This is just a sad day. The English government has added samurai swords to the list of “Offensive Weapons Order” beginning in April of 2008, meaning the Home Office will not allow them to be imported, sold or hired on English soil.
Exempt from the ban will be genuine Japanese collectors swords (not sure how they’re going to distinguish that) and swords used by martial arts experts.
“In the wrong hands, samurai swords are dangerous weapons,” Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker said.
“We recognize it is the cheap, easily available samurai swords which are being used in crime and not the genuine more expensive samurai swords which are of interest to collectors and martial arts enthusiasts.”
Wrong hands being a ninja. But it makes you wonder when they will ban Kitana blades or Chinese throwing stars.
The most troubling thing about all of this is that now I have to cancel my plans for the recreation of the samurai vs. ninja scene in The Last Samurai, which was going to take place outside of London in April of 2008.