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Appeal For Help Funding Purchase Of Sanchomo

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Who expressed astonishment? The husbands?

 

I train with four females who are (relatively) adept with a katana, including my wife, so why wouldn't they be attracted? Is that a Japanese viewpoint, Piers?

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I hear you Ken, but the first 77 applicants were female. Plus those three husbands who were dragged along.

 

In the past, Nihonto sword appreciation was almost exclusively male. When I joined about 10 years ago it was all old men, dour and silent, and most of the sword society chapters around here were very similar.

 

50/50 would be 'natural', but this flood (see photo) is an extreme swing in Japanese sword appreciation history.

 

PS Ando Hiroyasu is called 'Yu-suke' by everyone.

 

https://twitter.com/AndoYusuke819?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

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Advance warning.

 

1. For anyone thinking of visiting Osafune and their Sword Museum this year, please be aware that in order to be able to house the Sanchomo they will be undergoing six months of refurbishment,  from October 2020 until March 2021. This means that although the workshops and meeting rooms will be open as usual, the museum itself will be closed, i.e. probably not hosting any exhibitions. I quietly suggested that they should temporarily move the Imaizumi exhibition out of their side museum and use that, but the mood was not encouraging.

 

2. The Prefectural Museum in Okayama (where the Sanchomo and other swords are now) will also take this opportunity to update, and their closure will last for two and a half years, I hear, though I do not have the precise dates and I can see nothing about this on their home page. 

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Today, Feb 3rd, was Setsubun at Kibitsu Hiko Jinja. (Photos to follow.)

There was a long raised platform to one side of the shrine, hung with red and white sheeting, from which a line of top dignitaries threw bags of beans to the crowds.

After the prayers and blessings, and the dance of the Oni troupe, the Prefectural Governor, the Mayor of Okayama, and the Mayor of Setouchi City spoke, and the latter announced that "the initial target for the Sanchomo has now been reached and breached!" Loud claps from the crowd.

 

From 15,000 people, 141 companies, 114% so far...

See: https://setouchi-cf.jp/

Pic 1 should be the Mayor of Setouchi City announcing the good news.

post-416-0-31158400-1580725815_thumb.jpeg

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Shortly after the big Osaka Katana-Za sword exhibition and sale in the Osaka Castle Hall at the beginning of April, (see separate thread) it is rumoured but not yet officially confirmed, that a certain sword will go on display in Osafune from around the 10th of April for a month or so. The donations continue to flow in, and the final official step is for the city council to finalize the deal with their official signatures. Until then it's sssshhhh......... we haven't heard anything.

(This same sword is presently on display till the end of February at the Okayama Prefectural Museum.)

 

The Okayama Prefectural Museum itself (attached to Korakuen Gardens) will be closed for two and a half years from April, and all of their swords will be stored at Osafune for the duration, so look for some of those loan swords to go on display in Bizen, Osafune, both before and after they too close for six months from Sept 2020 till March 2021.

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Thanks for the update, Piers. Our planned trip over there has come to a screeching halt, for obvious reasons. That's particularly frustrating, as a new airline has lowered fares to Osaka to an almost-ridiculously-low level ($269 round-trip!).

 

Well, some of those blades have waited for a thousand years, so they're likely to still be these when Covid-19 is just a bad memory.

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Several have been made, but I have not particularly followed them. The Japanese in my link does not say if it is for sale. Part of their photographic collection?

 

The one you link, Ken, is for sale I see.

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This is their introductory video to the display which runs until October 4. Only in Japanese, but the visuals are very clear.

The first and last bald guy is the Mayor of Setouchi City.

Others are a curator from the Museum, introducing the display, then Mr Koike, Head of the NBTHK in this area, talking about the Sanchomo blade, Mr Katayama who engraves blades, discussing the Momoyama Koshirae, and finallythe younger smith Ando Yusuke who was charged with making a replica (not what he is doing in the video). Out of ten or fifteen attempts he made, he had to junk most of them, partly because of the very size of it, and partly because of the difficulty of attempting to reproduce such a Hamon.

 

Mr Koike notes that the first owner Okano Taromatsu who bought the unopened and untouched sword from the Uesugi family and brought it back to Okayama, was also the founder of the NBTHK in this area in Showa 23, a great year, 1948. So apart from having been forged here 800 years ago in Bizen, in the mid-Kamakura Period, there are other ties to Osafune.

 

Click the YouTube video top right. (Hoping it stays there.)

https://okayama.cizk.net/

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If I remember I will ask this weekend for their thoughts on that, Ken. I know his father had some kind of shoulder problem so he may not be forging any more...? But why not one of the other smiths in this area? Maybe anyone is free to have a go? I did hear that the tamagahané for one attempt costs something like ¥100,000.

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I saw him, but had no chance to chat, Ken. Often the father will retire (or semi retire) in favor of the son, handing over the reins and everything, and at most will provide advice from the background if asked.

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That's really what I was wondering, Piers. I had the impression when we met him, that they were working separately.

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The elder Ando San lives not far from the castle in Tsuyama. His son seems to be based around the forge in Bizen Osafune, about 50~60  km further south.

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