What's Your Favorite Type Of Asian Sword ?

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Re: What's Your Favorite Type Of Asian Sword ?

Postby marie-angelique » Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:30 pm

well then, heretic, are you going to post a photo? pretty please?
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Re: What's Your Favorite Type Of Asian Sword ?

Postby Hitoru » Tue Jul 07, 2009 4:48 pm

It would be really real with pictures.
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Re: What's Your Favorite Type Of Asian Sword ?

Postby Heretic » Tue Jul 07, 2009 5:19 pm

http://erizabesu.typepad.com/basic_black/oyamazumi.html

Oyamazumi Shrine, Treasure in Seto Inland Sea

It is said that this shrine was founded when Emperor Jimmu came to power in a time shrouded by legend and myth. According to the story, the Emperor declared Omishima, south of Hiroshima, as the seat of the gods. It is an idylic site for a spiritual stronghold, with its rocky forested islands surrounded by the Seto Inland Sea.

Today, this shrine is a pilgrimmage destination for those who are dedicated to Budo, or the martial way. At the shrine the priests and priestesses perform various rite and distribute the ubiquitous Shinto talismans, called omamori, for martial skill and protection. The shrine, which is quite picturesque with its canopy of giant camphor trees, is not the main attraction, however. It is in fact the treasure house which draws visitors to the shrine.

Throughout Japan's history, military leaders prayed for victory at Oyamazumi. When they succeeded in battle, these warriors returned to the shrine to offer their arms as tribute to the gods. Over the centuries, the shrine developed a reputation for bringing luck to soldiers who furthered the tradition by bringing their prized weapons and armour to the shrine to propitiate the gods. In this way, the shinre grew into Japan's greatest martial museum. Of all the items Japan lists as cultural and national treasures, 80% of them are housed at Oyamazumi Shrine.

The building that houses the collection is an austere concrete and steel building which doesn't distract the eye from the fabulous blades, armour and Shinto relagia. The highlights include a suit of armour with a large breastplate said to have been worn by a warlord's daughter who fought to protect Omishima. This armour, a designated national treasure, is believed to be the only surviving example of women's armour in Japan. Another fine example of women fighter's equipment is the naginata, or haplberd blade, which belonged to Tomoe Gozen, a female warrior of the Minamoto clan.

Some other treasures include Minamoto no Yoshitsune's armour. His older brother, Yoritomo, was the shogun who founded the Kamakura Period (1200-1300). Their swords are also housed in the museum, along with the halberd blades, ritual long swords, archery equipment and stutuary belonging to dozens of Japan's famous warriors.

In addition to the weapon collection, there are many fine examples of Shinto and Buddhist ritual items. One display features an extensive collection of dokyo, palm-sized copper mirrors used in rituals and prayers.

Like most museums in Japan, visitors cannot take pictures. However, the grounds and shrine exteriors offer many points of interest for photographers.

Image



I am going to try to find some photos of the interior -- which is absolutely AMAZING. They wouldn't let me take pictures inside. Anyone who likes Japanese weapons and military history in general will find that this shrine is unique in the world. Few people have heard of it, so it is very quiet and generally empty. Just you and thousands of incredible weapons.
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Re: What's Your Favorite Type Of Asian Sword ?

Postby coldharvest » Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:03 pm

Another fine example of women fighter's equipment is the naginata, or haplberd blade, which belonged to Tomoe Gozen, a female warrior of the Minamoto clan

that I'd love to see with the kids, particularly my rock out loud Princess.
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomoe_Gozen
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Re: What's Your Favorite Type Of Asian Sword ?

Postby Heretic » Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:01 pm

I went to the shrine perhaps a dozen times or so during my three year stay. The place is really simple and beautiful, but the contents are quite staggering. All over the place are weapons, and if you stop for a second and look at any specific weapon you will find that it is some incredibly old or famous piece. There is literally no junk on display, because they shitloads of stuff and only enough space to show the very best. Some examples off the top of my head:

1. The katana, consisting of perhaps a hundred ancient blades, from 600 AD through the sengoku era. A number of extremely rare heavy blades, plus a remarkable assortment of daggers, wakizashi (the second short blade that a typical samurai wore with his katana), kodachi, and other specialty stuff like kiseru knives. Kiseru, by the way, are normally long thin bamboo and bronze pipes that they smoked tobacco or weed in. Some people made them into secret weapons, which have their own interesting little history. A lot of the stuff was really ancient; a typical blade might be dated 1127 or something like that.

