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 Post subject: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:28 am 
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Hi all.

I'm searching for sources discussing the Mokusa School (NihonTo Koza already at hand), preferably in japanese. the more extensive the better.

Any feedback greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your time. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:56 am 
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Carlo - the problem may be we should be looking for Maikusa rather than Mokusa?
Though I suppose if we are using kanji it doesn't matter. Fukunaga Sensei has an entry on these smiths on pg 184 of volume 5 of his Daihyakka Jiten. I have the book Warabite-to somewhere might be some info there as well though I have never taken a serious look at that particular book.
-t

  Mokusa [or Maikusa]-jinja Shrine (舞草神社) is located at 5 Taihei-Maikusa, Maikawa, Ichinoseki City (一関市舞川字舞草太平5) or near the top of the Hill of Kannon-yama (観音山, 325.2 m high); about 5 km northeast of JR Yamanome Station (山目駅) or about 5 km southeast of JR Hiraizumi Station (平泉駅).  As legend tells, it was originally located in the peak of Hakusan-dake (白山岳; 700 m northwest of the present site; part of Kannon-yama), also known as Tetsuochi-yama (鉄落山) by the Satetsu-gawa River (砂鉄川).  Both place names strongly indicate that the area was full of iron ore or ironstones.
  It was founded by Tamuramaro Sakanoue (坂上 田村麻呂) in the 2nd year of Daido (大同2年) or AD 807 as a Buddhist temple with the main image of "Sho-Kannon" (聖観音; Ch. Kuan Yin; Skt. Avalokitesvara).  It had been called Kissho-san Tojo-ji Temple (吉祥山東城寺), though local people also called "Kiba-dera" (きば寺) or "Uba no Kannon" (羽場の観音).  It was most prospered in the late Heian Period (11th Century) when Hiraizumi (平泉) was most prospered with Oshu-Fujiwara family (奥州藤原氏).  It was converted to a Shinto shrine in the 4th year of Meiji (明治4年) or AD 1871.  The present shrine is dedicated to Ukano-Mitama-no-mikoto (蒼稲魂命; the God of Harvest [esp. Rice]), Izanagi-no-mikoto (伊邪那岐尊; The Primeval Father of Shinto) and Izanami-no-mikoto (伊邪那美尊; The Primeval Mother of Shinto who was the sister spouse of Izanagi).
  
  Mokusa Area was famous for legendary swordsmiths in the Heian Period (AD 794-1185).  They are considered as the original producers of the Japanese swords known as "Warabite-to" (蕨手刀) which can date back to the sixth to eighth centuries.  "Warabite-to" was its fame through the series of battles between Emishi people (蝦夷) and the Yamato-chotei government (大和朝廷) in the late eighth century.  Using "Warabite-to," the small number of Emishi soldiers could resist against the numerous Yamato-chotei army over Thirty-Eight Years' War (三十八年戦争) (AD 770-811).  The present site of Mokusa-jinja Shrine (舞草神社) is considered to be the site of Mokusa Swordsmith Remains (舞草鍛冶遺跡).

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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:28 am 
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Yes, Mokusa/Maikusa, I posted from work and I can't digit kanji here.

Thanks for the valuable info Thomas. I have the book Warabiteto (by Masakuni) too.
Forgot to mention it in the "already at hand" sources part of my post cause I'm focusing in a period that is just after the dismissing of Warabite, when Wanto were adopted by Yamato armies, in an attempt to investigate on (eventual?) correlation between the Gassan Ayasugihada with the Mokusa/Maikusa school.

Maybe you're right and I should check for hints there too, but I hoped there was some specific publication (or extensive study in some more general publication) about this old school, telling more about the later period of her existence.

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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:28 am 
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Carlo or do you prefer Tsubame-san,
I am impressed, are you on a first name basis with Ishii Sensei? ;)
In any case the information you are looking for appears to be within pages 162 to 165 in Warabite-tô
In Sôsôki no Nihontô - Sori no Roots wo Sagaru they note that Gassan was an offshoot of the Mogusa school as does Fukunaga Sensei in his Daihyakka Jiten. Interested in seing what your research reveals.
-t

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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:36 pm 
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Toryu wrote:
Fukunaga Sensei in his Daihyakka Jiten.



:shock: Miss this source. Where is it available ? Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:32 pm 
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日本刀大百科事典
Nihonto Daihyakka Jiten - a five volume encyclopedia - covers just about everything but the entries can be rather short. He shows two well-known signatures and repeats pretty evrything in my original post and not much else...
-t

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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:45 pm 
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Thanks. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:58 pm 
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Hi! I just joined this forum.
My mentor, Mr. Chubachi has been studying about Mokusa smiths for more than 20 years.
I have been getting personal lecture from him since about 8 years ago. Now he owns his own museum where you can learn the history and see real Mokusa blades.
http://chu-bi.chu.jp/

The term "Mokusa" has its origin in a Mongorian word. This suggests original roots of the Mokusa smiths may be located to the nomads of the North Asia.

True history of the Japanese swords is still covered with a very thick mystery, yet, thanks to the study of Mr. Mamiya, who was an expert of studying old papered records. He discovered that the Kamakura smiths had original roots in Mokusa. If you can read tough Japanese essay, I recommend you to read a book "Kamakura-kaji Moshiogusa."

Wataru Hara


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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:17 pm 
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Excellent !

Thanks for the info. The link with Balhae people (or anyway continental populations) is of great interest to me. I dare to ask you kindly if I can eventually chat with you about the Mokusa school and any related matter.

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 Post subject: Re: Mokusa School
 Post Posted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:35 pm 
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Carlo,

Yes, I also would like to enjoy chatting with you!

I'm very impressed that your interest is extending to Balha. Where did you get your knowledge?

According to the study of Mr. Sugawara, he finds far original roots of such North Eastern tribes to the Turks. They often show up in the Chinese history books as Tujue, and their descendants still live as Cossacs of Russia. Interestingly, their style of arms are very similar to those of ancient Japanese warriors, and Cossac swords also have very close looking with Japanese Tachi.

Mr. Sugawara wrote series of serious essays regarding such matters on Mokusa-to Kenkyuu Kiyo. If you are interested to obtain them, I'm happy to send you a set.

Wataru


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