Military Swords of Imperial Japan

House of cards

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The many-storied building built on sand has a weak foundation.
The metaphor of collapsing away also easily by the rainstorm or a wave although appearance looks splendid.

Fabrication and foolishness of judgment

Townspeople judgment

 The Matsudaira family of the domain of Kuwana made a retained swordsmith and a retained polisher surely look at a samurai's sword a long time ago.
 There was severe prohibition which a townspeople judge is not made to never look at in the domain of Kuwana.
 In the present, there are much those who regard saying frankly that the condition of the figure of a sword, a grain of the blade, and a Hamon was only seen, and this is whose work as it being the method of judgment.
 Although this is called bid judgment after all, it is the townspeople way which trains a sword store in the making, and is not a samurai's way.
 A long time ago, seeing others' sword and saying that it will be whose work apparently was forbidden most strictly, and it was made into serious impoliteness.
 A Honami family seemed to be such an impolite attitude from ancient times.
 I thought that Duke Konoe Sanbyoin Nobuosa would punish the famous Kōetsu of a rash conceit at the time.
 The duke ordered the swordsmith of Kyōto secretly and made the same a Tantō as the Tantō of possession imitate perfectly. Since Kōetsu came at a certain time, the duke ordered him to appraise the Tantō of this imitation.
 Then, as soon as Honami extracted and looked at it just for a moment, he said immediately, "This is Masamune". He was harshly scolded by the duke and the receipts and payments to a duke house were forbidden to him for the time being.
 To write this fact is forgotten in "Kissō Zigo" and two or more of other writings.

 Suishinshi Masahide imitated a certain sword. In order to try whether to be visible to the work sure enough, he built old rust to the Tang of a non-Mei, and showed it to famous Kamata Gyoshō by judgment of a sword those days.
 When doing so, Kamata called it the work of a certain swordsmith, attached "the Origami guarantee", and praised and praised it.
 Suishinshi looked at this situation and laughed at it together with his pupil. This is written on his memorandum.

 A long time ago, Ōmura Kaboku of the swordsmith which served Gikō Mito had the sword which imitated Awataguchi Hisakuni. However, this sword became the blade of total destruction by fire by the conflagration of Meireki.
 He modeled this sword on old Bizen, and put in temperd again. Swordsmith Masanobu Koemon which makes the sword of imitation specially bought this sword with five Ryō. Masanobu showed this sword as Honami Kōon.
 However, Koon said, "Although this sword resembles Hisakuni, it is old Bizen if it sees".
 And Honami Kōon attached the Origami guarantee of the prices of 350 Ryō to this sword. Kanbei of the Shiragane-master bought the imitation sword of Norishige in Etchū. He sold this sword to a Minister Ando of a certain house at 5 Ryō.
 Since Honami Kōon appraised the sword of this imitation as Norishige, this sword became famous suddenly and it went into the sequence of a noted sword.
 This is also left behind to the memorandum of Suishinshi.

 There is such a true story without limit. A sword is not known only by seeing just for a moment.
 The late old Mr. Chōga Imamura appraised as the genuine article the imitation of Kotetsu which Kajihei of the swordsmith which makes imitation therefore forged around Meiji 20. Chōga Imamura was a famous connoisseur of the swords.
 To the inside of the book of "Mogusa-ya old-manLanguage", there is the following description.
 The Honami house puts some one or another, Zōgan-mei, or Syu-mei into the Tang of the sword of a non-Mei.
 Or Honami family's completely useless demeanor takes out a Origami to the sword of a non-Mei.
 Even if it associated with those who make a sword and has got it used to seeing the made sword, therefore, a judge may be out of order in the difference from which the sword was made. Furthermore, does someone discern surely the work of a swordsmith made what 10 million  until it results soon from the ancient times in Japan ?
 It is a mere conjecture, such as "In Honami family, since this resembles Masamune's rule, it is decided to be Masamune.
 Since this resembles the Oshigata of Sadamune, it determines it as Sadamune".
 In the proof, a high-ranking person or a riches man got the sword appraised as Shizu, and if the Origami is hidden and it orders judgment to Honami, therefore, it will be decided at Masamune or Sadamune that the sword will be the numerousness of remuneration.
 If even the sword is good, it is not necessary to decide the sword of a non-Mei to be whose work.
 But, if a sword is not helpful without a Mei, that they are informed should laugh.

