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

 

SHINY DELL SILVER MOON SHIRO

GREETINGS FROM SHIROs AND SILVER MOONs.

 

CAUGHT YOU...

 

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…

 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)

 

sword15

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.

 HERE… THERE…

 EVERYWHERE A SMITH

shogun stuff

MUCH SMITH WORK HEREIN…

 

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

 

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.

sam sym

 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…

 

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 & DELL SILVER MOON

SHIROBANRYU & SHINY DELL SILVER MOON LAPTOP.

 

 

BELIEVE IT...OR NOT.

BELIEVE IT…OR NOT.

 

10 Notorious Rogues Who Terrorized Medieval Europe

 

 

 

History; We tend to think of the Middle Ages as a lawless time when desperate outlaws roam…

(click) Source: 10 Notorious Rogues Who Terrorized Medieval Europe.

cropped-earthquake1.jpg

 

VIA IDREAMOFNINJA GUESTBLOG: viralbot360.

There have been…quite a few who have deigned to conquer the world in such a fashion.

An overview of some of the warrior? type personalities/characters and battles of times gone by is contained within this guestblog.

An intriguing and interesting cast of…angry men!?

Thanks to viralbot36o (click) for sharing the knowledge.

til next shiro.

COMPUTER SHIRO & DELL SILVER MOON

SHIROBANRYU & SHINY DELL SILVER MOON LAPTOP.

BELIEVE IT...OR NOT.

BELIEVE IT…OR NOT.

 

WHY GRAVITY WEIGHS ME DOWN…

When shiro sat under the apple tree

there was no revelation.

no revealing of the veil behind the sciences

no fruit under natural forces fell…

there wasn’t any fruit at all actually-

twas autumn.

WHY GRAVITY

WEIGHS ME DOWN.

That being so…

shiro got lil wet n lil cold…though nothing fell…

cept couple rain drops…and some leaves-

and you expect them to do that…so nope,

no new theory today!

Is that how sir isaac newton felt most of the time pre-sir ?…

mumbling:

WHY GRAVITY WEIGHS ME DOWN

till that one time…

when the apple donked and the theory clicked…

and all fell gravitating into place???

...DID THAT WORK???

WOW…WHAT A DISCOVERY…OOPS…HOPE THAT WORKED…

 

At times such are the won wanders of shiro’s mind

 

 

THE ALCHEMY OF CHEMISTRY

Looking into the origins of the word ALCHEMY leads you back to the ancient Egyptian/Arabian/Asiatic World.

The core word CHEM/KHEM/CHUM has an almost global natural/nature essence and reach. (click) (click) (click) Meanings such as black earth, metal working and natural juices seem to apply to most early applications and usages…most.

Documents from possibly as early as the 12th cent. use related words and phrases, all thru to the late 17th: many such applications were interchangeably called either/both/such etc. (click)

The early ‘ alchemists ‘ used the local/their own preference when discussing such topics.

An olden/ancient word whose modern application is in the SCIENCE OF CHEMISTRY.

TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY…

Whilst researching such traditions as alchemy you may well be confused.Martial artists become aware through training and lectures that the physical art they study…

is only half the story.

The application of their arts philosophies, concept and doctrines usually begins with selfin the mind.

This approach: physical/mind, inside/outside, above/below, scroll/oral, shown/hidden, outer/inner etc is a teaching device such traditions utilise.That being so…

one’s attention must be focused; to recognise which is being discussed in the story being told…the research being read etc:

The inner story is about mind per se…

the outer is about the physical in this/most case(s)…

(though metaphors and analogies from either can be used to refer etc…)-

Alchemy usually involved BOTH lab/physical work AND mental/mind work.

alchemy14

The two sides of the alchemical story use similar concepts and imagery…

but are  ‘talking ‘ about two different topics.

Usually;

metal transmutation/lab work=physical

AND

mental=enlightenment/meditational mind work.

Some of the alchemists though had interest in both fields…their work notes etc will be quite laborious to make sense of …if they mix the two in the story.

So when doing the research keep this twofold device in mind!

