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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:50 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:10 am
Posts: 59
G'day to all,

I've been away too, but I had a good reason being newly married and having a honeymoon.

Quote:
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.


This is a brave statement and in direct contradiction to previous thinking and scholarship. Having said that, I totally agree Wataru. Its then leads to the assumption that the quality of the forging techniques and consiquently the jigane have more in common with Okaji than the smith. My opinion is that things are never that cut and dry. I think that the individual smiths chose products from multiple iron and steel sources and utilised them by reworking, refining and even "mixing". In addition the smiths use differing steels in the construction of their laminates. This is the secret sauce recipe so to speak.

Love the Bronze sword, I'm pretty jealous and look forward to seeing it one day.

For some of the members interest, I found this piece in China recently. Wataru and I have been discussing it and we both have come to the same opinion as to Warring States Chinese. It is iron and I've been testing it and have some exciting results. Before going into them yet , I have decided to data map this piece in the future to get a better picture of the construction.

cheers,
Adrian S


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Last edited by Adrian S on Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:17 pm
Posts: 79
John,

The book I indicated includes lots of difficult jargon of Shinto. The names of Gods are really confusing, but carefully reading, the Gods reveal the secrets of the earliest era of the Japanese history.

Adrian,

Now brought it to the public!

Everyone,

The iron dagger Adrian posted seems to be a Warring States period Chinese, possibly Scythian. I saw 2 similar looking bronze daggers in the inventory of the antique shop where I bought my bronze swords.
They also have nakago bent Scythian bronze daggers, very much looking like opposite bent Warabite-to. They are also from the same era.

Now, I think we are stepping into the matter, the relationship between the Scythian and primitive Mokusa, Warabite-to.

Wataru


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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:17 pm
Posts: 79
Gentlemen,

Here is another interesting image from ancient China.
In case you are aware of the Chinese history, you might have heard about the discovery of Tsuao Tsuao's grave in 2009.
Tsuao Tsuao made the stepping stone of the Xi Dynasty that took over the Eastern Han Dynasty in the 3rd century.
This image is from a scartch drawing stone excavated from his grave yard. Notice the woman holds a sword that has round butt and kamasu shaped kissaki.
This is the form steel swords commonly used in this era. This resembles the bronze swords used by the nomads of northern Asia.

Wataru


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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:10 am
Posts: 59
G'day All,

Quote:
The iron dagger Adrian posted seems to be a Warring States period Chinese, possibly Scythian. I saw 2 similar looking bronze daggers in the inventory of the antique shop where I bought my bronze swords.
They also have nakago bent Scythian bronze daggers, very much looking like opposite bent Warabite-to. They are also from the same era.

Now, I think we are stepping into the matter, the relationship between the Scythian and primitive Mokusa, Warabite-to.



We have been discussing this small sword privately before. It was an amazing find for me, the humanoid figure on the handle and the patina of the sword suggested to me straight away that this was an old piece.
To think it is 2300 years old and could still take a polish ( agreed leaving some pitting behind ). Looking at the tip of the blade, I am convinced it has carborised tip hardening. The steel has high levels of impurities and has high variations in readings when taken at different spots on the blade. For this reason I will in the future have one side of the blade polished and also data map it. This sword may be made from meteritic iron as the initial readings also show some trace of interesting elements. I have also found another two similar Spring and Autmn/Warring States bronze swords in this style. I am wondering if the iron example is contempory? Is it possible that the bronze humanoid short swords are a Chinese copy of preexisting imported iron swords like this? I have extensively researched Scythian short swords and see no match unfortunately. But a very exciting possibility is that this iron sword is a "Eastern Scythian" Amur valley piece copying the earlier Chinese style. It could be directly related to the moroha zukuri warabite-to. More research is needed on this idea and a comparative study.

Quote:
In case you are aware of the Chinese history, you might have heard about the discovery of Tsuao Tsuao's grave in 2009.
Tsuao Tsuao made the stepping stone of the Xi Dynasty that took over the Eastern Han Dynasty in the 3rd century.


