Jump to content
Guido

The cup is always full

Recommended Posts

A recent thread in which someone asked for kanji in a certain style, to be used next to a displayed sword, reminded me of a kakejiku (hanging scroll) that I commissioned about ten years ago.

 

The original calligraphy is by Kanō Gyokuen 狩野玉燕 (1683-1743), and shown in the 2002 NBTHK-EB exhibition catalog "Selected Fine Japanese Swords". However, the artist who wrote it for me used a slightly different format and script.

 

The poem says 檢書焼燭短看劔引杯長 – I recently added a transliteration into modern Japanese thereof to my signature on the NMB. In any case, a (non-literal) translation would be

 

Book learning only burns down candles, but studying swords is like a full cup of saké.

 

Besides my love for both nihontō and saké, those are my sentiments exactly: yes, it’s important to learn the basics and technical terms by reading as much on the subject as possible, but that’s never a substitute for looking at swords close up.

post-12-0-94273100-1588131287_thumb.jpg

  • Like 14

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha, yes, my cup runneth over,  like the everlasting gobstopper. (US jawbreaker)

Or the Scottish proverb, "Lang may yer lum reek!"

 

(Apologies for lowering the tone.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Guido, but suggest appending, "look at good swords - the best you can find." Oh, & don't drink bad sake, either.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I well remember your passion for nihonto and especially for sake  :laughing: 
In the same spirit i add my calligraphy from Yamoka Tesshu which can be readed as
"Studying having fun is a god-like thing"

post-2051-0-38035300-1588139006_thumb.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The highest shelf sake I can find in the US is nothing like what my friends keep bringing back to me from the source.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

"Besides my love for both nihontō and saké, those are my sentiments exactly: yes, it’s important to learn the basics and technical terms by reading as much on the subject as possible, but that’s never a substitute for looking at swords close up."

 

Just picked up on this.

 

So applicable to many other endeavours

 

Thank you Guido

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Besides my love for both nihontō and saké, those are my sentiments exactly: yes, it’s important to learn the basics and technical terms by reading as much on the subject as possible, but that’s never a substitute for looking at swords close up.

 

In hindsight it seems nearly impossible to begin understanding the writings of someone like an Albert Yamanaka without having actual 'text book' examples to study in hand. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I gotta chime in on the importance of actually looking at swords.  I'm lucky enough to live close enough to Chicago to hit that show every year.  I learn more there in 3 days than the rest of the year reading books.  Books are great, but you have to see the real thing to see what the books are talking about.  

 

As a sake thought:  When I was in the Navy in the 70's there was a bar in San Fransisco called Madam Butterflies.  Some friends and I used to go there to shoot pool and drink Sapporo beer and warm sake.  Many good memories from that place.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...