The alchemical WORK can be/has been approached vis physical and/or mental means…or a combination which seems preferable to many, if not most alchemists.The research references may use either/both approaches in the discussion.

A tradition with two stories/sides to tell..it’s views from.

alchemy10

A SOCIETY OF SCIENCE SO ROYAL.

The traditions of western alchemists, then later inventors and early minds of SCIENCE…along with the specialised KNOWLEDGE soon led to the formation of groups dedicated to such investigations.

One such, in England became known as the ROYAL SOCIETY (click).

alchemy23

AN EARLY KNOWLEDGE SHARE SITE…

…back in the 1650’s…still reeling from revolutions and associated social/political upheaval those that enjoy the investigation and sharing of knowledge continued to expend effort to bring along the RENAISSANCE that eventually allowed learning to become relatively simpler as time progressed on. (click)

With Royal assent and a name to match…

THE ROYAL SOCIETY soon became a hub of inquiring activity of many natures and fronts.

WESTERN SCIENCE per se was learning to walk. (click)

alchemy22

The sharing of knowledge in this group brought together many.Expert and  novice.Inventors, architects, engineers, scientists and more.Membership lists read like a western honors roll of learning (click).

Through much political turmoil including visits by some of the soldiery of the time the knowledge quest continued.

In 1662 royal assent via king charles 2nd made the Royal Society “official”.

alchemy21

The intel reveals too…

oldest known Royal chemical society group still being conducted is almost 2oo years of age.

LOTS  OF LAB TIME therein!..

(click their name above to learn more of chemistry’s secrets…).

alchemy24

MARIE’s BAIN–MARIE aka…

ALCHEMY IN THE KITCHEN.

BAIN-MARIE

MARIE OF THE BAIN-MARIE, ALCHEMICAL LEGEND.

Twas not just the men who searched for meaning in this tradition/system.Many of the alchemists were women whose contribution is LEGEND.

One such was MARIE of the BAIN-MARIE.

This piece of equipment: an essential it seems for the alchemical lab work…and some kitchens too.

A prolific inventor of alchemical equipment MARIE is credited with at least three pieces/processes.

Referred to as the Tribokos, the Kerotakis and the BAIN-MARIE.The bain-marie or marie’s bath is akin to a double boiler and the modern culinary version finds wide use among chefs. (click) (click)

A BAIN-MARIE

THE BAIN-MARIE TYPE.

Several alchemical texts are also attributed to MARIE of the BAIN-MARIE.

Many flavorful dishes have been creatively prepped in the kitchen version…

(Not necessarily by MARIE of the BAIN-MARIE).

LEGEND.

alchemy20

A BAIN-MARIE, KITCHEN STYLE.

alchemy19

MARIE OF THE BAIN-MARIE.

alchemy3

CLEOPATRA, RULER OF EGYPT.

WILL

CLEOPATRA THE ALCHEMIST

PLEASE STAND UP.

For a few brief seconds …

CLEOPAT(of)RA, QUEEN OF BOTH UPPER AND LOWER EGYPT…

she…above…

of the long nose, funny walk and wide open…arms…

was relegated to the laboratory…tinkering and transmuting away…

how soon the image fades…

WRONG CLEOPATRA it seems!

alchemy16

CLEOPATRA THE ALCHEMIST.

ALCHEMICAL LEGEND CLEOPATRA (above pic) btw is NOT the LEGENDARY CLEOPAT(of)RA who ruled EGYPT (2nd above pic) some time ago and had all those famous…or infamous…run-ins and lie-ins with various of the ROMANS.This despite being sometimes referred to as the QUEEN in various alchemical texts. (click)

The ALCHEMICAL QUEEN reference is to her position and standing and understanding of the ART OF ALCHEMY…not of royalty.

Her real name…has long been forgot.

Her invention referred to as the ALEMBIC.

In fact ALCHEMICAL CLEOPATRA’s knowledge was so extensive she oft. lectured the male alchemists in their studies.

