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Gentleman's Military Interest Club


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About Satsuma

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    Melbourne, Australia
  • Interests
    Japanese military and naval history 1869-1945. I have over 350 books on these topics and have had a passion for it since a boy. I think I made one too many Airfix models and watched one too many episodes of the Australian WW2 espionage drama "Spyforce".
  1. Hi Nick! Oops! - I now add a photo of the obverse. Sats
  2. Gentlemen! I am touched by your interest and kind responses. I am more than happy to attach additional photos and have done so below. (After my opening post, I saw a better than half explanation on about our Page 28, but didn't want to renege on what advice I might have received anyway. Thanks for your help.) I hope the extra photos can provide further light. All good wishes Satsuma
  3. Hi Everybody! I have the above order and don't doubt its authenticity. However, the case in which it sits has me stumped. I attach two pictures and make the following observations. First, I have not seen a case for a Class 4 with a lid that comes off separately - usually, lids are hinged. Second, to help the lid to stay with the base, it can be tied on with the purple tassels attached to the base. Third, indeed, I have not seen a case with tassels. Fourth, I have not seen a case with the three Paulownia leaves, as depicted. Last, the lacquer inside the lid (and this is not pictured) seems to have been mixed with gold-coloured "glitter". Unusual in its own right. I'm not sure of its era but, although "as new", it looks pre-WWII. My wild guess is Taisho (1912 - 1926). I am wondering if anyone can help me better understand this particular and wonderful piece. All good wishes Satsuma
  4. Satsuma

    Realized Prices

    Hi Dieter! Congratulations on and thanks very much for your fine effort. The medal for your own chest is the honour of having the post "pinned". Good call Paul. Satsuma
  5. Satsuma

    Japanese sword

    The removal of the plaque is an unforgivable sin! But, alas, the milk is spilt ... I encountered a sword that was said to have belonged to the commandant of Changi Goal. However, the "papers" supporting the claim had been lost, so the claim was irrelevant. If the papers were with the sword, then name your price. Without them, the sword was just a very nice piece and was for sale at about AUS$5K. Also, tassels make no claim to an owner's rank. That is, they are transferable. Indeed, I have a colonel/lieut-colonel/major's tassel (the brown and orange one, if you don't know) and I have, without any justification, put it on a sword that is all orange and brown tones. It looks fantastic, but I make no claim it ever belonged to a man of these ranks. One of these days I'll work out how to post pictures and then I could show you. Keep well Satsuma
  6. Satsuma

    Japanese sword

    Hi Kevin! I found a site that tells us a little about the swordsmith, whose name appears on the tang of your sword, Fujiwara Masahiro : http://www.hizento.net/index.php?page=history. To your blessing, he is a noted smith and this adds greatly to the value of your blade. (Did the person who polished the blade, a Japanese artisan I suspect, have anything to say about the smith or the blade?) Fujiwara Masahiro was also a teacher and the teacher/s of any famous smith is/are always an important part of their biography. (I'm not sure, however, who he taught that became famous.) If I read the site correctly, it says your sword was made in either 1628 or 1641. I love fittings and it is good you retain those from the war, which I presume were with the blade when you aquired it, and the shirasaya (plain wooden scabbard), that would have been returned to you with the blade after its professional polish. The fittings are very samurai (as opposed to standardised post-1868 modern army variants). This is a family blade and the owner (the "high ranking" officer you refer to) would have been of samurai heritage. Also, because the blade is that of Fujiwara Masahiro, that heritage would have been prestigious. However, and with regret, we cannot tell. Therefore, the blade must be assessed on its merit alone and the fact it was made by a famous smith. (Also, but to a lesser and seperate extent, it can be assessed on its wartime/samurai fittings). Overall, this is a beautiful sword and well worth the effort of the polish. The scabbard's combat cover is Imperial Japanese Army. Also, if it came from the British army officer you mention then, most likely, it was surrended to him somewhere in the British theatre, probably Burma. However, this is a wild and silly guess, but a good starting point for glass-of-whisky conjecture. Thanks again. Keep well Satsuma
  7. Satsuma

    Japanese sword

    Hi Kevin Beautiful piece! Now, I've just come back from 4 days leave and will be back in touch with the post shortly. Thanks for sharing. Satsuma
  8. Satsuma

    Nomonhan Border Incident

    Entrancing and jaw-dropping, to be sure. Well done! It was a filthy campaign and most would be posthumously awarded. I'm not aware of the rare variant you mention. Satsuma
  9. Satsuma

    Hastings Artillery sword

    Hi Kevin Yikes! Don't ask me questions that are too hard! However, I'll accept any challenge, when the time comes. Indeed, I look forward to your upcoming posts that feature the pieces you mention. (I always melt when I see a good sword - unless it's being used against me!) Anyway, today I learned a new word - ricasso : a part of sword and knife blades; the section just above the guard or handle, sometimes unsharpened and unbevelled. I must use it in Scrabble next time. Thanks Satsuma
  10. Satsuma

    Hastings Artillery sword

    Dear Kevin Thanks for showing this sword - I agree with Brian: no such thing as an uninteresting sword, and you are blessed to possess it. I know nothing about it (being a Japanese sword specialist) but am fascinated to see how this post will pan out. It will start my education on swords British. Bring it on! Satsuma
  11. Dear Alexandre I know that you asked your question back in 2006 but I have noticed that there is a recent forum which may provide an answer. That is, on this site, look up the Rest of the World : Medals and Militaria, then Japan, then the post called "japanese swords - German generals", posted by Chris Boonzaier on 19 March 2010. It is an interesting topic; these swords I'd never heard of before. Keep well Satsuma
  12. Satsuma

    Japanese Navy Porcelain Bowl

    Nice piece Bob! Do you ever eat out of it? - dried squid, some pickles and rice would be a good IJN dish. I have a couple of crystal tumblers from Battleship Nagato and I use them to toast the IJN with sake each 27 May, the anniversay of the Battle of Tsushima Strait, and subsequently the IJN's Navy Day. Call me crazy ... Satsuma
  13. You are a man of mystery! - You're "natural selection" comment about the bloke who cut his leg with the sword made me laugh. Thanks, Satsuma

  14. Satsuma

    Document Storage and Preservation

    Wow! The blade survived who knows how many battles and wars and ends its pretty existence by falling two floors from a window! If the scene made a "funny home video" show, I couldn't bear to watch! What about the smarty-pants who carried a sword and the blade slipped from the sheath and cut his thigh. Twelve stitches later ... (Always wise to bag the swords to prevent this.)
  15. Satsuma

    Document Storage and Preservation

    I'm reminded of a nice piece of furniture - it doesn't get chips from sitting in storage but gets them from the times it's moved. The history of a document's condition, no matter how old, boils down to those few times it was (mis)handled. A document may be 100 years old and ruined due to a single mistreatment. I have a Japanese sword that has an "idiot's" fingerprints rusted into the blade and a tin case of general's epaulettes with the similar marks. There is a well known eitquette for handling swords that honours the owner and the piece itself. I hold that if it is historical, and can't be replaced, then handle safely and properly and with awe. Cheers Satsuma