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Wood Saya Translation Needed


Axel123
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Acxel,

welcome to the forum!

You could make it a bit more comfortable for our experts if you showed the SAYA upright. Looks more like an ISHIKAWA roman than a signature.....A lot of translation work!  

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That is a Chinese poem composed by Ouyang Xiu (1007-1072).

The title of the poem may be 日本刀歌 (literally means “A song of Japanese swords”).

Ref. Ouyang Xiu - Wikipedia

 

昆夷道遠不復通,世傳切玉誰能窮!

寶刀近出日本國,越賈得之滄海東。

魚皮裝貼香木鞘,黃白閒雜鍮與銅。

百金傳入好事手,佩服可以禳妖凶。

傳聞其國居大島,土壤沃饒風俗好。

其先徐福詐秦民,採藥淹留丱童老。

百工五種與之居,至今器玩皆精巧。

前朝貢獻屢往來,士人往往工詞藻。

徐福行時書未焚,逸書百篇今尚存。

令嚴不許傳中國,舉世無人識古文。

先王大典藏夷貊,蒼波浩蕩無通津。

令人感激坐流涕,繡澀短刀何足云。

 

Ref. 日本刀歌 - Wikisource

 

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Some background here: http://www.icm.gov.mo/rc/viewer/20019/1011

 

A change occurred at the beginning of the Song Dynasty.

According to The History of Song -- Chapter on Japan, in the second year of the Yongxi Period of Emperor Tai Zong (year 985), the famous Japanese monk Tatezen sent his disciple Kankoku, to China, to render hommage (sic) to the Song Emperor.

Among the gifts that Kankoku offered the Song Emperor was an "iron sabre" manufactured in Japan. This constitutes an important sign. It indicates, that at that time, Japan not only equalled the level of the sword and sabre manufacturing technology of China, but also surpassed it, and began to convert its imports into exports. In fact, during the Northern Song Dynasty, the Japanese sword and sabre entered China by unofficial commercial channels. Chinese enthusiasts went to great expenses to obtain them and would ostentatiously sport them in a competitive manner. This caught the attention of Ou Yang Xiu and inspired him to write the famous poem that bears the title Riben Dao Ge (Poem on the Japanese Sabre),5 the first of dozens of poems with the same title, composed during the Song Dynasty. As the Japanese book U Ji Ju I Mono Gatari states: "leave ten sabres as a pledge, and one can ask the Chinese for a loan of six or seven thousand pieces of cloth."6 It is thus clear, that as in the Song Dynasty, the sabre and the sword became an important product in Japanese trade with China.

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