About Masamune's sword

 The authority of a sword community who took part in judgment of the sword which the Imperial Household possesses before for a while had those who is called Chōga Imamura.
 He announced in Meiji 29(1896) "The sword which there is a Mei or should be trusted with intrinsic Masamune does not have one" in Yomiuri-Newspaper. His opinion developed into the "Masamune erasure theory".
 It has argued about the "existence" of a human being called Masamune and a sword since then, and the half  century will pass soon. Even if the present comes, the conclusion of the truth does not yet.
 It is in the record a "Cyūshinmono" (at the time 629 years before from 1941, and Masamune is 50 years old), saying, "Masamune is the child of Saburō Kunimune of Bizen and changed the Mei behind". He called Gorō Nyudō before the Keichō age. He studied under the child of Saburō Kunimune of Bizen, or Kunimitsu, the pupil of Kunimune. It has only become clear that he was the same pupil as Yukimitsu and the style of a sword was a big disorder temper.
 And his having been known as a noted swordsmith is also clear. Masamune's sword appeared in the middle of the Hojō
house of the Kamakura period. However, Masamune's sword comes out in many subsequent war neither to record of military exploits, nor the record which cut people. This is completely wonderful.
 When such a thing was taken into consideration, Masamune searched for iron, water, and technology and passed the great portion of lifelong by the round of visits of the whole country.
 Making his sword was a small number very much those days.
 He minced the Mei on the sword using the occasional assumed name.
 It is late in life which he called Masamune. And most swords which he made were like which count a finger.
 The ringleader who did embellishment artificiality of Masamune is shrewd Hideyoshi Toyotomi and Mitsunari Ishida at everything. 
 Becoming the hand, the person who played an active part was Kōsatsu and Kōtoku Honami paternity which were working in the public office of the sword of the Ashikaga shogunate.

                  Hideyoshi Toyotomi            Mitsunari Ishida
 The beauty of polish appeared to the Japanese sword, after it went into the Ashikaga(Muromachi) age.
 The distinguished services of the Honami's whole family who invented the work of polish are having left the immortal footprint with completion of the traditional written study of the sword identifying method. However, it must separate from distinguished services that became Regent Hideyoshi's hand and they did the manufacture excessive issue of Masamune's sword, and it must be examined.

 It guesses from various situations, the sword of the Kamakura period was a grade which a grain of the blade and a temper understand faintly.
 Up to the early stages of the Ashikaga age, most Japanese swords were not the blades polished like a mirror like today.
 The blade was the coarse polish commonly called a blacksmith's polish, and was the grade by which some hands joined it.
 Therefore, in the Masamune era, it was not the sword which made intentionally beauty, such as a grain of the blade, an iron color, Nie, Nioi, and a Hamon. The way of polish progressed from the middle of the Ashikaga age to the last stage.
 When the sword was polished finely, also by chance, Masamune's sword released conspicuous color.
 Consequently, Masamune's sword has been recognized to have the first beauty in the sword of a noted swordsmith from ancient times.
 Hideyoshi attached the aim there.
 Masamune was suddenly made the king of a sword by the distinguished services of polish.
 The first time was for nine peaceful years after Hideyoshi becomes the Grand Minister of State at Tensyō 14 until he will die in Keichō 3. In the meantime, Masamune's new genealogy and the prototype of a biography were created.
 Kōtoku Honami defined 30 articles of rules of judgment of the sword of the convenient Sosyū style for unearthing of Masamune's sword. Every time Kōtoku collected the briskly alike swords, it made for Masamune's sword, but it ran short only with the sword which he unearthed.
 Therefore, Kōtoku made Kunihiro fake Masamune's sword. He made it fake also like a pupil's Dewa Daijō Kunimichi.
 Therefore, Masamune came to raise reputation with wonderful vigor bordering on the Keicho-age term.
 It is also unavoidable that increased also to Masamune before it and embellishment artificiality attained to even the history. When it said why Hideyoshi paid his attention to Masamune, as a result of applying to the Toyotomi era and overissuing land as remuneration of fighting after the Ashikaga age, there was no land which already divides and is given. Consequently, the compensation which depends on a sword as means of last resort came to be thought as important.
 Development of polish to Masamune became famous by chance.
 Then, he unearthed the randomly gorgeous magnificent sword and was taken as the compensation sword using the thing with many daimyos unacquainted in sword knowledge.
 This policy hits up to its expectations, Masamune's name came to be advertized by the world.
 If there are 3,000 swords of Masamune, Honami house will be said, but it is all a non-Mei and one true Mei is not checked, either.
 It is the rule of the "Engi style" Emperor to mince a Mei to arms. Who can oppose Emperor's rule sure enough.
 The same time, there were about ten swordsmiths who call Masamune.

