I had the sword examined today at an event hosted by the Boston Token-Kai (a group of Japanese sword enthusiasts) by a renowned sword expert Ogawa Morihiro sensei (Japanese antiquity adviser for the Metropolitan and Boston Museums of fine art). The blade is from the Shinto Seki School, but it is unfortunately unsigned. He attributed the handle (known as a tsukamaki) to a person named Nobuchika.
Second time I’ve sent a letter to the the MacArthur Museum….
I have a sword in my possession that used to belong to Hideki Tojo. I know that the MacArthur Museum also has several swords in its possession that used to belong to Tojo. I would like very much to compare the swords to see if they are part of a separated set. Is there any way I could arrange to get images of the swords in your possession?
I’m using this post to keep track of individuals that were on the scene at Tojo’s arrest (September 11, 1945).
Katsuko and Hideki Tojo
Source #1: NY Times Article
- George E Jones war correspondent for the NY times (author of the NY Times article)
- Major Kraus who lead the capture effort
- Captain James Jonson who was the Army Doctor that saved Tojo’s life
- Lieutenant George Guyse of San Francisco
- Lieutenant Jack Wills of Saratoga Springs
- Captain William T (assumed to be William Trout)
- Hiraoka (a Nisei)
- James Ward, special agent (assumed to be CIC) of 8 Governors Road Bronx NY
Source #2: Post to this Blog by Kay Alsbrook Joyner
- Sgt, William (Buddy) Alsbrook (1st infantry division)
Source #3: Washington Post Article
- John J. Wilpers (308th Counter Intelligence Corps)
Source # 4: Photo of Cornelius Ryan
- Cornelius Ryan war corespondent
Source # 5: New York Times Obituary
- Isadore Gold, 80, Army Doctor Who Helped to Keep Tojo Alive (was probably not at the arrest)
Source # 6: Army photographs attributed to Charles Gorry.
- Charles P. Gorry, Associated Press staff photographer on assignment with the wartime still picture pool, whose home is at Hollis, N.Y. (Later, Falls Church, Va.)
I purchased another photo from Ebay,an original photo taken on the day Tojo was apprehended.
The auction ad read, “ORIGINAL vintage photo dated 9-14-1945 showing HIDEKI TOJO, Japanese. Prime Minister responsible for the attack on Pearl Harbor, and convicted genocide. In the photo, he is shown when he was found “bubbling blood from the chest wound Tojo sprawls in a chair a few moments after he attempted to commit suicide by firing a bullet into his chest to avoid trial, but was saved by an American doctor, so he would be well to stand trial as a war criminal” states among other things the detailed paper summary in the back and it is credited to International News Photo (INP) and MANANA Archives with its stamp also in the back, the condition is very good and it measures 8 x 10 inches. GREAT MEMORIES OF TIMES PAST!!!!!!!!!!”
Although this image has no direct relevance to the investigation, for the sake of completeness, I thought it would make a good addition to the blog.
I haven’t done much on the investigation into the sword lately, or the blog for that matter, but my daily eBay update picked up a new picture of Tojo’s capture /suicide attempt that I haven’t seen before.
The description read,” War Correspondent Ryan Holds Memento Of Attempted Suicide Of Japans Premier Tojo When Officers Came To Arrest Him As War Criminal- Ryan Got Tojos Cigarette Case With “Hope Virginia” Cigarettes”
In the picture, on the wall in back of Ryan holding his memento cigarette case, is a photograph of Tojo unconscious from his wound, with several army men beside him that I haven’t yet seen in photos. One of the men is tall and blond, which fits James’ general description, but it’s too small to make out from the image on eBay.
In hopes of finding out more about the image, I wrote the seller and inquired about Ryan. He didn’t have much information. Some further investigation on the web, however, reviled that the Ryan in the picture was actually Cornelius Ryan, an Irish born war correspondent and author of The Longest Day and A Bridge Too Far.
I began looking for a means to get my hands on the photograph within the picture for sale, and I uncovered that Ryan’s widow (Kathryn Morgan Ryan) had donated much of his personal WWII artifacts to Ohio University.
The University houses the collection at the Robert E. and Jean R. Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections. A description can be found here, Cornelius Ryan Collection of World War II Papers. Most of it is unpublished, so it looks like I’ll be scheduling a trip to Columbus sometime within the next few months to see where this path leads.
I also bought the picture for sale on eBay. I’m doubtful that the picture will yield anything definitive once in hand (seller’s picture is below), but for $4.99, it’s worth having it just to help document the journey. Besides, I think it would have been a bit more expensive if the seller had known it was Cornelius Ryan in the picture.