2. The general stuff, with spears, lances, hooks, ball-and-chain stuff, plus this interesting sling shot thing that the local pirate naval forces used to throw grenade-like shells at enemy ships. This section had some crazy shit, including stuff that looked straight out of some cheese-dick ninja movie.

3. The foreign weapons, including shit captured from the Chinese, Mongols, Koreans, Vietnamese, etc. There were a few ancient western weapons in there that got me wondering... My favorite was the Mongol helmet, with the hole in the leather. It looked exactly like modern popular media depictions of Mongolian helmets and it looked like it was only a hundred years old, not over seven hundred. Indeed, it was amazing to look at that helmet and think of the original kamikaze storm, and the defense of Hakata Bay. It might sound gay, but I think that was the most fascinating thing I saw in the whole place; that helmet just resonated with magic.

4. The armor displays, which is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. The armor was all ancient, and in good condition. There were tons of the crested helmets, and the diversity of their designs was more beautiful than any proper art gallery. They had a lot of extremely famous stuff. The remarkable thing about Japanese armor is that it really highlights how small these guys were -- and how little separated them from the best blades on the planet. A bunch of tough game cocks, they are...

5. A faggish section that featured ancient copper mirrors. Kind of boring.

6. A large selection of Japanes tsuba (the removeable guards or mountings that are found on katana). This was also quite beautiful, though it still can't compete with the armor for sheer brilliance.

7. Some other odds and ends, incuding some nice art and various historical stuff. Sometimes I really think that I should write a Lonely Planet book about the Inland Sea of Japan. The place is unknown and it is filled with so many interesting places like this shrine.
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Re: What's Your Favorite Type Of Asian Sword ?

Postby Heretic » Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:27 pm

P.S.

I can't find any decent pictures of the interior. I have a book that I bought at the place, written in Japanese, with lots of pictures, but it is sitting somewhere (hopefully) in my cottage in Japan. Someday I will go back and scan them or something. I reckon that place should be more famous than it is.
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Re: What's Your Favorite Type Of Asian Sword ?

Postby nowonmai » Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:03 pm

Heretic wrote:P.S.
I reckon that place should be more famous than it is.


Yeah, there must be at least 25 Japanese weapons enthusiasts outside Japan, counting you two.
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Re: What's Your Favorite Type Of Asian Sword ?

Postby coldharvest » Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:00 pm

nowonmai wrote:
Heretic wrote:P.S.
I reckon that place should be more famous than it is.


Yeah, there must be at least 25 Japanese weapons enthusiasts outside Japan, counting you two.

Tojo can eat a dick.
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Re: What's Your Favorite Type Of Asian Sword ?

Postby Caliban » Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:34 pm

coldharvest wrote:I'm big linemen looking bastard so that's why I favour them but for sheer man-made artistic beauty
not many things in the world compete with a Katana.

I've been fortunate to view these blades in person
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/japb/ho_2001.574.htm
http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/asia/k/katana_long_sword_blade.aspx



Where you my twin in another life?

I used to collect Katana and Tanto, but stopped about fifteen years ago. To my shame I sold my small but perfectly formed collection,parting last of all with a 15th Century Yoroi Toshi Aicuchi Tanto,a real armour buster for administering (and probably did) the coup de gras. I still beat myself up for parting with that one. But it went back to Japan to a private collector so it was right to.

I am intending to start collecting again when I get my chunk of pension in a couple of years (while it is one of the few things still legal to do in this country). Treat myself to an investment in a good katana or wakizachi, not on the par with those in the clips but gooduns. Good fortune happens to be that one of the main dealers for Japanese swords in England is an old friend of mine.


nowonmai wrote:
Heretic wrote:P.S.
I reckon that place should be more famous than it is.


