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Appeal For Help Funding Purchase Of Sanchomo

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

This Sunday we (NBTHK) have a big meeting in Osafune to share with the public all the latest news. 40 mostly female *'Token Ranbu' gamers have booked out the event. We have a top smith coming to work the forge, and I think the Mayor of Setouchi City will be giving a talk. 


As the March deadline approaches we do have some good news. On Sunday I was told that the sum raised is only 6,000 Man short of target (500,000 USD?). Today I heard that a large donation is coming in that is estimated to be close to 90,000 dollars, and some larger corporations will be making estimated tax-free donations of around 800 or 900,000 dollars at the end of the tax year which ends in March. That should, all things being equal, cover the shortfall satisfactorily.


At the same time the local community has pulled together and many enthusiastic volunteers contribute happily to the push. Ladies have been making bento for the public. One taxi company has been offering free rides to and from Osafune train station for visitors. A donation box in the shuttle bus is there for monies which all go to purchasing this sword.


A funny little snippet of information reached me today. There were two or three members of the local council who had for months been loudly objecting to any attempt to purchase this sword, swinging close votes the wrong way, threatening all kinds of obstruction and making life a misery for those trying to organize anything. One of these key figures suddenly announced quietly that he was completely in favor of what is happening. Someone asked him why, as he had been so stridently against it. "Was I?" he asked, as if he had absolutely no recollection or memory of being anti.


*  https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%88%80%E5%89%A3%E4%B9%B1%E8%88%9E

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Ken, the last I heard was that they wanted to clear the purchase payment hurdle first.


There was talk of then leaving it where it is, at the Okayama Prefectural Museum, where they have the legal facilities for a Kokuho. The Sanchomo can be 'borrowed' as necessary by Osafune Sword Museum for temporary displays, but for a permanent home the museum will have to be partly rebuilt, with approved security against theft and natural disasters. New budget of around another million dollars, but this budget will be easier to justify under infrastructure improvements or some such. (?)


Even then I think there are national regulatory limits as to how many days a year a Kokuho can be on public display.  


If someone does not contradict me in the meantime, I will ask on Sunday.

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BaZZa, spot on!

The pottery set of four are all made by a Bizen potter in Bizen Yaki, starting with two attempts at a Sanchōmo Utsushi.

He described the difficulties of creating one that did not crack in the drying or firing process. He also tried two different methods to show hamon, and the lower sword even has 'utsuri' in the fired clay!

The long blade is an attempt at recreating the Sanchōmo, but Andō the smith decided the Choji were too sharp so the team gave up on polishing it. It would measure the same size and weigh as much as the original if the polishing had gone ahead. Slightly heavier as is. The museum now uses it to demonstrate the weight to visitors.

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Oh I lied earlier when I said they were booked out at 40 participants. There were two sessions, meaning eighty all told (minus three with flu') and three intrepid men (actually husbands) among these female gamers. Many later expressed astonishment at the unthinkable, that so many women could be so attracted to Japanese swords.

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That kodachi is impressive. Not only is it gorgeous and TJ, but also it is in the famous Tsuchiya Oshigata book. Wonder which daimyo owned it?


This sword at Juyo was qualified as Yoshioka but at TJ they corrected it to the much more sensible Fukuoka, given the flamboyance and shape of choji.


The smith worked around 1220 and was a Gobankaji.

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