A Very important Katana Made for His Royal Highness, The Crown Prince of England future King Edward VIII of England by Hiraga Morikuni

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Katana specially Made for and presented to His Royal Highness Crown Prince of  on his visit to Japan in 1922 .The Crown Prince of England who went on to be the  King of England for a short time less than a year when he abdicated to marry his love Wallis Simpson,King Edward’s decision to give up his throne for love  that entirely altered the course of the monarchy.

Hiraga Morikuni was born in the city of Kure in Hiroshima Prefecture and he was  also a writer. He wrote the short treatise The State and the Sword in 1935. It is said that he had studied with Yokoyama Sukekane, probably the second generation Sukekane. Mostly, Morikuni is known for being the master of the famous modern Osafune smith Imai Toshimitsu (1898-1995) who was a Mukansa and Intangible Cultural Property of Okayama Prefecture.

Photo of Morikuni, taken in 1935.


NBTHK Hozon Certificate Translation

Katana, signed: Hiraga Morikuni + kaō ‒ Kore o kinzō (平賀護国「花押」為謹造之)
Kentan Aki no Kuni Kure-shi ni oite Dainippon Tōken Kurabu

Hōken Eikoku Kōtaishi-denka issen-kyūhyaku-nijūninen gogatsu kichijitsu

Dainippon Kure Gunkō Kure Kōron shachō Mitsumura Ryōjirō kyūhai

“Respectfully/carefully made by Hiraga Morikuni + monogram.
Presentation forging at the Japanese Sword Club of Kure City, Aki province.
Presented on a lucky day in May of 1922 to His Royal Highness, the Crown
Prince of England. Very respectfully, Mitsumura Ryōjirō, director of Kure
Kōron at the Japan Kure Naval Port.”

Nagasa ~ 60.9 cm

According to the result of the shinsa committee of our society, we judge this work as authentic
and rank it as Hozon Tōken.
August 26, 2019
[Foundation] Nihon Bijutsu Tōken Hozon Kyōkai, NBTHK (日本美術刀劍保存協會)

Japanese Sword Museum Tokyo


King Edward VIII

Edward VIII became King of the United Kingdom following the death of his father, George V, But only ruled for less than a year. He abdicated the throne in order to marry his lover, Wallis Simpson, Thereafter taking the title Duke of Windsor.
Edward VIII was a popular member of the British royal family and heir to the throne. In 1931, then known as the Prince of Wales, Edward met and fell in love with American socialite Wallis Simpson. After George V’s death, The prince became King Edward VIII. However, because his marriage to Simpson, an American divorcée, was forbidden, Edward abdicated the throne after ruling for less than a year. Thereafter, he took the title Duke of Windsor and embarked on a jet-setting life with his new wife.The love affair and possible royal marriage resulted in sensational newspaper headlines around the world and created a storm of controversy, but did not sway Edward. On December 10, 1936, King Edward VIII submitted his abdication and it was endorsed by Parliament the next day. He thus became the only British monarch ever to resign voluntarily.

King Edward VIII Early Life visit to Japan

Born on 23 June 1894 as David, he was the first son of the future George V and his wife, Mary of Teck.

In 1911, after his father’s ascension, Edward became the Prince of Wales. He joined the Royal Navy and then, following the start of World War I, enlisted in the army. His assignments to safe positions on the Italian front troubled him, causing him to announce, “What difference does it make if I am killed? The king has three other sons!”

Edward VIII, who ruled the United Kingdom from January to December 1936, was born on June 23, 1894, in Richmond, London, England. The eldest son of George V, Edward studied at Osborne Naval College, the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth and the University of Oxford’s Magdalen College.

Upon his return to England, the young Prince Edward took up his official duties, and traveled throughout Britain and other parts of the world. Dashing and charming, he became known in the American press as the “arbiter of men’s fashions, a fearless horseman, tireless dancer, idol of bachelors, dream of spinsters.”

Edward Prince of Wale’s visit to Japan 1922

Accompanied by Crown Prince Hirohito, Edward Prince of Wales received a grand welcome to Japan in 1922, Arriving at the port of Yokohama In a royal procession from Yokohama to the Tokyo station and then onto the Imperial Palace a short distance away.

Crown Prince Hirohito  was  eager to entertain the Prince of Wales, who visited Japan in 1922, For Prince Edward had treated him kindly during his own tour of Europe in 1921,  Crown Prince Hirohito went on to become Emperor and Edward Prince of Wales briefly King.  They forged long friendship.

Prince Edward was presented this Katana in May of 1922 on his visit to the Naval port of Kure near Hiroshima ,Edward also on the 12th of April made a visit aboard the battle cruiser HMS Renown , The prince was accompanied by his second cousin LT (later fleet Admiral) Lord Mountbatten.



One of the last photographs of Edward was taken with Emperor Hirohito whilst he was visiting France in 1971.

