Introduction of Musashino sword club
We have meetings every 2 months in Tokorozawa city Saitama prefecture. In the 6 times in a year, 4 are Kantei game, and 2 are free discussion with studying swords. The unique point of this club is the quality of the swords for kantei game. Usually we study 5 swords, and 1 or 2 of them are very high quality like Ko-bizen or Ichimonji those are found only in museums. Members challenge the game quietly and seriously. On the other hand, the free discussion that held every 6 month are frank. Members make their questions each other. The quality of swords are very high and the behaviour of members is serious. So sword lovers gather from large area. "Musashino" means an area around Tokyo and Saitama.
Member fee is 10,000.yen par year. Member is free for the meetings.
Non-member (visitor) is 2,000.yen for Kantei game. 1,000.yen for the free discussions.
Place; Kotesashi Kominkan Bunkan. Walk 400m from the Kotesashi stationon on the Seibu-Ikebukuro line.
Hour; 6:00PM ~ 9:00PM
Usually the meeting is made of 10 ~ 15 people, half are members and half are visitors.
You are welcome to visit our club, if you have a chance to come. Kokaji is a practical operator of the club, and will treat you as sword lover.
Manner of Kantei game in the Musashino sword club
The game of our club keeps some classical style in Samurai age. So, I wonder if it is a little uncomfortable for beginners, but good for study swords seriously.
Usually the room is a tatami floor. Tables are settled, and covered with cloths. Several swords with hilt are put on the table using a small pillow. Light stands are settled on the wall. This situation is not different to other sword clubs.
When you study sword, you should sit with square style (Seiza). If you like easier sitting style, you should ask to the lecturer previously.
Sit before the sword, then make a light bow to respect old sword. You never speak while studying sword.
Take the sword in your hand. Never touch the blade.
The way of study is, studying the shape, then steel, then hamon.
1) Studying shape. Hold the handle vertically with your right hand stretching your arm. The blade is set the back on left and the edge on right. You study the shape moving your eyes from the bottom toward the tip, and from the tip toward the bottom.
2) Studying steel. Turn your body a little right side, and hold the sword close to you. The kissaki should be set toward the frontal wall. With this style, you can study the steel safely. You can study also the bevel meat.
3) Studying hamon. You turn again toward the front. You take the light stand to reflect it on blade surface. The hamon comes up brightly. Relax your arm to find a proper angle between the blade and the light. Be careful, not to swing the blade right or left. You have to keep the kissaki toward the front. When you study the hamon in kissaki, you can use the cloth that put beside the sword. Take the close in your left hand, and put the kissaki on it to take the kissaki close to you.
Careful behaviour is good for safety studying. And quick study is necessary to consider the next person who sits behind of you. Do not think there. Just study and remember. You can think to find the smith later.
When you finish studying the blade, put the blade carefully on the table again. Then make a light bow again. Then leave the seat.
Around the tea tables at the other side in the room, people are thinking and writing their papers. You don't ask or utter the smith's name. People are studying themselves seriously. This situation may be different to other local clubs. In some other clubs, people discuss and chat to find out the smith's name. The members of Musashino are more serious. They keep quiet until the tang is opened. This is The point of the manner from Samurai age. This game is a study, as well as an enjoyable play.
Write the examine paper. You write the smith's name as your question to the lecturer. That means, you think so and how your opinion is. You submit the paper to the lecturer, sitting before him and say "Onegai shimasu". Then the lecturer write the answer and score. You receive it sitting before him again, and say "Arigatou gozaimasu". The voice can be small, because the room is silent. If your question gets the smith himself or very close smith, your question ends and gets some score. If you have not get the correct smith, lecturer's answer suggests the way how to think the next.
The score is not important, but what you find on the blade and how you think to reach the smith is important. Usually we can make three times question for each sword until you find the correct smith.
After the time up, the tang is opened, and lecturer makes a lecture for each sword. Then we study the tang again.