand, so I'm going to buy that.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Pennington View Post
    Fredrick,
    There are people here who can help you date the swords. We'll need some pics of 1) blade, full length; 2) close-up of the blade tip; 3) pics of tang, handle off, with blade pointed up- tang toward ground. The tang often has dating and swordsmith name. Sometimes it is without writing, and in that case the style and look of the blade gives amazingly good clues to the era it was made.

    OK thanks for the advice. I've actually got someone coming round next week who specialises in them so hopefully he can give me some clues on how old they are etc. If he can't, i'll be sure to pop some pics up here.

    Thanks again.

  7. #7
    @ Kristian posting

    Leaving the swords in their Koshirae for extended periods of time will definitely lead to rusting and the gradual destruction of the blade.

    So the blades should be kept either in Shirasaya, or displayed unsheathed like they are in the museums.

  8. #8
    Hey Marius,

    It depends on a few things. We don't really know what Fredrick has, or the condition they are in. If he has Nihonto, and had the blades freshly polished, then I would certainly suggest keeping them in fresh shirasaya. As far as displaying a bare blade, I don't suggest it. Blades are displayed bare in museums to show them off as works of art for study, but are usually done in a climate controlled environment and require constant maintenance. If you display a bare blade at home, then it needs to be done so that moisture and people can't touch it like in a glass case or cabinet. Not too forget the safety hazard of leaving a very sharp weapon unsheathed. Nope, don't suggest it.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by KristianFranzKonrad View Post
    Hey Marius,

    It depends on a few things. We don't really know what Fredrick has, or the condition they are in. If he has Nihonto, and had the blades freshly polished, then I would certainly suggest keeping them in fresh shirasaya. As far as displaying a bare blade, I don't suggest it. Blades are displayed bare in museums to show them off as works of art for study, but are usually done in a climate controlled environment and require constant maintenance. If you display a bare blade at home, then it needs to be done so that moisture and people can't touch it like in a glass case or cabinet. Not too forget the safety hazard of leaving a very sharp weapon unsheathed. Nope, don't suggest it.
    Hello Kristian,

    Have read your posting two times and didn't find anything to disagree with. Shirasaya is definitely the best, time-proven way.

    Just to add that in my oppinon and experience keeping the blades in the Koshirae is worse than unsheathed because the humidity from the environment will form micro-condensation on the blade and the Saya will prevent this humidity to dry out and thus create the ideal premises for rusting.
    Last edited by Marius M; 11-12-2016 at 11:38 PM.

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