FROM EMPEROR TO BLACKSMITH APPRENTICE… ALL FOR THE LOVE OF SWORDS.

SWORD SHARPENER...SHARP SWORD. FROM EMPEROR TO BLACKSMITH APPRENTICE… ALL FOR THE LOVE OF SWORDS.The Sword holds a hallowed and handy place in any WEAPON LEGENDS HALL OF FAME… (…well, it would…though shiro hasn’t finalised his yet…sorry…):–cos there were few times in martial history when it’s use was not applied. Shiro slices into LEGENDs... of Crown, Steel and Fire. Olden blacksmiths and an Emperor... who became a Maker...another Maker deemed MAD... though Shiro definitely prefers... misunderstood indeed. SWORD LOVE herein.

SWORD SHARPENER…SHARP SWORD. FROM EMPEROR TO BLACKSMITH APPRENTICE… ALL FOR THE LOVE OF SWORDS.The Sword holds a hallowed and handy place in any WEAPON LEGENDS HALL OF FAME… (…well, it would…though shiro hasn’t finalised his yet…sorry…):–cos there were few times in martial history when it’s use was not applied. Shiro slices into LEGENDs… of Crown, Steel and Fire. Olden blacksmiths and an Emperor… who became a Maker…another Maker deemed MAD… though Shiro definitely prefers… misunderstood indeed. SWORD LOVE herein.

 

...ANCIENT TECH AND APPLICATIONS, LEGENDS AND MORE... IEYASU CEREMONIAL ARMOR.

…ANCIENT TECH AND APPLICATIONS, LEGENDS AND MORE… IEYASU CEREMONIAL ARMOR.

 

SHINY DELL SILVER MOON SHIRO

GREETINGS FROM SHIROs AND SILVER MOONs.

 

CAUGHT YOU... SWORD... CAUGHT... I HOPE.

SWORD… CAUGHT… I HOPE.

 

The Sword holds a hallowed and handy place in any WEAPON LEGENDS HALL OF FAME

(…well, it would…though shiro hasn’t finalised his yet…sorry…):–cos

 

there were few times in martial history when it’s use was not applied.

 

sword5

 FROM EMPEROR

 TO

 BLACKSMITH APPRENTICE

sword n co.

 

JAP. SWORD STYLES...

JAP. SWORD STYLES…

 ALL FOR THE

 LOVE OF SWORDS.

Long esteemed as an individual and collective icon and national symbol,

JAPAN too venerates the SWORD

as an ideal

and a representation of the strength of the individual to collectively defend the nation.

 

 

ALL FOR THE LOVE OF SWORDS.

Along with the Ancient Sacred Mirror and Beads,

the Sacred SWORD is one of Japans trio sets of National Treasures. (click)

 

SACRED SWORD OF JAPAN.

SACRED SWORD OF JAPAN.

The ORIGINS of this sword appreciation society approach is indeed an ancient one. Even within this collective LEGEND, there are those whose blade shone brightest due to the inspiration their acts endow.

 

night ken...

One such whose growing appetite for sword knowledge was so keen;

that his own chosen lot from Emperor to blacksmith apprentice

ALL for the LOVE OF SWORDS became a LEGEND indeed.

 

BLADE WORK

BLADE WORK WORK WORK…

 

SWORD... style/shape OVER THE YEARS.

SWORD… style/shape OVER THE YEARS.

 HERE… THERE…

 EVERYWHERE A SMITH

MUCH SMITH WORK HEREIN...

MUCH SMITH WORK HEREIN…

 

ARMOR... SHINY SHINY... FIT FOR AN... EMPEROR.?.

ARMOR… SHINY SHINY… FIT FOR AN… EMPEROR.?.

Blacksmithing (Jap.kajiya) was arguably the most important cultural trade in any country.

Essential infrastructure in every village, castle or army. Most tech or machinery was made/repaired by the smiths. There are several colors and types of smith too.

  • black / white / tin / red / brown / copper / silver / gold / hammer / blade / nai(l) / arrow / shoe / six(sickle) etc

The names are basic/self explanatory; referring to a weapon, item or metal type/color.

