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Japan has a military tradition is much longer than the period of European settlement in America. Before the united States was a nation, Samurai developed swords of impeccable quality. Ancient swords were so well designed that there was no need for modern improvement.

This very nice on sweet mounted tanto is signed Yasuryusai Sokan Hori Do Saku.  It is dated Bun Kyu 2 3rd Month (March of 1863).  It has very nice dragon horimono on one side and Gama hashi with bonji at the top and tsume at the bottom.  The tanto also has mitsu mune and nice gold foil habaki.  The lacquer saya is almost perfect with all matching silver inlayed iron fittings.  The fuchi Koshira are also matching silver boarder iron.  The menuki look to be goto shishi.  Sokan was the top student and horimono carver for Koyama Munetsugu.
The 1,097 murders in Japan last year (2009) were, according to statistics from the National Police Agency (NPA), down 200 from the previous year, a third of the number in 1954. This is out of a population of 127 million, in the middle of the worst recession since the war.

This represents less than a tenth of the murder rate in the U.S., and a hundredth of that of the most violent countries in the Caribbean and South and Central America.

"This is a very nice Imperial Japanese kai gunto mounted Katana.  The mounts are very nice with same saya and its original brown kai gunto tassel.  The blade is stainless steel and has some dings on the cutting edge but nothing that detracts from the overall display.  Navy sword are difficult to find in this condition.  I know because I own about 20 of these navals and I am just not finding them any more like this."
Friday's horrific shooting at an Aurora, Colorado , movie theater has been a reminder that America's gun control laws are the loosest in the developed world and its rate of gun-related homicide is the highest. Of the world's 23 "rich" countries, the U.S. gun-related murder rate is almost 20 times that of the other 22. With almost one privately owned firearm per person, America's ownership rate is the highest in the world; tribal-conflict-torn Yemen is ranked second, with a rate about half of America's.

But what about the country at the other end of the spectrum? What is the role of guns in Japan, the developed world's least firearm-filled nation and perhaps its strictest controller? In 2008, the U.S. had over 12 thousand firearm-related homicides. All of Japan experienced only 11, fewer than were killed at the Aurora shooting alone. And that was a big year: 2006 saw an astounding two, and when that number jumped to 22 in 2007, it became a national scandal. By comparison, also in 2008, 587 Americans were killed just by guns that had discharged accidentally.

"This is a very nicely mounted Shinto Yamashiro Tanto.  The blade is in a very good old polish and it should paper fine.  It has a sugu hamon with lots of co nei with tight itame hada.  The mounts are very nice and the saya still has the original multi color segao.  You just don't find them like this anymore."
Even the most basic framework of Japan's approach to gun ownership is almost the polar opposite of America's. U.S. gun law begins with the second amendment's affirmation of the "right of the people to keep and bear arms" and narrows it down from there. Japanese law, however, starts with the 1958 act stating that "No person shall possess a firearm or firearms or a sword or swords," later adding a few exceptions. In other words, American law is designed to enshrine access to guns, while Japan starts with the premise of forbidding it. The history of that is complicated, but it's worth noting that U.S. gun law has its roots in resistance to British gun restrictions, whereas some academic literature links the Japanese law to the national campaign to forcibly disarm the samurai, which may partially explain why the 1958 mentions firearms and swords side-by-side.
"This sword was made by the 2 million Yen sword smith Noshu Ju Kanenobu. Kane nobu was bourn in April of 1903 and started making swords at a young age.  During WWII he was Rikugun Jumei Tosho.  In 1973 he was given the title Mukei Bunazai (intangible cultural Asset), a title only a handful of smiths have achieved.
Recently I visited the site of the "Port Arthur Massacre," in Tasmania, where in 1996 a disturbed young man shot and killed 35 people and wounded 23 more. The site is a kind of national shrine; afterwards, Australia tightened up its gun laws, and there has been nothing remotely comparable in all the years since. In contrast: not long after that shooting, during my incarnation as news-magazine editor, I dispatched reporters to cover then-shocking schoolyard mass shootings in West Paducah, Kentucky, and Jonesboro, Arkansas. Those two episodes, coming back to back, were -- as always -- supposed to provoke a "national discussion" about guns and gun violence. As always, they didn't; a while later they were nudged from the national consciousness by Columbine; and since then we have had so many schoolyard- or public-place shootings that those two are barely mentioned.
Something is different between murder rates in America and murder rates in Japan, Europe and Australia. What could it be?

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