Colonel Shigeyoshi Shibuya

Years ago I purchased a nice antique blade, mumei, osuriagi, with Gunto mounts from a guy that had a number of pieces. He also gave me a loose surrender tag at the same time, inscribed in Japanese & English, indicating a sword by Colonel Shigeyoshi Shibuya of Wakayama had been surrendered. He didn't remember if the tag went with my sword or one of the others he had. I wrote to the Colonel asking if he could describe his sword but the letter came back unopened.

I have since attempted to find information on Google about the Colonel but have had no luck in finding anything about him. He and his family are perhaps long gone and I will never know for sure if I have his sword or not but it would be interesting to know something about the Colonel whose tag I still have. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you, Dan Dancer.

finding vets in Japan

I take it there is a fairly complete mailing address on the tag?
I'm not surprised that your letter went unanswered - I assume it was addressed in Roman letters, and written in English? Is it a very specific address, down to the lot (house) number and local neighborhood?
Your best bet is to go there in person and do research. Families don't move around as much in Japan as they do in the West, so there's a pretty good chance that you could learn a lot.
Next-best (and more practical) is to get help from someone who speaks fluent Japanese, and do the research by phone. Start by calling the local government office, the nearest post office, or the nearest police station. If you have a specific address, it's quite likely that the post/police folks will know a lot. In traditional communities, the local "cop on the beat" periodically visits each house, and so knows who lives there, their names, etc. We might call it "intrusive", but in Japanese society it means that the local cop ("O-mawari-san", which roughly means "he who walks around") really knows his beat.

Another idea: Try contacting a WWII veteran's organization in Japan.


Finding Colonel Shigeyoshi Shibuya

Pete, thank you so much for the advice, it seems very sound and if I could do all you suggest I'm sure it would produce some interesting information, but unfortunately at my age, income level and with this cursed Muscular Dystrophy problem my ability to go to Japan is severely hampered.
It was about 25 years ago that I sent the letter and it was inscribed in English. I'm not sure if I copied the kanji as an optional form as well. It's been so long since I posted the letter, asking for a description of the Colonel's sword.
At any rate, I do not expect his address is any longer a likely point of contact and if his children were still living there that they might be able to describe his sword sufficiently enough for me to match up the blade that I still have. On the other hand, I recently tried to find him on google which list considerable information about Japanese officers in various record forms but cannot find any reference to him, which I thought strange. Now I am wondering if there are any WWll historians amoung the club group that might have some information on the colonel, regardless if the sword I have is his or not. Just curious about the man on the tag. Thanks again. Dan Dancer.