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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:17 pm
Posts: 79
Ha ha, right. The author is actually brave.
Plus, the Emperor seems to be considering of disclosing some of historical secrets in the future days.
The Imperial Household Agency is reluctant to permit to excavate ancient tombs that they designated as of the imperial family.
I believe when the Emperor decides to disclose, those tombs will be excavated. I heard basic research on some of the tombs started recently.

According to Ishi's book, famed Kusanagi no tsurugi is now hidden in the Atsuta Shirine.
During WW2, some priests secretly exposed it, and left a written record stating that it looked like "fish bone" and has dull white shine. If this were to be right, Ishi speculated this is a Chinese warring states period sword made out of white copper, alloy of copper and tin. Getting back to Toya's book, the Atsuta Shrine was established by the Wu or Yue origin group came to Japan by taking Kuroshio current.  

Wataru


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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:40 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:10 am
Posts: 59
G'day Wataru,

That is the first I have heard of any report that someone has seen the Emporers sword! I always thought the Emperors sword looked like a seven branch Chinese sword. That would explain a description of a "Fish Bone shape". A dull white polish could also indicate cast iron which would not polish to a high shine. Especially in an ancient "white" polish. Hhhmm... any diagrams exist?

Very interested to see what comes of the Kofun tomb archeology when it finally occurs. I wonder what types of weapons will be unearthed.

cheers,
Adrian


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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:28 pm 
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Posts: 79
Adrian,

The imperial sword at Atsuta is actually the one worshiped by the clan formed the Atsuta group. According to Toya's book, these people also came from southern China by the Kuroshio current. Thus, this one can be of the Warring States era bronze sword made for special ritual. As you know, we do not know Chinese bronze blades made out of white copper.

Wataru


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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:38 am
Posts: 98
Location: Canadian Arctic
White bronze has typically been used (during the Bronze Age) for special objects. Here is an Iranian war axe/hammer. I show this to get an idea of how this alloy appears.
From the article accompanying the axe.
With origins dating back to pre-history, the empire of ancient Iran was one of the world's first superpower civilizations by the time it had taken form in the second millennium B.C.. The various cultures that can be included in the former ancient Iranian Empire stretched across an enormous geographical region extending beyond what is called the Iranian Plateau. To gain insight as to just how large this area was, the Iranian Plateau alone, includes Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan and comprises approximately nearly 4 million square kilometers (almost 1.5 million square miles). The area of ancient Iran included not only the massive Iranian plateau made up of the tribes of the Medes, Persians, Bactrians and Parthians, but also included groups as far west as the Scythians (an eastern Scythian tribe existed in parallel in Central Asia), Sarmartians, Cimmerians and Alans populating the steppes north of the Black Sea. To the eastern boundary of the empire, the Saka tribes dominated, spreading as far as Xinjiang, China. From a very early period, the ancient Iranian peoples have been historically documented to exist in two separate continuums - a western civilization (Persia) and an eastern civilization (Scythia).

The beginnings of ancient Iran trace back to an influx into the Iranian cultural region of bands of horse-mounted steppe nomads from Central Asia, speaking Indo-European languages. Some settled in eastern Iran but other groups migrated deeper to the west settling in the Zagros Mountains. These first people descended from the proto-Iranians, originating from the Central Asian Bronze age culture of what is called the Bactria-Margiana Complex (aka Oxus Civilization), dated 2200-1700 B.C..

This historical achievements and the breadth of diverse cultures included of this once great empire are too vast to adequately credit in this brief synopsis. The Islamic conquest of Persia in the middle of the 7th century A.D. and the collapse of the Sassanid Empire marked the end of once geographically expansive and culturally diverse ancient superpower.

