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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:57 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:38 am
Posts: 98
Location: Canadian Arctic
Having just finished my season's contract and arriving home I was hoping this Mokusa topic continued. Ah well; maybe later. John


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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:17 pm
Posts: 79
John and everyone,

I'm sorry for my absense. I hepe to find something new that I can post on this bulletin, but lacking fresh updates so far.

I'm currectly reconstructuring ideas on the Tendai controls over the steel distributions and the sword smiths, especially on the Kyoto smiths, today known as Sanjyo, Gojyo, and Awataguchi. Certainly, they were under control of the Tendai power through a shrine, Known as the Yasaka Shirine today.

And, I realized the possibility of the famed smiths were regarded highly for their accesses to the sources of quality steel rather than their forging techniques. Many forerunners of this area of study refer to the terms "ko-kaji" and "o-kaji," but none of them were successful to define the latter. This is just my speculation, that famed smiths were actually masters of nameless smiths and had accesses to the o-kaji steel sources where also nameless steel producers worked under some sorts of ruling powers and supplied to the masters. Stepping into this theme, I believe we will see some sensitive Japanese taboos directly related to the discriminated people, continuing problem even today.

Please allow me some more time to establish this idea logically.

Wataru


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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:02 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:38 am
Posts: 98
Location: Canadian Arctic
As always, I look forward to your research. John


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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:15 pm
Posts: 152
Location: at San Francisco in California
I jumped on this as soon as I saw someone had posted,

John is not the only one who has enjoyed the topic and is looking forward to more. Has anyone read the article in To-Ken to Rekishi? I think it started in issue 703?
-t

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Thomas C Helm
Contributing Editor NCJSC
www.ncjsc.org
www.toryu-mon.com


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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:25 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:51 am
Posts: 22
Good morning all,

I'll join with John and Tom in thanking you Wataru san for sharing your research.

Malcolm


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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:17 pm
Posts: 79
Hi all,

I thought I read a part of the article featured in Token to Rekishi. But can't remember since I didn't have strong impression on it.
According to old documents, Bungo Yukihira and his disciples including "Ki 紀no Masatsune," established strong network. The forerunners of this field misunderstood this "Ki no Masatsune" to be a Bungo smith, thus his works should look like Bungo. But as you know, no Masatsune that has Bungo like appearance are known. I speculated that all Masatsune smiths known today were born of "Ki family," and famed Yukihira was the master of them. I want you to remember in later Bizen smiths, there are several smiths known to sign their works with their family name as "Ki." For example, Ichimonji Sukemitsu and Sukeyoshi.

Then the matter is, what is this "Ki 紀"family, or clan?" This is the biggest question for me at this moment. Plus, this is hiding the secret of metal productions in ancient Japan.

According to the book written by Manabu Toya, a shinto priest and history journalist, this family name is the oldest family name in Japan, and originated in Zhou 周 Dynasty period of China, surprisingly, 11BC. The Zhou Dynasty was established by the Xi 姫 family (this letter reads as Ki in Japanese,) and its branch family formed Wu province in China, today's Suzhou area. Around 3 to 4 BC, a group of Xi family ruled this area moved to Japan, and formed the origin of today's imperial family and its primitive branch families. Today, the royal family has no family name, but before the Kofun period, some documents suggests that they named themselves as Ki 姫. One branch family reserved to used the same letter, so they changed their family name to 紀.

Ancient Wu was famed for producing quality bronze and steel swords and after it got defeated, the engineers were taken by the Yue, the nation defeated Wu.

Now this story suggests why the Ki family grabbed the secrets of metal production in Ancient Japan. They are known to moved around Japan in search of metal sources, and I wonder how this is connected to the origin of Mokusa.
I'm working on further research.

Wataru


Last edited by watawata on Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 12:32 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:17 pm
Posts: 79
To study Ancient Wu ans Yue, I purchased a Spring and Autumn period bronze sword.
It has signiture indicating this was produced in Yue. The signiture is in graceful ancient noble scripts, I need a dictionary to translate it.

Wataru


Attachments:
File comment: Gold letters
bronze2.jpg
bronze2.jpg [ 134.9 KiB | Viewed 5423 times ]
File comment: Overall image. It has geometrical gold inlays and letters. The composition is bronze.
bronze sword.jpg
bronze sword.jpg [ 41.64 KiB | Viewed 5423 times ]


Last edited by watawata on Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:38 am
Posts: 98
Location: Canadian Arctic
Fantastic, I now have something to research for a few days, Ki surname etc. Thank you. That is a nice sword and in very good condition for a weapon from 700-500 BCE. I have a few excavated (grave goods) arrowheads from the Chinese mainland, but, can't be sure of the provenance. There are so many spurious items coming out of China that can fool professionals even at prestigious world wide institutions that I have neglected this area for the most part. John


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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:53 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:17 pm
Posts: 79
John,

In case you are willing to read a Japanese book, this is the source.

http://www.amazon.co.jp/%E3%83%92%E3%83 ... 451&sr=8-1

This refers to the pre-histrical myths of Japan, and refers to ancient Chinese records to explore the secret.

As the Ki clan started their quest to discover sources of metals, they moved from South to North and left shirines named "Niutsuhime Shirine." The term "Ni" means cinnabar, and mercury often brought them other precious metal.

And I want you to remember, many medieval bronze statues indicating the Ki craftsmen left.

Regarding the Chinese artifacts, indeed, I was skeptical too. It's very tough to find genuine pieces, but still, it is possible. I heard many pre-Warring States period bronze swords are under the tinventory of a dealer. They are priced much lower than a Muromachi tanto.

Wataru


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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:38 am
Posts: 98
Location: Canadian Arctic
Thank you, the book looks promising and daunting too. Cheers, John


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