Japanese swords

Photos

These are not modern reproductions or prints. All prints, and any mounts to which they are attached, are guaranteed to be contemporary with the events that are portrayed. As a result, although the images are out of copyright, the documents themselves are primary historical documents, and thus valuable in their own right.

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Rare and unpublished photographs of the Showa Emperor (Hirohito) and Army officers in procession.

These would appear to be highly unofficial photos, particularly since they come from someone's photo album.

Photographs both 3 7/8 x 5 9/16. Mounted on stiff black card 5 1/2 x 7 inches. £25.00, including post and insurance.

Army photos of the Grand Review.

Personal and unpublished photographs of the Japanese Grand Military Review of 1909. See also the rare Japanese illustrated book on the subject.

Mounted on black card. First captioned photo, 4 1/4 x 5 3/4 inches. Second captioned photograph, 4 3/8 x 6 inches. £20.00, including post and insurance. Also see here for an illustrated Japanese language book on the Grand Review.

IJN photo.

A personal group photograph entitled 'Shiroyama'. I'm not certain if this refers to a ship, or to Shiroyama Park. 3 1/8 x 4 5/16, mounted on black card 3 3/8 x 5 3/16 inches. £10.00, including post and insurance.

IJA studio photo.

2 1/4 x 4 1/4. Mounted on stiff grey card 3 x 5 1/8 inches. £6.00, including post and insurance.

IJA photo.

£6.00, including post and insurance.

IJA studio photo.

2 1/4 x 3 7/16 inches. Mounted on stiff black card 3 7/8 x 4 5/8 inches. £6.00, including post and insurance.

IJA photo.

2 3/8 x 3 3/4 inches. Mounted on stiff black card 3 5/16 x 4 3/4 inches. £6.00, including post and insurance.

IJA studio photo.

2 9/16 x 3 3/8 mounted in booklet 4 1/8 x 6 1/2 inches by the studio photographer. £13.00, including post and insurance.

IJA studio photo.

£13.00, including post and insurance.

Imperial Guard Commander, Lt. General S Kagetsu.

The Imperial Guard was formed in 1867 from palace guard units and was based on the Prussian Garde du Korps. It became part of the Imperial Japanese Army when the Emperor Meiji assumed all the powers of the state and formed an army based on European lines. By 1885 it formed one division of the Imperial Japanese Army. The division contained four regiments of two battalions each.

The Imperial Guard stayed at one division until 1905 when, after the Russo-Japanese War, two Guard Brigades were formed from indigenous Formosans. In 1920 the Guards Cavalry Regiment, Guards Field Artillery Regiment, Guards Engineer Battalion, Guards Transport Battalion, plus other Guards service units were added. From 1937 to 1939 the Guards Engineer Battalion was expanded into a regiment as was the Guards Transport Battalion.

In September 1939, the Imperial Guards division was split in half. The 1st Guards Brigade was transferred to South China and became known as the Guards Mixed Brigade. In October 1940, it joined other Japanese units occupying French Indo-China. In April 1941 it returned to Tokyo, but did not re-join its parent division.

The remainder of the division (3rd and 4th Guards Regiments) became the 2nd Guards Brigade. In 1940 the 2nd Guards Brigade went to China, briefly stopping in Shanghai before being posted to Hainan Island. In June 1941, the 5th Guards Infantry Regiment joined the 2nd Guards Brigade there, and the brigade became the Imperial Guard Division again. It later saw action with General Yamashita's 25th Army in the Battles of Malaya and Singapore. The Guard Division was involved in notorious Japanese war crimes such as the Parit Sulong massacre and the Sook Ching massacre. Lt Gen. Takuma Nishimura, who was sentenced to life imprisonment by a British military court in relation to the Sook Ching killings, was later convicted of war crimes by an Australian Military Court in relation to the Parit Sulong massacre. He was executed by hanging on June 11, 1951.

The Guards Mixed Brigade remained in Tokyo, becoming 1st Guards Division in May 1943 while the Imperial Guard Division became 2nd Guards Division. The 1st Guards Division consisted of the 1st, 2nd, 6th Guard Regiments. The Imperial Guard was dissolved at the end of WW2, only to be reformed in 1947 as part of the National Police Agency.