 

In the Western World the anglo saxon germanic connection for example meant for many years a persons profession/family trade…

was their surname too.

 

This fact also explains such names as smithson in the obvious manner… a son of a smith.

FIRE IT UP.

EXCUSE ME SIR…YOUR SWORD IS ON FIRE!

 The LEGENDS of FIRE

  (ka) 

are also inextricably bound with that of  Smithing

another obvious.

 

Official records indicate too that swords were/have been occasionally used as votive divine offerings for nearly two thousand years.

Swords sacrificed to/for the GODS.

Sweet.

ROSE...WITH SWORD.

sum ken.

  FALLING SMELTING IN LOVE

…SECRETLY.

fired up

 

CLICK THE PHOTO TO SEE A CLOSER VIEW OF THE JAPANESE SWORD... SHIRO STYLE.

SWORDS OF DIFFERENT SHAPES/profiles…

 

The process of sword smithing in Japan had its boom period from around 1100-1500’s.

This work had soon become almost ritualized, akin to a religion. The smiths themselves became honorable society members, their profession/position almost venerated.

 

The particular methods used to create the iconic samurai sword are long and labour intensive.

Some of the smiths specialised in particular processes such as forging the blade or tempering, so swords were oft. the product of several experts.

The approach and dedication of these tradies ensured the jap. sword its deserving place in martial history and legend.

sword16

work workFor those with an interest;

a closer look at the sword smiths work can be found here…(click)

or here…(click).Also sweet.

sword&scroll

ken co.

 HOW NOT TO GIVE

MASAMUNE A HAND !

Precise technical details were oft.treasured secrets.

sword work

One of the LEGENDARY SMITHS...for example:

the great MASAMUNE, being visited by another local smith, had reason to use one of his bladed creationson the visitor.

 

Placing his hand in one of Masamune’s tempering baths… to ascertain temp and ingredients presumably…

the visiting smith soon found himself without

his hand.

 

Masamune, with one neat sword swish strike-removed the offending body part:

SECRET SAVED… SAMURAI SWORD-SMITH  STYLE !

 

choppin time

swish LEGEND, though… not so sweet

if you were the next victim visitor;

all hands… and any other appendages… away… NOW!

 

culture jap style

co with ken.

 SHIRO’s SMITHING LOCALE

 LEGENDS LIST…

 

SWORD SWIPE...

ancient ken

 

ANCIENT SWORD TYPES...

ANCIENT SWORD TYPES…

 

SWORD DEVELOPMENT...

SWORD DEVELOPMENT…

 

Very few extant records exist of the very early days of sword making…

pre 1100’s only smiths in small numbers seemed to be mentioned-

 

approx 900+ the swordsmith YASUTSUNA and another , around 100yrs later-

named as MUNECHIKA are considered worthy of note it seems.

lite my fire

sam wit ken.

Some 200+ years later however…

the LEGENDS OF JAPANS SWORDSMITHING period began to be recognised.

Looking back now…

 

5 major areas/PROVINCES were producing some 80% of this period’s weapons.

LOTSA SWORD WORK THEREIN.

work work blade work

 THE MAJOR PROVINCES OF…

 SWORD WORK- 

(considered alphabetically…)

BIZEN , MINO , SOSHU/SAGAMI , YAMASHIRO  and  YAMATO.

 

BIZEN : it’s geographical location and ideal weather conditions, esp. in the east of the province ensured the production of high quality weaponry for much of this time.

BIZEN

BIZEN PROVINCE.

 

MINO : legends associate Masamune students with this area and early works show excellent sword-smithing though long term the quality suffered and MINO lost its importance and influence in this tradition.

MINO prov.

MINO PROVINCE.

 

SOSHU/SAGAMI : a main centre of influence , esp. in Kamakura where the First SHOGUNATE was established… the black-smithing necessity… obvious… even though its locale and climate… not entirely desirable.

SOSHU.

SOSHU/SAGAMI PROVINCE.

 

YAMASHIRO : the province of the then capital, KYOTO… sword-work in high/great demand for many years.

YOSHIMITSU-SAN… of the KAMAKURA period, a favourite of shiro’s.

