Local Veteran Returns WWII Sword to Japanese Family

Posted at: 09/21/2013 10:00 PM

One man's souvenir is another man's treasure. More than sixty years ago, a local World War Two veteran took home a Japanese sword as a token from the war. Saturday there was a ceremony in the Twins Cities where that sword was returned to its rightful owner.

"Something that has history in it like that sword has a designation in a family’s life,” said Clifton Truman Daniel, Grandson of U.S. President Harry Truman.

The Japanese samurai sword symbolizes the history between the United States and Japan.

When the atomic bomb dropped over the Japanese city of Nagasaki during World War Two, it was this sword along with many others that were confiscated by the U.S. government.

"I was given permission to get a sword, so I walked into the building and took a look and about eight feet up on the top of the pile was this one sword,” said Orval Amdaul, WWII Veteran Marine Captain.

For the past 68 years Orval Amdahl, a World War Two Marine Captain from Lanesboro, has kept it safe in his possession. Until now, this war souvenir is being presented to the grandson of the original owner.

"It's with great honest to goodness feeling that I am going to return this sword to the rightful owner,” said Amdahl.

The room was filled with people to witness a man who traveled thousands of miles to receive a long lost family heirloom.

"I never expected the sword would still exist in its original form," said Tadahiro Motomura, who accepted the sword.

"It seems a small thing giving back a sword that was taken as the spoils of war, but it symbolizes some of mankind’s noblest traits, empathy, understanding and honor,” said Daniel.

As America and Japan continue to seek understanding of the historic time when this sword was once used, these two men work to strengthen the ties between their countries.

The Saint Paul-Nagasaki Sister City Committee helped find the owner of the sword and arranged this morning's ceremony at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.