Mr. Nakajima finally returned to his family
home in Tokyo in August of 1946, only to find that not a twig was
left standing for miles around. He borrowed some money from a friend
and built a traditional Japanese house in two weeks, all by himself.
He said it was not easy building his house, literally, on the ashes
of his family. Nakajima spent the next ten years trying to survive
in Post-war Japan and take care of the people he loved.
In 1956 Nakajima went to work for a business associate
of his old teacher Hon'ami Kohõ. Mr. Hon'ami had retired
after the war but knew Inuzuka Tokutaro. Inuzuka was not only a
very fine sword polisher of the Hon'ami school tradition; he was
also a sword dealer of very high reputation. Nakajima did a complete
line of sword craft for Inuzuka and he was very happy to work once
again, for a good man, in the craft that he loved.
In the late fifties a new sword organization was
formed in the United States, the Japanese Sword Society of the
US. The JSSUS had written to Dr. Homma, the head of the NBTHK in
Japan, about sending a man to the United States to restore Japanese
swords. The JSSUS didn't just want a polisher, they wanted one
man who could do everything. Nakajima was that man and said that
he was picked for three reasons:
1) First and foremost, he alone could do all the
different jobs needed to make (or restore) a Japanese sword.
2) He was personally familiar with many of the missing National Treasures that
Homma so dearly wanted returned to Japan.
3) Of all the sword craftsmen in Japan, Nakajima was one of the only ones to
ever to have worked outside of Japan.
And so it was that on September 2, 1962, Nakajima
Muneyoshi, at the age of 40, set sail aboard the Brazil Maru, with
four thousand pounds of wood, stones, and other sword supplies,
for Los Angeles.