YAMASHIRO

YAMASHIRO PROVINCE.

 

and

YAMATO : locale of a previous capital, NARA… then the later, Temple/monk/sect movements into the area around 1200+ ensured a continuing good/high quality presence and contribution to the Jap.sword work traditions for some time.

YAMATO

YAMATO PROVINCE.

 

SWORD SHARPENER… SHARP SWORD.

 

UNIQUE=YOU

 SHIRO INTRO’s…

 THE MASTER-SMITHS

 OF LEGEND.

…so many smiths… so lil time and space.

 

The sword intel reveals a listing of many many names in japan alone who have done good sword work.

Just using the main 5 provinces

more than several hundred just in this period of history.

 

Yet, amongst these many…a small handful still stood out.

sword & coKnown as the MASTER-SMITHS or MASTER-MAKERS; these 3 groups collectively represent the ALL. Their exemplary skills even acknowledged as extraordinary by their peers.

Many of their weapons became famous in their own way via other samurai legends and tales.

samsym too…and a BONUS too…

In addition:

A bonus for reading this far-

 

Shiro has done an addition of his own…to this master-smith listing.

muramasa ken.

The last name is well known…though a lil infamous-

and whilst the purists of jap sword history seem intent on refusing his deserved place…

shiro disagrees.

They say…he is unlucky, a smith on the edge of insanity… one whose blades reflect his madness. ALL his work classified as ignoble and unworthy… struck off the records of the experts guilds too.

 

By men of superstition and plain prejudice sayeth shiro.

sam chop

For Shiro knows full well the edge of madness

WE ALL DO… if we but dare look close to the edge.

 

Shiro knows too… like children;

madmen and womentend to tell… the plain truth.

all sorts

HE deserves and has earnt his place at last; here at least-

Amongst friends… and fellow madmen he dreams-

Make him feel welcome… remember him too.

 

LEGEND of a SWORD-SMITH.

 

EACH AND ALL it seems.

AT LAST, BUT NOT LEAST,…ON THE LIST…

FOR YOU.

 

muramasa ken

BLADE WORK BY MURAMASALAST BUT NOT LEAST ON THE LIST. LEGEND.

 

 THE LIST…OF LEGENDS.+

 shiro’s addition…at LAST

 but not least for YOU.

sword play.

  • The BIZEN SANHEI = The 3 MASTER-SMITHS OF BIZEN = KANEHIRA, SUKEHIRA & TAKAHIRA.
  • The KYOTO SANJO = The 3 MASTERS OF KYOTO = ARIKUNI, KANENAGA & YOSHIIE.
  • The elite SANSAKU = The 3 MASTER-MAKERS = MASAMUNE, YOSHIHIRO & YOSHIMITSU.

and last but not least

  • MASTER-MAKER MURAMASA…of ISE PROVINCE… He whom, the purists forgot…

( on purpose btw…i mean…just cos that fumbly  SHOGUN  IYEYASU  cut himselftwice…on a MURAMASA…surely doesn’t mean anything???…hmmm???…might throw some salt over my left shoulder…just in case methinks…and get someone else to clean THAT SWORD too perhaps !?).

chop samOK…back to the intel shiro.

swordBITS

SWORD COMPONENTS…IN JAPANESE…

 PUT BLACKSMITH 

 ON MY RESUME…

 o…perhaps Emperor too.

smith & co.

Sometime in the late 1100’s

Somewhere in Japan…

 

ICHIMONJI NORIMUNE the black-smith,

now knew the EMPEROR was a man after his own heart.

fired upThe EMPEROR GOTOBA was a man in love…

deeply in love.

 

GOTOBA’s passion was now so incensed, so aflame…akin to the forge, which, in turn was soon to become his Temple.A proclamation issued, there was no turning back…the first of its kind…a proclamation of love

FROM EMPEROR TO BLACKSMITH APPRENTICEGOTOBA was to be.

 ALL FOR THE

 LOVE OF…SWORDS.

GOTOBA 1180-1239

EMPEROR GOTOBA OF JAPAN…1180-1239.

 

peeps

sam peeps

In the heady days that followed the black-smith found he was not alone.

