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Old 7th January 2020, 07:05 PM   #1
Martin Lubojacky
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Default Sword "made in Japan" in Ethiopia

During Menelik II and Haile Selassie I, (blades of) swords and sabers were delivered to Ethiopia from many, or various at least, countries in Europe (e.g. Germany, France, UK, Italy, ...). It was surprise for me to discover this a little bit damaged Japan blade in Addis Ababa. The blade is ca 50 cms long, straight, relatively thick, nickel plated. The tongue of the handle is relatively long, curved (I did not see any inscription on it).
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Old 7th January 2020, 07:16 PM   #2
G. Mansfield
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Very interesting post Martin. Could it be a product of trade from the prewar era, specifically after the Treaty of Friendship and Commerce in 1930 into the beginning of the alliance of economic and military cooperation in 1931 and thereafter? It would be fascinating to know what kind of hilt was attached to the tang at that time!

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Old 7th January 2020, 08:46 PM   #3
David R
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Very interesting, and watching for more on this one.
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Old 7th January 2020, 10:37 PM   #4
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Interesting, but definitely not Japanese style. Very strange - looking for more discussion.
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Old 8th January 2020, 01:21 AM   #5
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Here's a link that describes the Japan Sword Company that is said to have made US naval swords before & after WW2. The logo stamp is the same as shown on subject sword.
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Old 8th January 2020, 07:00 AM   #6
Martin Lubojacky
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Thank you.
So it seems, based on what Edster wrote, that the Japan Sword company delivered some swords to Ethiopia, probably during the Haile Selassie era, since the style of the blade is similar to those custom-designed straight-sword blades delivered from other countries.
This is the only "Japan Sword" blade I saw - in contrast to many German, UK, FR. Maybe the delivery was small or it was some gift... It is really a pity that the whole swor did not hang over.
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Old 8th January 2020, 09:11 PM   #7
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I so rarely have anything to contribute to this forum that it took me a while to add to this discussion. And in that delay, I think the issue of this blade has largely been solved. It is ABSOLUTELY a blade made my the Japan Sword Co. Ltd.
This company was operated by Inami Hakusui who was a kind and generous man who wrote a book entitled "The Japanese Sword" in 1948. This book did a great deal did a great deal to encourage sword appreciation. They also do a great deal of business in modern and military swords so my bet is that this little blade came from one of their over-the-counter daggers that found its was to Africa.
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Old 9th January 2020, 07:44 PM   #8
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Not really my area, but the Japan Sword Company, Ltd. is still in business. it was started around 1900 apparently. They have both a website and a Facebook page. It is certainly the same business since the logo seen on Martin's blade is the same exact one that shows at the top of their website. They are located near Tokyo and sell both antiques as well as replicas of swords and armour and do restoration and polish.
My question, which i can't seem to find yet through internet search, is was it always called that or is this a post WWII name. I know that one way of dating objects made in Japan is that before the occupation after WWII many object made for sale in the world market said "Nippon", not "Japan".
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Old 1st April 2020, 04:35 PM   #9
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Very interesting and fascinating blade!!!
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