Japanese Militaria – War Collectibles

Japanese Militaria- War Collectibles

Militaria are defined as artifacts which are either use or manufactured for the military and police. Japanese Militaria are collected because of its historical significance. These are not limited to firearms and swords alone but, also include other equipment use during the war. These are not just weapons alone but, also include uniform, decorations, insignia and a lot more. Dealers refer to these as Military antiques or antiquities’. The rich and colorful history of Japan can be studied and seen through these Japanese Militaria collectibles. T

here are times that these can be inherited through relatives who have participated during the respective war however; some collect these for its historical relevance.  Real Militaria collectors spend time growing their collection. Sword collecting alone is a fun activity and can be a good form of investment. These can be used as decors and centerpieces. These are fine examples of Militaria that can be a good conversational piece. It is hard and sometimes collectors can be torn apart on choosing between a new sword from World War II and those that are produce in the 1800s. A good rule of thumb is to buy those that encourage a longing for these collection or those that can be resell if the aim is to earn some cash or a decent amount of cash. Surprisingly collectors of these items are not just from Japan.

Top Choices for Japanese Militaria Collectibles

  • Swords. This can be earlier pieces to new ones. Anything that looks authentically Japanese. A good example would be swords like those used by Tomoyuki Yamashita. He surrendered this sword when he was tried for his war crimes. Swords or blades used for Seppuku like the wakizashi would be a good addition to anyone’s collection
  • Anything to do with Samurai
  • Rifles. Especially Arisaka model although there are collectors that will buy Murata rifle and other types of military firepower including small guns
  • Machine Guns that were inspired by the Gatling gun. This would be almost like getting two for the price of one because of its history
  • Badges. Those that are valuable are those owned by higher ranking officers. Look for which ones are valuable and which ones will likely increase in value. Look for those that have the 16 petal chrysanthemum. The use of this design are prohibited outside the Imperial Family however, one can never say when a piece that has this logo do exists
  • Helmets and Headgears
  • Bows and Arrows
  • Polearms
  • Bayonets

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Tips When Handling Swords

  • Never touch the blade using bare hands since these normally have oil that can leave its marks on the blade. Use soft cloth when touching the blade
  • Check if the blade is straight by picking this at eye level. Look at the blade from handle to tip of the blade.
  • Swords in particular have increase in value and are harder to get by at least those that were produce in the past
  • Look for the quality of the blade and its general condition since this will determine its value. Search for quality rather than quantity
  • Keep in mind that the most legendary sword is those that belong to Samurai therefore learn first before buying these. Samurai swords have marks found on the tang area. These are known as signatures or MEI. However, not all Samurai are signed. A World War II sword has red or white paint on it. Some have arsenal marks. Some of these signatures are forgeries. Buy from a reliable source 

Collecting Samurai Militaria

Everyone loves Samurai from movies or beyond. Westerners are not immune to this collectors’ itch. The idea of owning pieces used by honor bound warriors can be a captivating idea. Here is where fiction meets reality. Even museums that exhibit the suits use by Samurai with its Katana remain popular even in any part of the world. Both young and old are joined together in their appreciation of the Samurai. Private collections are those that were collected by enthusiasts who cannot say “no” until they have the complete set. Of course, having enough cash to fund this habit is a must. These are not costumes but, real stuff that Samurai warriors use. Visiting an exhibit would be a good idea to learn how to begin a personal collection. If the exhibitors allow photo taking do this to remember the collection. Learn about the various armor parts if planning to start building this collection. From the chest armor to the shin guards this could be a good investment. However, as with any collection, this must be properly maintained and cared for. Think of how much to spend. Do not go over budget or else even savings can be depleted in financing this start up collection.

The last decade has seen an increase in the number of people who collects Japanese Militaria. World War II was celebrated more than decades ago and movies tend to increase the popularity and value of these collections. The rapid approaches of World War II into its one hundredth year anniversary also tend to push the value of Japanese Militaria even further. The most common concern among new collectors is what kind of Militia they must focus collecting and which ones are real. Some collections can even complete a mannequin. This would look a great addition for serious collectors. New collectors can focus on equipment or several ones. Japanese Militia is one of the world’s famous collectibles joining the German, American, British, Russian and French militia collections. It would be a good idea to join a community of collectors to pick up useful tips. Keep in mind that rare items are usually expensive. The edges of collecting Japanese collectibles are that these are offered at competitive prices as oppose to those that are sold by other nations. The popularity of an item will drive prices up.

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