Most Japanese swords have gentle curve. This form became popular in Heian period when soldiers started to fight, riding horses. This shape made it easier to use even on the horses.
The period goes by, a Japanese swords change its shape. The Japanese swords made in Heian period to 1595 were called "old swords". After this year to 1803 were called "new swords". After this year to 1867 were called "new new sword". And after Meiji period were called "sword of today".
Other the blade part of the sword consists of, "Tsuba", "Saya", "Tsuka", and "Himo". All these parts are carefully designed beautifully. The Japanese sword were most important arms for Samurai, therefore they decorated them with all one's heart and soul.
It is most comfortable to discuss in the room with sun light sneak through the window. with the distance about 1 tatami mattress away.
In Japan, Samurai devoted their life to fight and protect their family and the nation. On the other hand, women were responsible for taking care of the family and educating their children. Men and women both had their own role to play in the society and both respected each other.
Father in the family hold firm their principles, and without telling them, they would teach their children through their own actions. I believe, these fathers style is needed in out society today.
On the other hand, what kind of women is needed today. Mothers love is said to be deeper than the ocean. To any child, all mothers provide this love to their children. It may be a good time to once again look back into the men's role and women's role in Edo period.
Masamune was a very known and talented Sword craftsman. Masamune's works characteristics were famous for its beautiful curve and its brightness. He was born in Kamakura period, and his descendants still live in the Kamakura city.
Swords made by Masamune, 600 years ago, is still beautiful. It looks as, its living to preserve its own beauty. In other words, it is innocent as virgin.
Masamune sword only needs to be cleaned and brushed only once or twice a year. This is because, Masamune hardly rusts. This is very mysterious in swords. I am convinced that Masamune made them with all his heart and soul. Everytime I hold this Masamune, my hearts tremble.
A Screen panel usually consists of left and right pieces, and both has 3 panels each, total of 6 panels. This "Byobu" screen panel contains Kamei family heraldry in the middle. Their family was one of the lord in Japan. The base color of this folding screen is tangerine orange, it has a white family heraldry in the middle. This dynamic design is timeless even now.
Screen panel was used as partition to separate the room and or to cut the wind. After Fusuma (framed and papered sliding door) was established, the folding screen lost its existence and started to disappear from houses. Later, folding screen was enjoyed as art work.
In the short while, there were a lot of screen panels with the drawings of historical events, beautiful landscape, or life style of people. And many of competitive artists who made them.
There is a word "place in original sheath". These words came from understanding that, the sheathe made for each sword, fits best than any other sheath, which nowadays are used to explain "return to where it should belong".
Then, how did these words came to be used? Towards the end of Edo, it started to become difficult for a samurai to eat. In case for junior samurai and masterless samurai, the situation was even worse. therefore to avoid from starvation and poverty, samurai started taking up part time job, like umbrella patching. Those samurai who still couldn't eat, held on to their sword as it was their soul, but sold the sheath. Others, who found the look and appearance important, sold the sword and held on to the sheath.
As sword became a collection item, curio merchant started selling the sword and sheath separately as it made more profit. This is why the number of people holding the sword and its original sheath decreased. The existence of sword placed in its original sheath became very few. sheath are made for each particular sword, and to be "placed in original sheath" is the swords nature appearance.
Iwakuni Art Museum is located near "Kintaikyo" bridge, within the Iwakuni castle area. The view from the top of this Kintai brigde is magnificent.
Kintai bridge was made in 1673. Their was bridge built before Kintai was established, but they all broke down as flood season came. The design of this arch on Kintai bridge is to strengthen the bridge and lessening the resistance of water.
However, even this kintai bridge was destroyed, but was rebuilt every time it broke down. The last time it broke was in 1950, and the Kintai bridge made in 1951 is still standing today. As the bridge became old, and to repair the damages, it went in to reform construction to be completed this spring 2004. Please come and see this beautiful Kintai bridge.