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Bringing a knife into Japan

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  • Bringing a knife into Japan

    I want to be a knife in the country i am visiting at the moment as a souvenir. If it is in my suitcase and not handluggage, is this a problem? I remember reading about this guy with a knife longre than the legal length arrested and put in prison.

  • #2
    Originally posted by textbook View Post
    I want to be a knife in the country i am visiting at the moment as a souvenir. If it is in my suitcase and not handluggage, is this a problem? I remember reading about this guy with a knife longre than the legal length arrested and put in prison.
    depends on the kind of knife (some hunting knifes with blades longer than I think 5 inches are illegal) and you risk it being confiscated when you enter the country. It will turn up on the x-ray machine when you go through customs anyway.

    There was a 70 year old man who got arrested in Japan a few months ago as he was carrying a pocket knife that he had brought in from the US and he was discovered by police to be carrying a knife and it was considered an offensive weapon. My advice would be to send it home.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by textbook View Post
      I want to be a knife in the country i am visiting at the moment as a souvenir. If it is in my suitcase and not handluggage, is this a problem? I remember reading about this guy with a knife longre than the legal length arrested and put in prison.
      This might be old info, since I remember seeing some posters all over train stations about the knives.

      You can legally carry a knife that has a blade less than 6cm in length. Also, unlike Western countries, butterfly knives (and similar) are legal. The meaning of "carry" is loosely translated to "you can have it in your person", which again does not include luggage, per se, unless it is strapped on top of the bag. In other words, if the knife does not look like something you would kill a person with (katana), does not exceed 6cm in blade length and you don't walk around with it writing your name in the air you should be OK.

      There might be some new rules about double edged blades, but I'd have to look that one up.

      Edit: The 70-year-old american was carrying the knife on plain sight on his belt, which constitutes as "easy access" and not concealed. Should it have been in his pocket or in a bag, there most likely wouldn't have been a problem.

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      • #4
        i want to bring back a souvenir ghurkka knife it will be longer than 5 inches and in my suitcase. As I am applying for PR at the moment a wise move? If they take it out of the suitcase it is so obviously a souvenir with Nepal written all over it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by textbook View Post
          i want to bring back a souvenir ghurkka knife it will be longer than 5 inches and in my suitcase. As I am applying for PR at the moment a wise move? If they take it out of the suitcase it is so obviously a souvenir with Nepal written all over it.
          Hmm, might be safer to mail it then. You know how the airport security handles fake katanas? They'll check if the blade is sharp even if the thing would be the smaller kind and it's not a carry-on. Having this in mind, if the knife is the real deal and exceeds the limitations, they'll most likely atleast take it away.

          Safer to mail it.

          Edit. BTW, that thing looks wicked.
          Last edited by Trichophyton-in-my-pants; 2009-11-14, 04:12 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by textbook View Post
            i want to bring back a souvenir ghurkka knife it will be longer than 5 inches and in my suitcase. As I am applying for PR at the moment a wise move? If they take it out of the suitcase it is so obviously a souvenir with Nepal written all over it.
            I brought 2 kuhkri back from Nepal myself, luckily the customs people didn't search my bags as these knives are on the list. I came through Singapore which has a rep for being a very law abiding country and the customs people looked at my passport, checked the styro container of tropical fish and left my suitcase alone.

            I wouldn't advise it unless there is something else you can use to distract their attention and get them going through their regs books.

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            • #7
              Anything that doesn't have a double sided blade and is in your stowed suitcase, with the exceptions of butterfly and switchblades are legal almost everywhere.

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              • #8
                I've been paranoid about my Leatherman, which I wear on my belt when camping. I'm not sure what the blade length is on those...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by DiscoveryDiver View Post
                  I've been paranoid about my Leatherman..
                  My GF used to be REALLY paranoid about my Leatherman. I think she got the wrong idea from that hilariously suggestive name.

                  Then I showed her what was contained in that ominously embossed leather sheath.

                  She was quite taken with all its fancy schmancy features.

                  I find the pliers break rather easily when wrenching off rear wheel locks from Borrowed Bicycles.

                  Mind you, they've always replaced it without any woofing or kerfuffle.


                  BTW, just put it in your checked luggage. I always take a rather nasty looking tool kit on fieldwork (including a large cleaver style cooking knife), and have had nary a peep nor a tooth suck.

                  If you're carrying it while camping, cover it with a shirt tail if and when Captain Keystone shows up.

                  Hell, man, those old Jpn guys go shopping with machetes (nata); on their belts; of course, they're legal because they're classified as tools.

                  To wit.......would you bet your Leatherman against one of these:

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                  • #10
                    I have a question about this. I have an expensive chefs knife that I want to bring to Japan with me. Since it is cooking cutlery would it be illegal even though the blade i long?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Runeblade48 View Post
                      I have a question about this. I have an expensive chefs knife that I want to bring to Japan with me. Since it is cooking cutlery would it be illegal even though the blade i long?
                      I have a 20 something centimetre hecknels that I bought from amazon.jp

                      In your luggage is fine , chefs travel with their knives all the time. Get a knife wallet.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kurogane View Post
                        My GF used to be REALLY paranoid about my Leatherman. I think she got the wrong idea from that hilariously suggestive name.

                        Then I showed her what was contained in that ominously embossed leather sheath.

                        She was quite taken with all its fancy schmancy features.

                        I find the pliers break rather easily when wrenching off rear wheel locks from Borrowed Bicycles.

                        Mind you, they've always replaced it without any woofing or kerfuffle.
                        Is a Leatherman classified as a tool here?

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