The Infamous Samurai Sword


Posted on March 31, 2013 by

What’s faster than a speeding bullet?

Well, what’s faster than a speeding BB?

Yes! The Japanese sword and this incredible artist.

Take a look at this video and see how astounding this is:

               Real Samurai Sword Technique – by Isao Machii – Japanese Katana Kenjutsu

The Japanese sword is quite frankly—perfection. And it was in the Heian period that it became so. Japanese iron ore is different than everywhere else. The steel and the method of forging combined to make an objet d’art which is admired and valued today.

blacksmith working on samurai sword

Forging a sword in the Edo Period

The methods for forging swords are not much changed from the Heian to Edo times.

Forging swords was a great spiritual undertaking and the fox spirit was thought to help

fox spirit assisting blacksmith to forge the blade Ko-Gitsune Maru (by Ogata Gekkō)

The sword making process was a spiritual one, so it is no surprise an artist would portray the fox spirit “helping” out. Swords were signed by their makers; named by their owners. There were schools of sword-making in different parts of Japan.

Yes!  I have held and practiced with the wooden practice sword, the bokken. I have held the genuine article in my own two  hands. (There is a two-handed grip used.)

When my  heroine in Pillow Book of the Flower Samurai, Kozaishō, strives for a “divine stroke” I know what that feels like. I know what that sounds like.  Immense power.

This is not a fencing sword, people. My expert who has a double black belt, Dr. Diane Latona, says the average Japanese sword fight lasted 20 to 30 seconds with both people dead. Imagine a 6-foot long razor blade.

Would you like more about swords? Let me know. Or, what else interests you about this time?

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