Her writings and treatises are almost poetic in prose with a rich somewhat sensual language.The feminine touch.Deeply intuitive and at ease with discussions of natural processes and transformations she oft. led the way in the ongoing research.An appreciation of the beauty of the cosmos is readily apparent as is a belief in the harmony of nature and alchemy.

alchemy17

AN ALEMBIC TYPE.

This QUEEN OF ALCHEMY, CLEOPATRA’s main written works is the text known as THE DIALOGUE.The audience of philosophers in the text includes for example the LEGENDARY MAGUS OSTANES.

His introduction of CLEOPATRA, QUEEN OF ALCHEMY worth revisiting to see the affect/effect of the female psyche into this rather arcane tradition/art:

“…in you is hidden a strange and terrible mystery. Enlighten us, throwing your light on the elements.Tell us how the highest descends to the lowest and how the lowest rises to the highest and is united with it and what is the element that accomplishes these things…”

CLEO WRITES...

ALCHEMICAL QUEEN CLEOPATRA RESEARCH NOTES.

Using imagery from the feminine psyche ALCHEMICAL QUEEN CLEOPATRA then presented a historic and note-worthy lecture on the facets of this ancient tradition; terms, elements, processes and methods using metaphors from such as birth, conception, plants and Nature itself. (click)

LEGEND…no fancy walk required here.

alchemy18

LAB WORK ALCHEMICAL STYLE.

ALCHEMY MYSTERIOUS aka …

THE SCIENCE SOME WANTED KEPT SECRET.

As with other traditions such as the freemasons, rosicrucians, architects, gold-, white- and black-smiths;

the alchemists kept much KNOWLEDGE to themselves per se.This is not necessarily a CONSPIRACY…but more likely expediency.Various authorities at various times in history looked askance at ALCHEMY…and some of the others.

Kings. leaders, churches too.

alchemy28

Furthermore patent, copyright and suchlike were unknowns.

Many outsiders were more than willing to pay for such specialised knowledge and services in these traditions.This, in turn, has enabled our times to still have an ancient connection through those such as mary, cleopatra then later sir(s) isaac newton, robert boyle, christopher wren and robert hooke…and so forth.

Women and Men of science and form who studied alchemy and related subjects of their times.

LEGENDS.

alchemy4

REFINING AND DEFINING ALCHEMY.

alchemy5

The ancient texts and treatises of the alchemists are oft. joys to read…though not necessarily understood.The metaphors of nature AND of working with nature (as they perceived it to be…) wax lyrical though as a SCIENCE only lil applies.They imagined themselves active colloborators WORKing with NATURE to transform raw materials into…hopefully something useful.

Sometimes they succeeded…finding new metal/mineral alloy types or elements and suchlike…new inventions and equipment too.Some tried to explain natures forces;

such as why gravity weighs me down

Some became LEGENDS, whilst the many remained behind histories pages.

alchemy27

Collectively termed THE ALCHEMISTS.

The basic lab/smith work of the ALCHEMISTS is arguably one of the few remaining skillsets that MODERN CHEMISTS still probably use.Due to such as mass production methods and modern tech applications these skills are still specialised which may augur well for the remnants of this ALCHEMICAL sub-art/technique.

alchemy26

There may well always be those who love the lab…

and help solve the mysteries of CHEM.

One can only dream

idreamofninjaDO YOU HAVE A DREAM?…

COMPUTER SHIRO & DELL SILVER MOON

SHIROBANRYU & SHINY DELL SILVER MOON LAPTOP.

MODERN ALCHEMY:

TODAY AND TOMORROW…(wip)…:

Modern alchemy is still a work in progress.

According to the intel….

Several substances have been prepared along alchemical lines/means and can be purchased online.

These are still being evaluated by shiro at the moment.

In addition various researchers actively peruse the old texts and writings for inspiration and clues…an intel report underway.

elixir

….thus a  further/closer look into the world of alchemy and elixirs, the philosophers stone and so on lies ahead…

research and intel gathering …still in progress…

coming soonish…i hopeish.

BELIEVE IT...OR NOT.

BELIEVE IT…OR NOT.