King Edward VIII Abdication, Marriage to Wallis Simpson. The greatest love story of the 20th Century


Prince Edward met the woman who would completely change his life in June 1931. At a party hosted by Lady Furness,  Prince Edward was introduced to Wallis Simpson, a Beautiful ,sophisticated, charming and charismatic American woman who had recently moved to London with her husband. She immediately captured the Edwards  interest and later captured his heart. By 1934, the two had  become lovers. The Monarchy was not pleased with the pairing, however, and refused to allow a marriage between the future King and an American divorcee.
Wallis Simpson filed for divorce in November 1936, and the King immediately began looking towards marriage. The King proposed a morganatic marriage – where he would remain King but Wallis would not become Queen, nor would any of their children inherit the throne – but this was opposed by the British Cabinet, who also rejected outright the possibility of David proposing to Wallis.
The clergy was also opposed to the union, as remarriage is frowned upon in Church of England teachings, and as Head of the Church of England,  was expected to lead by example he Duke and Duchess of Windsor were married on 4 May 1937 at a chateau in France. They lived there pre-warIn 1936, the prince succeeded his father, George V, becoming King Edward VIII. He was a popular king, although those who worked around him found him irresponsible in regard to his official duties. On December 11, 1936, he abdicated the throne in the face of opposition to his proposed marriage to Simpson, proclaiming to the public, “I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love.” Edward was then given the title of Duke of Windsor, and in 1937, he married Simpson in a small private ceremony in France.The couple lived in Paris, and spent most of their time shopping and partying . The duke made a couple of attempts to revive his political career, including a trip to Nazi Germany in October 1937, which only served to worsen his reputation as a supporter of  Adolf Hitler ,While taking refuge from Nazi forces in Lisbon in 1940, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor received word that the King had appointed the duke to be Governor and Commander of Chief of the Bahama Islands.Although the post was considered a relatively unimportant job for a member of the royal family, the duke and duchess were pleased. The London Daily Express eventually said of the former king’s five-year post in the Bahamas, “He has faithfully upheld the British cause in his lonely outpost & shown wisdom in his decisions and great dignity in his bearing.”He and Simpson then returned to Paris, France, where Edward, Duke of Windsor, died on May 28, 1972. He was buried at Windsor Castle, and 14 years later, Simpson was buried beside him. Their undying romance in the face of opposition is still regarded today as one of the greatest love stories of our time.Despite the controversy he generated, Edward still kept in touch with the Royal Family.The Duchess of Windsor died in 1986, suffering from dementia, and was buried next to her husband.


Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson



Edward VIII Abdictates the Throne

The speech below is from December 11th, when Edward publicly announced his decision via radio to a worldwide audience.

His younger brother, George VI, took the throne and immediately gave Edward the title, Duke of Windsor. The Duke and Simpson were married in France on June 3, 1937 and lived in Paris. During World War II, Edward served as governor of the Bahamas. He died in Paris on May 28, 1972. His wife died there, April 24, 1986.


At long last I am able to say a few words of my own. I have never wanted to withhold anything, but until now it has not been constitutionally possible for me to speak.

A few hours ago I discharged my last duty as King and Emperor, and now that I have been succeeded by my brother, the Duke of York, my first words must be to declare my allegiance to him. This I do with all my heart.

You all know the reasons which have impelled me to renounce the throne. But I want you to understand that in making up my mind I did not forget the country or the empire, which, as Prince of Wales and lately as King, I have for twenty-five years tried to serve.

But you must believe me when I tell you that I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as King as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love.

And I want you to know that the decision I have made has been mine and mine alone. This was a thing I had to judge entirely for myself. The other person most nearly concerned has tried up to the last to persuade me to take a different course.

I have made this, the most serious decision of my life, only upon the single thought of what would, in the end, be best for all.

This decision has been made less difficult to me by the sure knowledge that my brother, with his long training in the public affairs of this country and with his fine qualities, will be able to take my place forthwith without interruption or injury to the life and progress of the empire. And he has one matchless blessing, enjoyed by so many of you, and not bestowed on me — a happy home with his wife and children.

During these hard days I have been comforted by her majesty my mother and by my family. The ministers of the crown, and in particular, Mr. Baldwin, the Prime Minister, have always treated me with full consideration. There has never been any constitutional difference between me and them, and between me and Parliament. Bred in the constitutional tradition by my father, I should never have allowed any such issue to arise.

Ever since I was Prince of Wales, and later on when I occupied the throne, I have been treated with the greatest kindness by all classes of the people wherever I have lived or journeyed throughout the empire. For that I am very grateful.

I now quit altogether public affairs and I lay down my burden. It may be some time before I return to my native land, but I shall always follow the fortunes of the British race and empire with profound interest, and if at any time in the future I can be found of service to his majesty in a private station, I shall not fail.

And now, we all have a new King. I wish him and you, his people, happiness and prosperity with all my heart. God bless you all! God save the King!

Edward VIII – December 11, 1936