Monday, January 4, 2016

Novelty hara kiri dagger, Japan, 2000

I was in a shop in Kyoto in 2000 full of very nice and breakable items of pottery, dolls and paper  - there were these kids running around and stabbing each other with the shorter of the traditional two swords that samurai wore called the wakizashi. Surprisingly the clerk just chatted with them in a nice voice to calm them down. I asked my girlfriend to ask them where they got them and they gave her directions to a joke shop - Kyoto is like a Chinese city and laid out on a north south grid, unlike most Japanese cities where the streets run at all sorts of angles and curves, so it is easier to find places - the joke shop didn't have any  wakizashi, but even better they had the traditional dagger for committing seppuku, or hara kiri!

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