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Katana in katakana is カタナ

I mentioned earlier that my brother bought a four-foot-long katana while he was here. Imitation, of course. A genuine one, even of average quality, will set you back thousands, if not tens of thousands, of pounds. We knew there was no way he'd get it on his flight home as hand-luggage, imitation or no, but the BA lady I spoke to on the phone said there would be no problem with checking it in as hold luggage.

Wrong. Apparently, no fewer than six policemen were summoned to the check-in desk; one stern-looking man in a suit was also required to verify that it was, indeed, a blunt, fake sword. According to Andrew, they all wanted a go with it. I've never had such interest shown in my PDA, which I think is much more entertaining, not to mention more likely to contain explosives, but there's no accounting for taste.

I couldn't find much info on katana on the net - until I happened across this page, which is long, detailed and rambling in much the same way that outer space is big, dark and difficult to breath in. Wading through it brought up a number of interesting nuggets, however. For example, pieces such as the one that Andrew bought are fine for export, but if you try to bring one into Japan, it will be confiscated - even if you're not trying to pass it off as genuine - because of its inferior quality.

I wonder if the UK should do the same for some of its cultural exports - like the pop music. "I'm sorry, sir, but there's no way you're bringing that Alice DeeJay album into the country. I don't care if you bought it here originally - why do you think we let you leave with it in the first place?"

Posted by chris at June 13, 2001 07:57 PM | Permalink

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