[ NEWS ] Scholars confirm first discovery of Japanese sword from master bladesmith Masamune in 150 years
- by Casey Baseel
Should you visit a history museum in Japan, and, like I do, make an immediate beeline for the collections of samurai armor and weaponry, you might be surprised to notice that Japanese swords are customarily displayed with the stitching removed from the hilt. Visually, it sort of dampens the impact, since the remaining skinny slab of metal is a lot less evocative of it actually being gripped and wielded by one of Japan’s warriors of ages past.
The reason this is done, though, is because many Japanese swordsmiths would “sign” their works by etching their names into the metal of the hilt. Some craftsmen achieved almost legendary status, becoming folk heroes whose names are widely known even today.
The most respected of all, though, was Masamune, whose reluctance to sign his blades has made identifying them difficult. But difficult and impossible are two different things, and for the first time in over a century, a sword has been confirmed by historians as being the creation of the master himself.
Masamune was active during the late 13th and early 14th centuries, the part of Japan that today is part of Kanagawa Prefecture. He lived his life during the Kamakura Period, when the samurai class saw the most dramatic rise in its power over Japan.
Producing the highest-quality blades during a time of military power made Masamune’s swords extremely prized. Today, the only swordsmith who can approach his exalted historical status is Muramasa, who was born hundreds of years later. Justified or not, Muramasa is said to have been psychologically imbalanced and prone to violence. Superstition holds that these traits were passed on to the swords he forged, and as such Masamune’s are often held to be the superior weapons.
However, it can be hard to keep track of weapons in a country that’s gone through as many civil wars, revolutions, and occupations as Japan has, no matter how impressive their pedigree. Last year, a man brought a sword, which had found its way into his personal property, to the Kyoto National Museum to be appraised. Historian and sword scholar Taeko Watanabe spent the months between then and now studying the blade, and has recently announce her conclusion that it is a Masamune.
"Judging from its unique characteristics such as the pattern that can be seen in the side of the blade… it was unmistakably forged by Masamune."
The particular sword, which Watanabe says is called the Shimazu Masamune, had been given in 1862 by Iemochi, the 14th Tokugawa shogun, to the Imperial Family to mark his marriage to Princess Kazunomiya, also known as Princess Kazu.
"By presenting such a masterwork to the Imperial Family, Iemochi showed the deepest appreciation and highest respect," Watanabe commented.
Following this, the sword’s whereabouts were unknown until its anonymous owner brought it to the museum in Kyoto. It is the first blade to be confirmed as a Masamune in roughly 150 years.
Source: Copyright © 2014 Rocket News 24
"An off-duty cop from Boston caught in the wrong place at the right time."
Leverage; 4.17 - The Radio Job | Die Hard
#eliot you fucking dork you were having the time of your life #bet this is the most fun he’s ever had on a job #i bet he never had this good a time before #i bet the team dredged up something old and bitter and broken in him that he thought he’d lost #something childish and innocent so that he can find joy even when he’s working (via stardust-rain)
new headcanon: they’re related.
Or, you know, Eliot was just having fun fucking with people. Boy does not have enough fun.
Exploring the Abandoned “Plague Fort” in Kronstadt, Russia
For more photos and videos from Fort Alexander I, explore the Форт «Император Александр I» (Чумной) location page.
In the Gulf of Finland, a tiny fortified island sits quietly off the coast of Kronstadt, Russia. The Russian military constructed Fort Alexander I in 1845 as a way to guard the waters near Saint Petersburg. Although the fort played a key role in resisting military tensions of the time, it was never used in actual battles. By the late 1800s, the entire island was handed over to the Imperial Institute of Experimental Medicine (currently known as the Institute of Experimental Medicine of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences), who then converted the fort into a research laboratory for plague and other bacterial diseases. Known as the “Plague Fort,” the facility is currently preserved as a public sightseeing destination that provides mysterious, abandoned spaces to capture by visiting and local Instagrammers alike.
My sister asked if the events of “The Labyrinth” are meant to be Sarah dreaming, or are they real? Although my primary reaction was that she shouldn’t put that much thought into any children’s movie (or any instance of David Bowie in tight pants), I’d like to take this opportunity to put so much thought into this children’s movie, that it’ll blow your mind.
So why is David Bowie kidnapping a child from an underage Jennifer Connelley?
In a time long long ago a sorcerer named Jareth fell in love with a girl named Sarah. Sarah’s father and step-mother would not let her marry Jareth because they wanted her to keep her, as a servant, to care for their other child. In a fit of rage Jareth kidnapped this other child and spirited it away to the fairy world. In this new world Jareth built a palace for his Sarah. He turned the spoiled child into a goblin, and kept it to be a servant.
Many stories of the fairy world tell us that time moves differently there than in our world (Rip Van Winkle for one). In the time it took for Jareth to build his kingdom, which he may have thought was little more than a few years, Sarah grew old and died.
Overcome by grief and addled by a lifetime spent in a strange world filled with monsters, Jareth goes mad. He refuses to believe that he has lost his love. He searches the mortal world from his castle, looking for her.
Sarah is Hebrew name. So, it is common, and has been in use for thousands and thousands of years. It does not take long (for him) to find a dark haired girl named Sarah, who has a younger sibling, and who feels that she is treated unfairly by her step mother. In a fit of rage he kidnaps this other child and spirits it away to the fairy world. Perhaps this new Sarah dies in the quest to find the child, perhaps she wins her sibling back and flees.
Jareth searches the mortal world from his from his castle, looking for her. It does not take long to find a dark haired girl named Sarah…
This is how Jareth becomes the goblin king. Every goblin in the goblin city is a child Jareth has stolen, who was not recovered by a Sarah. (he told the current Sarah that Toby would become a goblin if she did not find him in time)
This is why he builds the maze. The magic bog, the junk yard of useless treasures, all tricks to slow Sarah down. Because if he can only have his Sarah for the time it takes for her to regain the stolen child, he will make it take as long as possible, keep her as long as possible.
This is why there exists in our world a book containing the story. Because it has happened before. So many times. At some point some lucky Sarah must have returned to our world to tell the story.
This is why when the most recent Sarah first meets Hoggle at the start of the labyrinth, and introduces herself; “I’m Sarah”, Hoggle responds “That’s what I figured.”
Because of course she’s Sarah.
They were all Sarah.
He is, however, perfectly willing to fuck with time and reality.
And also steal your infants.
He didn’t steal anything. She literally asked him to take the baby. Don’t make him the bad guy just because she was a shitty sister.
I think you are severely misinformed as to how baby ownership works.
It was not her baby to give.
David Bowie is unquestionably the villain.
Which do you think existed first, modern custody legislature, or the goblin king?
The girl was entrusted by her parents with the care and custody of the child. By the laws governing the goblin king and his transactions, the girl was the current rightful owner of the child and made a deal with the king to take the child. Perhaps you’re not familiar with english folklore. Fae have rules, they’re tricksters, they can be sneaky, but they never break the rules.