John


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Iranian war axe hammer white bronze.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:10 am
Posts: 59
Hello all,

As an aside, there may be a gem of truth behind the myth that the Kusanagi no tsurugi came from the "tail of a dragon". From as early as the Spring and Autumn period in China the government run an arms factory at Longquan, present day Lishui, here is the google map.

https://maps.google.com.au/maps?oe=UTF- ... CCAQ8gEwAA

The name Longquan means "Dragon Spring" , the town is located at the source waters of the "Dragon Lake" . As you can see from the map the long lake can be imagined as shaped like a Chinese dragon. The position of Longquan would symbolically be at the "tail" of the dragon" . Thus if the Kusanagi no tsurugi is a Chinese sword from the Warring States period it would likely have come from the smiths forges of Longquan.

:)
Adrian S


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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:17 pm
Posts: 79
John,

Very interesting!
Remember the Chinese bronze sword I posted before? This has spine or core directly connected to its grip. In many cases, this part of the bronze swords have different composition from the blades. Such construction method actually originated in ancient Iran.
http://bunka.nii.ac.jp/ResultImage.do

And, please refer to the Yin axe picture linked below.
http://www.antiques-oota.com/file/doki/ ... 0/149.html

I don't know if this is genuine or not, but even if this were a replica, it still shows its original was made from white bronze. This one is thought to be made as an icon of power. Don't you see some kind of similarity?

Adrian,

I didn't know about that.
Hmm, very interesting. Let me brainstorm a bit.

Wataru


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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:44 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:38 am
Posts: 98
Location: Canadian Arctic
Hi Wataru san, The first link came up, 該当するデータがありませんでした。
There is no relevant data.
The dating for the axe in the second link was a big surprise. They have 11th-14th centuries BC. Whereas white bronze, actually, more a type of brass being composed of copper, zinc and some tin, is what the Iranian axe is made of, the Shang/Yin dynasty axe is made from copper and nickel, according to the text. There are descriptions of the creation of this copper nickel alloy from around 1000 BC in China, called paithong. Apparently there was some zinc content as well. The Shang dynasty pre-dates this somewhat so I would have thought Zhou dynasty period and more likely Warring states period. The types are similar, but, to be not unexpected, that was a highly mobile period. I hope the first link can be repaired. John


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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:17 pm
Posts: 79
John,

Thank you very much for your suggestion. This is the proper link. Please click the photo in order to enlarge it.
http://bunka.nii.ac.jp/SearchDetail.do? ... eId=250143

The axe, I saw it in my hands. It looked very beautiful and beefy. In fact, the metal shined like nickel alloy. The design is like Shang/Yin, but not for sure.

Wataru


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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:38 am
Posts: 98
Location: Canadian Arctic
Thank you, that link worked. That is new information for me. I was never aware of an iron core in bronze weapons had been used. I wonder why it was done. Early on iron became economically better for weapons and once the technique for smelting iron ore became common easier to produce. It was predominately these factors that promoted the use of iron (and then steel) over the bronzes. The fact is as you know, bronzes were tough alloys and quite suited to use as weapons. Cold worked bronze held an edge and were in fact tougher to break that steel. Arsenical, stannous or nickle bronzes, all. So what advantage would that core have other than to reduce the amount of bronze needed??!! John


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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:17 pm
Posts: 79
John,

The bronze swords with steel cores, that's another wonder for us, I think.
Well, I consider copper alloys are better forms to keep the weapons fresh. But much heavier than steel. So, such blades maybe innovated to make swords lighter.

In Qing Dynasty, bronze was called "beauty metal" and steel was called "inferior metal." This fact means that bronze was regarded as noble grade and steel was for practical use.

Then, here comes another question. Why steel took over bronze?
One reason I speculate is change in the style of battle. As horses took over the position of chariots, warriors were forced to handle swords while controlling horses. Thus they needed to handle longer lighter swords by one hand. This required lighter form of metal, steel. Plus, horses also brought another innovation, the formation of shinogi. Shinogi liberated the horse riders from the use of shield. I believe this made the warriors much more agile than the bronze equipped forces.

Wataru


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