Yes, I have heard of this. I have always been a big fan of 3 kingdoms saga, and I have a big collecting of related sword fitting of this theme. Chao Chao is portrayed as a meglamaniac bad guy in the stories. I have also some unsubstanciated information that the tomb had recently (2008?) been looted and that the authorities only found out about the tombs existance when some quality pieces started reaching the market.

cheers,
Adrian S


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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:37 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:38 am
Posts: 98
Location: Canadian Arctic
Hi Adrian, Congratulations of course to you and your new bride. Interesting dagger, but, I believe not typically Scythian. The Altai, Mongolian and Tagar Scythians daggers were not of this shape and pommels were zoomorphic or geometric. I can't see anywhere this undulating blade style, but, there were middle ridged daggers showing a more prominent guard. There are examples of human representative sculpture in the western familial branches Crimea and Aral, Black Sea areas (ie. stone funerary sculpture). This I think was an Attic influence. Not existant in metal goods. Funny though in the Saka culture, 7-6 century BCE, are found ring pommel knives that look like miniature versions of the Chinese ring pommel swords of later date. John


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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:53 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:10 am
Posts: 59
G'day John,

Thanks for your opinion on the dagger, I've been waiting for it! Yes, looks to be Warring states Chinese, but as you know ancient China encompassed many cultures and influences.
I was hoping to pin it down a little to a region or a subculture. I have also not found anything like it in Scythian burial goods. Any other ideas??

cheers,
Adrian S


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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:17 pm
Posts: 79
Gentlemen,

Regarding the iron dagger, I would like you to refer to the images of following links.

http://www.antiques-oota.com/file/doki/ ... 0/618.html
http://www.antiques-oota.com/file/doki/ ... 0/112.html

They have identical looking grips to Adrian's, but the blades are symmetrical.
According to the description, they are of the Warring States period.

Now, here are other interesting bronze daggers. They have bent shapes with ring like pommels.
They are stated to be of the same period.

http://www.antiques-oota.com/file/doki/ ... 0/144.html
http://www.antiques-oota.com/file/doki/ ... 0/400.html
http://www.antiques-oota.com/file/doki/ ... 0/376.html
http://www.antiques-oota.com/file/doki/ ... 0/491.html
http://www.antiques-oota.com/file/doki/ ... 0/531.html
http://www.antiques-oota.com/file/doki/ ... 0/674.html

Some of them really resemble Warabite style.

Wataru


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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:27 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:38 am
Posts: 98
Location: Canadian Arctic
Fascinating, I never realised how the Ki family name related to the western Zhou dynasty. For those following, it seems that Wu Taibo (a son of the Zhou king passed over for his brother) started the Jin dynasty in the state of Wu. This was a Malayo-Polynesian kingdom at the mouth of the Yangtze river. He was known as King Ji and this dynasty lasted until 473 BC. It was Sinocised later. Apparently trading with the Wa led to migration of some of these people to Japan in the 3rd or 4th centuries AD forming the Wo clan, some of whom had the family name Ki, in Japanese pronunciation. I wonder if this is legendary or a transmitted heritage? It was almost 1000 years before the smiths of Bizen were using the name and common for facts to be revised over time. There is little data for me to access. So Wataru san it seems to be a fertile field of study. You suspect some metallurgical knowledge to have been brought with them from the mainland?


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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:24 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:17 pm
Posts: 79
Stuart,

This matter is really far away from my present knowledge. I believe there is no sure heritage.
The Japanese have been treating this story behind the fog of the legend.
Yet, I have been wondering why Izimo has tradition that is quite segregated from other areas of Japan.
According to Mr. Toya's book, he speculated 2 groups of Ji clans came to Japan. One was lead by a man represented as Susanoo.
The other was lead by a woman represented as Amaterasu.
Although they shared the same origin, they came to rule different areas of Japan, and eventually came to fight. The group lead by the woman defeated the other ruled the Izumo area, ths Isumo has unique form of shinto today.

This matter is very very deep and complicated to understand, we need further careful study over the legend. Plus, we have to keep in mind that this is somewhat sensitive since the origin of the Imperial family is a taboo in Japan.

Wataru


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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:12 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:38 am
Posts: 98
Location: Canadian Arctic
I understand, the author seems to be braving censure though. John


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