Theft of Del Cerro man's WWII sword ends mission to return it home

Posted at 6:36 PM, Aug 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-08 21:36:17-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The theft of a rare war artifact could prevent a Del Cerro man from fulfilling a decades-old quest.

Last Monday night, Brant Honkanen - tired from a day of moving - left his van unlocked for a few hours outside his Del Cerro home, and it cost him.
He found it ransacked, then looked under the blanket in the back and discovered his rare Japanese officer’s sword from WWII gone. He bought it nearly 35 years ago from his martial arts teacher to train for a black belt.

As the story goes, an American soldier claimed it after killing the officer in battle. As Honkanen immersed himself in sword culture, a quest was born.

“The sword and warrior are one. The spirit of the warrior who carried that sword and died with it is the sword itself. I was entrusted with the spirit of another human being. I’m hoping to find the family of the warrior,” said Honkanen.

He’s looked through countless photos of swords and called the Japanese embassy but remains short on clues to the officer’s identity. If he failed to fulfill his mission, he planned to pass on the sword and quest to his oldest son. 

Now he fears that quest will never be finished.

Honkanen bought the sword for $300 but believes it may now be worth thousands of dollars. If you have any information on the case, call San Diego police.