View Full Version : Missing National Treasures

Ian Christie
10th January 2004, 18:10
I read the following on www.samuraisword.com

Somewhere in an attic or basement in the U.S.A. there are 11 missing National Treasure Swords and 24 swords designated as important cultural properties of Japan. These swords have a value range from 30,000 to a quarter of a million dollar s each.

At the onset of the occupation of Japan (1946) an order was issued by the army of occupation that all weapons be surrendered, i.e., guns, daggers, swords, etc. In the beginning no exceptions were allowed. The Japanese complied with the order to the letter, surrendering (in most cases to local prefecture police stations) not only guns and military swords but the majority of their prized family heirlooms and national treasure swords. Upon realizing that many of the Japanese cultural treasures were being surrendered our government (together with the Japanese government) formed a committee to screen the swords, with the hope of locating the surrendered treasures and returning them to their proper places. This effort was indeed successful as many of the swords were returned. Unfortunately there were approximately 35 that could not be located. It was assumed that they were brought to the U.S.A. by returning service men as souvenirs or trophies.


Does anyone know if they have recovered anymore of the missing katana? I think it's a shame that these katana are sitting, like the text suggests, in someone's basement or attic. These are priceless treasures. There should be a major undertaking to locate the missing pieces and return them to the Japanese.

John Lindsey
10th January 2004, 19:21
It has been a few years since I heard of any being returned. I think that very few of these will ever be found. Either they were lost or destroyed. I doubt very many of them are just laying around in some attic.

18th January 2004, 07:40
It's possible that the owners, knowing the importance of the pieces, failed to fully comply with the order, and certain swords are still hidden in Japan. I hope so anyway. So many treasured pieces were lost to the blast furnaces.