[ NEWS ] Scholars confirm first discovery of Japanese sword from master bladesmith Masamune in 150 years
- by Casey Baseel
Should you visit a history museum in Japan, and, like I do, make an immediate beeline for the collections of samurai armor and weaponry, you might be surprised to notice that Japanese swords are customarily displayed with the stitching removed from the hilt. Visually, it sort of dampens the impact, since the remaining skinny slab of metal is a lot less evocative of it actually being gripped and wielded by one of Japan’s warriors of ages past.
The reason this is done, though, is because many Japanese swordsmiths would “sign” their works by etching their names into the metal of the hilt. Some craftsmen achieved almost legendary status, becoming folk heroes whose names are widely known even today.
The most respected of all, though, was Masamune, whose reluctance to sign his blades has made identifying them difficult. But difficult and impossible are two different things, and for the first time in over a century, a sword has been confirmed by historians as being the creation of the master himself.
Masamune was active during the late 13th and early 14th centuries, the part of Japan that today is part of Kanagawa Prefecture. He lived his life during the Kamakura Period, when the samurai class saw the most dramatic rise in its power over Japan.
Producing the highest-quality blades during a time of military power made Masamune’s swords extremely prized. Today, the only swordsmith who can approach his exalted historical status is Muramasa, who was born hundreds of years later. Justified or not, Muramasa is said to have been psychologically imbalanced and prone to violence. Superstition holds that these traits were passed on to the swords he forged, and as such Masamune’s are often held to be the superior weapons.
However, it can be hard to keep track of weapons in a country that’s gone through as many civil wars, revolutions, and occupations as Japan has, no matter how impressive their pedigree. Last year, a man brought a sword, which had found its way into his personal property, to the Kyoto National Museum to be appraised. Historian and sword scholar Taeko Watanabe spent the months between then and now studying the blade, and has recently announce her conclusion that it is a Masamune.
"Judging from its unique characteristics such as the pattern that can be seen in the side of the blade… it was unmistakably forged by Masamune."
The particular sword, which Watanabe says is called the Shimazu Masamune, had been given in 1862 by Iemochi, the 14th Tokugawa shogun, to the Imperial Family to mark his marriage to Princess Kazunomiya, also known as Princess Kazu.
"By presenting such a masterwork to the Imperial Family, Iemochi showed the deepest appreciation and highest respect," Watanabe commented.
Following this, the sword’s whereabouts were unknown until its anonymous owner brought it to the museum in Kyoto. It is the first blade to be confirmed as a Masamune in roughly 150 years.
Source: Copyright © 2014 Rocket News 24
thinkin about swords this morning
this is some very very cool sword lore
Today one of my friends was dress coded for her bra strap showing and so she wrote on the gym shirt that they gave her. It reads “Dress Code: promotes the objectification and sexualization of young bodies, blames the wearer for the onlooker’s perceptions/actions, perpetuates rape culture, and is bullshit” On the back she wrote “You can’t shame me for something I’m not ashamed for”. It was really cool seeing all of the people’s reactions who saw it and I thought what she did was pretty cool.
YES YOUNG WOMEN STANDING UP FOR THEMSELVES
We’ve both been very brave
Walk around with both legs
Fight the scary day
We both pull the tricks out of our sleeves
But I’ll believe in anything
And you’ll believe in anything
This is potentially life saving information everyone should know.
No you guys this post helped me find my cat. He was missing for almost a month and I’ve had him for over 12 years. After seeing this I put his favorite blanket he always slept on outside hoping he would smell mine or his scent and he was back the next fucking day asleep on it.
When my cat got out, we called and called for him, and then, later that night, I remembered similar advice to this, and so put his little scratching pad, which he adores, on the front porch. Not even half an hour later, I heard a thump, opened the door, and there was his big butt, meowing at me.
Important and vital
Reblogging because 5 years ago my cat went missing for 5 days and it was one of the most painful experiences of my life. We put up missing posters all around the neighbourhood and luckily we found her from someone calling us abou a cat crying all day down their street. Her claws were incredibly worn out since she had been walking for so long trying to get home (we assume she had been stolen and escaped because she was 6 or 7 at the time and knew our property too well to get lost on her own) and she had maybe two or three times as much food and water as she usually did when we finally brought her home.
I really hope this post helps people with missing pets out because i would never wish this upon anyone
REBLOGGING BC IM EMOTIONAL ABOUT PETS
My roommate and his girlfriend got in the shower together and they’re… Talking about politics?
I was expecting to hear “OH GOD, HARDER,” not “George Washington was entirely correct in his prediction of what distinct parties would do to politics as a whole.”
Nope nevermind, there it is, apparently political debate is just their form of foreplay
STOP REBLOGGING THIS HE HAS A TUMBLR