MASAMUNE and MURAMASA, one of the most famous stories of swordsmith in Japan
Long ago, two swordsmiths met near a small stream.
They were MASAMUNE and his student MURAMASA.
Each of them brought one of their finest blades.
To show his teacher the quality of his craft, MURAMASA
stuck his blade into the stream.
As leaves floated past, they were neatly cut in two,
he held his blade up, proud of his work.
MASAMUNE stuck his blade into the stream.
As MURAMASA watched, the leaves that floated past
avoided the blade altogether.
He then understood and was ashamed of his amateur
Of course, this story is not a fact. It is more than 200 years distance
between Masamune and Muramasa. But it illustrates the idea of Japanese sword. What is
the goal of sword making?
Masamune lived in early 14th century (end of Kamakura period). At the age,
samurai experienced twice Mongol attack, and they were preparing for next
invasion by Mongols.
His blade has a moderate form, but excellent quality.
It is a typical character in the age.
Muramasa lived in 16th century (late Muromachi period). It is the age of turbulent. Many lords were fighting against even their father or brothers to get power. No one could be trusted, no faith. They only believed arms.
His blade has a little large curvature, slim cutting surface, and steep
irregular hamon. It is typical in the age. It looks so good for use.
The difference of blade character means the deference
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