4 3/16 x 5 15/16 inches. Mounted on black card 5 15/16 x 8 3/4 inches.£15.00, including post and insurance.

A collection of unpublished photos from the 1930s documenting the visit of an unnamed general to a military establishment.

A collection of seven unpublished photos documenting a general's visit during the 1930s. £50.00, including post and insurance.

Rare personal and unpublished photos of naval commanders, Shanghai expedition.

Japan had acquired the vast northeastern region of China as a result of the Manchurian Incident. However, the Japanese military was not satisfied and planned to increase Japanese influence further, especially into Shanghai where it had concessions. The Japanese therefore needed to create some incidents to provide some pretexts justifying further military action in China. As a result of these incidents there was an upsurge of anti-Japanese protests in Shanghai, and for a boycott of Japanese goods.

On August 23 1932, the Japanese Shanghai Expeditionary Force, led by Iwane Matsui, landed in Liuhe, Wusong, and Chuanshakou. The Japanese almost always began their amphibious assaults with heavy naval and air bombardment of the Chinese coastal defense works and trenches. It was not unheard of for the Chinese to lose an entire garrison to such bombardments.

The subsequent Battle of Shanghai was the first of the twenty-two major engagements fought between the National Revolutionary Army, Republic of China and the Imperial Japanese Army, Empire of Japan during the Second Sino-Japanese War. It was one of the largest and bloodiest battles of the entire war.

Two photographs, mounted on grey card, 7.7 x 9.3 inches. Captioned photograph of naval officers 3 1/4 x 4 1/4. Captioned photograph of Chinese junk, 2 3/8 x 2 3/8 inches, uncaptioned photograph of naval officer, 3 1/4 x 4 1/4. £25.00, including post and insurance.

IJA press release photo of Marshall Terauchi - original GHQ-NLF print.

Count Hisaichi Terauchi (8 August 1879 - 12 June 1946) was a field marshal in the Imperial Japanese Army and Commander of the Southern Expeditionary Army Group during World War II. He suffered a stroke on 10 May 1945 after hearing of the loss of Burma by Japan. Terauchi personally surrendered to Lord Mountbatten in Saigon on 30 September 1945, when he surrendered his family heirloom wakizashi. The sword dates from 1413, and is now kept at Windsor Castle. Terauchi died in a prisoner of war camp in Malaya after the end of the war.

This picture was probably taken by an official Japanese war photographer, and probably appeared in Daitoua Sensou Gahou, a WW2 Japanese magazine that consisted of war photographs from the East Asia theatre. However, this print does not however bear a release authorisation, as would be the case if it was a Press Release. It is most likely that this was part of the records in one of the Imperial Japanese Ministries.

5 5/8 x 7 7/8 inches, mounted on white card 7 7/8 x 10 3/8 inches. £20.00, including post and insurance.

Female British Envoy in Occupied Hong Kong - original GHQ-NLF print.

Japan invaded Hong Kong on 8 December 1941, less than eight hours after Pearl Harbour. They achieved air superiority on the first day of battle by destroying the only military aircraft available on the ground. British naval vessels were ordered to leave Hong Kong for Singapore which was thought by British planners to be impregnable.Unfortunately this was the same day that the Singapore-based battleships 'Prince of Wales' and 'Repulse' were destroyed by Japanese torpedo bombers.

The Battle of Hong Kong ended with the British and Canadian defenders surrendering control of the colony to Japan on 25 December 1941. During the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, civilians suffered from widespread food shortages caused by imposed rations, and hyper-inflation due to forced exchange of currency for military notes. Hong Kong's population declined from 1.6 million before the invasion to about 600,000 in 1945.

This picture was probably taken by an official Japanese war photographer, and probably appeared in Daitoua Sensou Gahou, a WW2 Japanese magazine that consisted of war photographs from the East Asia theatre. However, this print does not however bear a release authorisation, as would be the case if it was a Press Release. It is most likely that this was part of the records in one of the Imperial Japanese Ministries.

5 5/8 x 7 7/8 inches, mounted on white card 7 7/8 x 10 3/8 inches. £20.00, including post and insurance.