GOTOBA was a willing student who learnt well (click).

Not satisfied with the lone wolf approach the EMPEROR put other wheels in motion.Each and every month, one of 12 provincial smiths worked hand in hand with GOTOBA.Others were held in reserve.

Teams of smiths too had been set up in various locales to aid the EMPEROR, now BLACKSMITH APPRENTICE…but still EMPEROR, who had so decreed (click).

GOTOBA WORK WORK.

BLACKSMITH GOTOBA AT BLADEWORK.

 

FROM EMPEROR TO BLACKSMITH APPRENTICE…I AM TO BE-

ALL FOR THE LOVE OF SWORDS.

GOTOBA = EMPEROR, SWORD-LOVER, SWORD-SMITH, LEGEND.

swords

SOME SWISH SWORDS + co…

SWORD-DRAW KUNOICHI… SWISH INDEED.

 SWORD WORK

 SWORD LOVE.

girl sam with ken

LUCKY THAT’s NOT A…MURAMASA???

ken co

 

LEGENDARY WEAPON…THE 7 BRANCHED SWORD…

 

 

Though blunted by the ninja creed

(of all/every weapon…is useful etc)…

shiro does have a soft spot for the lines of a good sword.

 

SWORD HOLDER KUNOICHI…

 

The look, feel and natural swinging weight do indeed elicit admiring glances…

and interesting techniques too.

Some of the blades ooze ‘ sword appeal ‘.

 

sword miss sam

 

ken and co

 

…SWORD WORK…

 

more ken.

 

…THE SWORD AND KUNOICHI…

 

 

PART OF STOCKPILED JAP. SWORDS CONFISCATED BY USA AFTER WW2.

 

The hand made ones are a collectors delight, all with their differences yet all made with the same sword love.

 

WORK WORK

                                                                           HARD AT WORK.

 

 SHIRO’s SHINOBI SWORD TIP:

sword play

 

...NEED MORE LEVERAGE...

…OK…WHO PUT NINJA SUPERSTAR GLUE ON MY SWORD???

For those who appreciate such things;

to ensure a quicker draw than your opponent…

use a shorter weapon…or none at all.

 

NINPO IKKAN.

 

idreamofninja…do you have a dream?

CAUGHT BY JUTTE

JUTTESWORD CATCHER

CAUGHT YOU...

SWORD…CAUGHT…I HOPEHOPE TOO ITS NOT A MURAMASA !?

play time

Here’s a song and 3 more…sharp and sweet…or not…shiro’s choice for sure:

 

miss sam with ken

 

 

 

COMPUTER SHIRO & SHINY DELL SILVER MOON

SHIROBANRYU & SHINY DELL SILVER MOON LAPTOP.

 

 

BELIEVE IT...OR NOT.

BELIEVE IT…OR NOT.

 

8 thoughts on “FROM EMPEROR TO BLACKSMITH APPRENTICE… ALL FOR THE LOVE OF SWORDS.

  1. Hi and thanks for visiting ninpolegends.
    appreciate the support and sentiment.
    am glad you found us.Thanks yahoo.
    please feel free to search for more
    info whenever you feel the need to read.
    more new and updates ongoing.
    take care
    til next shiro.

  2. hi and thanks for visiting ninpolegends.
    Thanks for the support and sentiment.
    am glad you found us and the input and
    feedback appreciated also.
    glad too you enjoyed the site content
    and found much of interest.
    please feel free to visit and chat
    again soon when you feel the need
    to read… more.
    new and updates ongoing.
    take care.
    til next shiro.

    • hi and thanks for visiting ninpolegends.
      appreciate the support and feedback.
      am glad the site content of interest.
      cu again soon i hope.
      take care
      til next shiro.

    • hi and thanks for visiting ninpolegends.
      appreciate the support and sentiment.
      am glad the site post was of interest too.
      was interesting to research indeed.
      please feel free to revisit…soon.
      take care
      til next shiro.

    • hi and thanks for visiting ninpolegends.
      appreciate the support and encouragement.
      am glad the site content of such interest too.
      please feel free to revisit for more and
      other updates.
      cu soon
      take care
      til next shiro.

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