 Of those days making a sword was required at the shortest on the 21st (time is still more nearly required when steel is made from mother material). If that is right, 172 years are needed although 3,000 swords are made.
 Masamune dies at the age of 81. Therefore, it means that he makes a sword, without being born and resting for one day, and after death had made the sword in the next world 91 years in addition.
 A Keichō age or subsequent ones, Honami family monopolized the rights and interests of judgment.
 Probably, such a situation shows the reliability of a Origami of Honami-house.
(from the work of Kanji Naruse "Jissen to tan"in 1942)

 Mr.Kanji Naruse investigated huge ancient documents, and he verified the actual condition of the fabricated sword.
 This points out directly the fabrication and the futility of information which a fine-arts sword community circulates.

The question of judgment

 The Honami house which was able to be used for the Ashikaga shogunate established the identifying method through the polish.
 Did the Honami house decide the Mei of the swordsmith to be true ?
 Many of those swordsmiths died before also for hundreds years.
 Naturally, Honami cannot carry out a check directly at a swordsmith.
 The same swordsmith also changes steel materials by environmental change of an era, and skill will change.
 A swordsmith lets life pass and it is hard to believe that it did not change a style or a Mei at all.
 A style spreads infinitely in the number and combination of a swordsmith.
 Probably, Honami was a person with preternatural power or God much, if it has been identified.
 This is visible to the world of magic and fortune-telling.

 The assumed name of a sword is common sense.
 If the Mei which becomes the origin of judgment is uncertain, the judgment of a Mei itself is meaningless.
 Ranking of the Mei is also doubtful.
 Therefore, if it has the imperfect knowledge of a Mei, an appreciation person will cause the evil in which the view which looks at a blade becomes cloudy conversely.

Judging a blade by a Mei has much damage, and it does not have an advantage. Just the actual thing of a blade is important and the other prejudice is obstructive. A sword is surely a sword also a Mu-mei.

 The person irrespective of the Mei of a sword gets the transparent view of a sword.
 The person can pick up obediently the history and the contents which a blade says.
 Unless people escape from the ant lion of the appraisal fable which the sword community fabricated, they cannot understand the true contents of a blade. 

The famous true story of an appraisal society.

 It is an anecdote of a Chiyozuru swordsmith.
 He is the swordsmith in which the Amata swordsmith (living national treasure) received impression.
 He used Sweden steel for edged tool manufacture.

 The Chiyozuru swordsmith sent the sword to the sword society in Meiji 33 (next central sword society).
 On the day, he inspected the open appraisal society of his own sword.
 There was an exchange of evaluation between the appraisal members of a sword.

 Ringa Honami:  "Although this is Bizen's style, it does not seem to be a new work sword."
 Matsudaira viscount:  "In my idea, this is a Ko-tō of a Mu-mei. The exhibitor cut the Mei. I think that the
          exhibitor had our appraisal power tried."
 Someone added:  "If it is such a thing, I will not put this sword on record as an object article of examination."

 Examination of the new work sword of a Chiyozuru swordsmith finished.

 The Chiyozuru swordsmith told the above-mentioned situation late in life. And he said, "I am not forging the sword since then."

 The Amata swordsmith commented he "had become a noted swordsmith of the end of Edo Period rightly, when he was born before as long as 50 years."
 This was resistance of the silence of the Chiyozuru swordsmith to the foolishness and futility of a sword community.
 These examples express the actual condition of a fine-arts sword community.
 Evaluation and judgment of a sword can be said to be a "house of cards."


                   January 8, 2014 無料カウンター  
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