So How Were Honorary Titles Assigned?
Posted 11 January 2019 - 06:24 PM
Thanks for this great site!
Would someone be kind enough to share their knowledge of how the process of assigning titles to swordsmiths worked?
From the threads here, and some great articles over at Mr. Sesko’s site, my understanding is that the process began early in the Shinto period and consisted of a Kyoto bureaucracy that awarded titles to smiths upon request, provided the smith was suitably accomplished (and paid a fee).
Is the above generally correct?
Were the names just plucked out of the air by whichever official was in charge at the time? (For instance, why would a Hizen smith be awarded the title of “Ise Daijo”, when Ise wasn’t even on the same island? Were distant areas chosen intentionally—something akin to “his name is known as far away as Ise Province?)
I got the impression from one article—my apologies, I haven’t been able to find it to link to it—that the process became more cynical and corrupted as time went on, and that titles eventually came to signify little other than a smith’s marketing acumen...?
Posted 11 January 2019 - 07:08 PM
Like Mr. Sesko’s others, a fascinating article. But I’m still curious as to what rhyme or reason, if any, lay behind assigning smiths honorariums that didn’t correspond with the regions they worked in.
Posted 11 January 2019 - 09:53 PM
Posted 12 January 2019 - 02:07 AM
Extremely fascinating! I always thought they were given to smiths by local Daimyo for exceptional service or producing high quality work for the province. The only smith in my hands with a title is Musashi No Kami Kunitsugu who also had the title Musashi Daijō Fujiwara Kunitsugu, I wonder if smiths had to submit again for higher rankings and pass muster?
It does removes a little of the Mystique if it was all so simple as applying for a drivers license.
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