Yeah, there must be at least 25 Japanese weapons enthusiasts outside Japan, counting you two.


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Re: What's Your Favorite Type Of Asian Sword ?

Postby Heretic » Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:09 pm

Caliban wrote: To my shame I sold my small but perfectly formed collection,parting last of all with a 15th Century Yoroi Toshi Aicuchi Tanto,a real armour buster for administering (and probably did) the coup de gras.


*gasp* *sputter* *choke*
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Re: What's Your Favorite Type Of Asian Sword ?

Postby nowonmai » Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:59 pm

You have your poncy nip sword replete with history and the whiff of iron discipline, honour and sacrifice made by master craftsmen labouring for thousands of hours and I'll have a Mossberg made on a press by a fat cunt on a Friday before he heads down the bowling alley for a few sherbets. Lets play.
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Re: What's Your Favorite Type Of Asian Sword ?

Postby Heretic » Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:35 am

nowonmai wrote:You have your poncy nip sword replete with history and the whiff of iron discipline, honour and sacrifice made by master craftsmen labouring for thousands of hours and I'll have a Mossberg made on a press by a fat cunt on a Friday before he heads down the bowling alley for a few sherbets. Lets play.


That is not how it works, you see. We will both meet with Mossbergs, but I will also have one of the best cutting instruments on planet Earth.
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Re: What's Your Favorite Type Of Asian Sword ?

Postby coldharvest » Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:57 am

nowonmai wrote:Lets play.

I get to pick the venue sweet-thing......lord knows you'd need a Mossberg against me.
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Re: What's Your Favorite Type Of Asian Sword ?

Postby Hitoru » Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:44 pm

coldharvest wrote:
nowonmai wrote:Lets play.

I get to pick the venue sweet-thing......lord knows you'd need a Mossberg against me.


Ain't he a kooky old codger ?
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Re: What's Your Favorite Type Of Asian Sword ?

Postby Caliban » Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:14 pm

Heretic wrote:
Caliban wrote: To my shame I sold my small but perfectly formed collection,parting last of all with a 15th Century Yoroi Toshi Aicuchi Tanto,a real armour buster for administering (and probably did) the coup de gras.


*gasp* *sputter* *choke*


Indeed.

I picked it up from an aquaintance for £200 in the early 90's. Spent close to another couple of hundred on it being professionally cleaned, kept it for about 18 months and for no good reason sold it on. Greed probably.I t was a beauty too.

The blade was a style known as Moroha Zukuri which looks like one of those Norwegian filleting knives, but a lot wider across the back of the blade for the armour peircing strength. From its style and length We believe it was from either the Momoyama period or may easily have been late Muromachi period both of which fall during the time of the warring states, the style of it certainly made it possible to fall in either of the two periods. So that is why I say that it was likely that it was a "live" blade. Who knows? It may have been used at the battle of Nagashino,by one of Tokugawas Arquebusiers to administer the fatal blow to fallen samurai of Takedas cavalry

The blade was not unlike this one ...but a lot nicer !
Image

It had slight damaged about an inch from the tip known as Karasuguchi - a crows beak fracture which is called a kizu usually a fatal flaw for the blade both in integrity and value but this one was mild and did not go completely through the Hamon of the blade. It could have been taken out by an expert but that would have cost a lotmore than I could afford. and the overall quality and age played far more of a part in its value than that did in detracted from it. However,if it had been perfect....

It had been remounted in the late 19th century, judging by the style, in a red laquered saya with silver mounts, the Kojiri - scabbard tip being the stylised head of a whale in silver. and the seppa which is a metal spacer and protection for the mouth of the scabbard was longer than would be normal and had aswirled edge to look like the wave caused by the whales tail,again in silver. The saya had been inset for accessories which held a Kozuka with a signatured gokatana blade (a small knife for everyday chores, eating etc )and a Wari Kogei which is a hair pick, ear wax cleaner and splits into chop sticks !! Go figure the japanese?? I don't know whether these were contemporary to,or added to the Tanto when remounted but they also appeared a lot older than the mounts.

I wish I had pictures of it. You would have been gob smacked.

Damn,what an idiot.
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