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Laws about katana etc 2008/9/19 22:56
I am a practitioner of several different martial arts. I have begun studying several arts involving japanese swords, and I am trying to avoid an issue. I will of course not carry them anywhere, I just want to keep them in my home as a collector's item and as something like a shrine. I'm american, but soon to be living in japan as part of college studies and then after college for jobs etc.

I noticed how strict some of the other laws are, So I'd really like to know more about something as simple as owning one in my house. I would assume this is fine: japanese invented it, and have revered it for centuries, why shouldn't I be able to do so (excluding a racial reason)?

Any help here would be much appreciated, thank you!
by Scul  

no 2008/9/20 18:08
it's not allowed to own a katana without a permit.

you can get a permit i believe by applying for one at your local police office. ask a police officer at a koban and he could probably give you more info.

the only swords you can own here are genuine nihonto. made in japan only, no chinese or other knock off swords. the smith must be registered.

that's just the way it is. it's mostly due to the way the constitution was written up after ww2 but swords have been outlawed since the meiji period with the abolishment of the samurai.

out of curiosity what arts do you study involving sword? and what arts treat swords like a shrine? sounds a bit odd to me. make sure you are not studying some false martial art.

leave your swords at home and just buy a bokutou and mogitou when you get to japan. they're available on tozando.

by winterwolf rate this post as useful

. 2008/9/20 18:31
I would assume this is fine: japanese invented it, and have revered it for centuries, why shouldn't I be able to do so (excluding a racial reason)?

Your assumption is wrong. Japanese have very tough laws on ownership of weapons to include blades, swords etc.

As mentioned during the Meiji era Samurai were prohibited from carrying swords, and in Modern Day Japan, It is heavily regulated under the Firearms and Swords Control Law.

If you already own one in your home country, odds are you won't be allowed to import it, again due to strict Customs and Firearms and Swords Control Law.

For decorate purposes some people might own fakes, though I don't know anyone who has one displayed as a shrine.
by John rate this post as useful

My clarification 2008/9/20 22:11
thanks, first of all for the knowledge,

i'm laughing because I think I gave a very wrong impression. My mistake! sorry, I really ought to have phrased that better. But now I know about ownership, and will contact police to make sure I get the whole story in case I am missing anything.

clarification: shrine was the wrong word. I meant like you can revere a cool painting because it's pretty, not like its a holy object.

thanks anyway,
by Scul rate this post as useful

Laws 2008/9/22 03:23
All swords and antique muzzleloading firearms are registered in Japan. Machine made swords like many WW2 swords are banned, and will be confiscated and destroyed on entering Japan. Genuine (forged from tamahagane) swords are legal, but must be registered and get torokusho papers. This is done when you enter Japan. Any swords are taken away and sent to be examined. This can take a week or 2. Once it is verified as legal, a torokusho paper is issued and you may collect your sword and legally possess it. On leaving Japan, swords must be deregistered and the permit is kept by the authorities. Having a sword without a license is a serious offence. But getting a permit isn't too difficult provided the sword is genuine, Japanese and forged traditionally. This will explain it all: http://www.nihontokanjipages.com/japanese_sword_laws.html
by Nihonto rate this post as useful

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