Hand Over That Sword!

So, yeah. You probably guessed it. The answer to the question posed in my last post was, of course… sushi!

Kidding.

Super-sharp swords was the clear choice.

In this story of mine, there is a katana or three. And it takes place in modern day Japan.

Wait a minute, you might ask, isn’t it illegal to own a sword in Japan today? How can your modern day characters have swords?

Well, I could argue that this is still essentially a fantasy novel, and that inherently means that reality is shifted. So deal with it.

But the fact is that it is not illegal to own a sword in Japan.

There is definitely a process to it though. Your sword has be registered with the Ju-to-ho (Japanese Firearms and Sword Law). And you have to keep that certifcate, called a juho-token-rui-torokusho (or just torokusho for short), with the sword at all times. I can’t guarantee my characters follow that law to the letter, to be honest.

And there’s the fact that one or two of these swords may be found antiques that have never been registered at all. Please don’t tell the Keisatsu (Japanese police)! The swords might be confiscated or destroyed. That would really screw up my story.

The other thing about registering a sword in Japan is that it has to be an actual nihonto, that is, a sword made in Japan with real tamahagane (high-quality Japanese steel). And it has to be made by a licensed smith.

These smiths have to have gone through an apprenticeship of at least five years and have to prove their epic sword-making skills before a panel of judges before they’re granted their license. And they’re only allowed to make two swords a month.

So, this means that you can’t go online in Japan and order a Scottish claymore to display in your living room. You can’t own a battle-ready replica of Anduril to impress your friends who are fans of The Lord of the Rings.

But you can own a katana.

Because it has Japanese historical and cultural significance.

And they’re great for slaying monsters.

Not that there are any monsters in my book. Why would you ever expect that?

What’s your favorite type of sword? Let me know in the comments. If it’s legal in Japan, maybe I’ll include it in the story.

Oh yeah… uh.. already done.

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