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    2018/2/21
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お守り刀展覧会

A blade of a mamori-gatana for wedding is usually straight with no wave blade patterns, which symbolized her family’s wish that the bride would fit into the new family smoothly.

The purpose to carry a mamori-gatana can be various. A common one is self-defense in case of being attacked, but it can be suicide in case of being involved in an embarrassing incident, and sometimes assassination if

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    2018/2/17
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お守り刀展覧会

Some might think that Japanese swords were used only by male samurais. However, some short-length swords were also important for female, especially ladies in samurai families.

Typical ‘katanas’ or Japanese swords are usually 60-70 cm (23-28 inch) long and basically fighting tools used mainly outdoors, whereas ‘mamori-gatanas,’ ‘kaiken’ or Japanese daggers are shorter, usually 20-25 cm (8-10 inch) long, often carried by ladies in samurai class for mainly self-defense purpose used indoors.

It

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    2018/2/14
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What can you do if you want to have a sword in your hand and see it closely? Visit antique shops! Some of antique shops in Tokyo are dedicated to Japanese swords, armors, and other related parts. If you behave politely and ask the shop, they might let you take swords out from the show case. And most of antique shops also have scabbard and other related parts, which will be

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    2018/2/12
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If you are a big fan of samurai movies, or learning martial arts, AND have a chance of traveling in Japan, you may be eager to see Japanese swords, katana. But where can you see them? First option is museums. Tokyo National Museum in Ueno.

On the first floor of the main building, you can enjoy collections of precious swords, some of them are registered as national

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    2018/2/9
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koi travel, sword smith visit

koi travel, sword smith visit

Japanese swords generally consist of many parts, such as tsuka (handle), tsuba (hand protector), saya (blade cover), menuki (ornaments on the tsuka) and so on. Because Japan is very humid and the blades can be easily damaged if they get rusty or dusty, Japanese swords must be cleaned up regularly and thoroughly. That is why the swords are made to be disassembled easily piece by piece. This

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    2018/2/7
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When we talk about Japanese swords or ‘katanas,’ we tend to talk only about mysterious beautiful blades. However, do you know that their covers and other parts had also important roles for samurais?

From 17th century to early 19th century, only samurais were allowed to carry swords in Japan, and therefore, swords were important items for their identities. However, using swords were actually prohibited during the same period. In the early 17th century, Ieyasu Tokugawa became the final winner in the

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    2018/2/2
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koi travel, sword smith visit

Iron ore needs higher temperature to be smelted, which made iron making in Europe a sort of industrialized mass production using blast furnaces. On the other hand, iron sand needs relatively lower temperature, which made iron making in Japan craftsmen’s work in smaller scale, and sword making as well.

However, the lower melting temperature of iron sand gives Japanese steel an unique feature.

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    2018/1/31
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tatara in the 6C

Tatara in the 6th century (今佐屋山遺跡 再現模型, 和鋼博物館 蔵)

If you are interested in Japanese swords or ‘katana,’ you might have also heard of ‘tatara.’ Tatara is the traditional Japanese clay tub furnace used for smelting iron and steel. The word ‘tatara’ originally meant a pair of bellows, a device usually with two boards to send strong air, and the whole furnace came to be called

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    2018/1/20
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kakiiro

The beauty of Mashiko ware is tightly related with nature. It is remarkable characteristic of Mashiko ware is that the color and texture of the pottery are gifts from mother earth.

During beginning of the 20th century, people in Mashiko was making Seto porcelain for daily utensils as it was profitable product. However, demand of ceramics began to decline due to development of new materials. It was when Shoji Hamada appeared in

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    2018/1/18
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スクリーンショット 2018-01-16 18.04.44

Shoji Hamada studied in London and worried about his family and returned to Japan in 1924, after a big earthquake hit Kanto region including Tokyo in the previous year. He loved country life in England and learned a lot from it, which finally made him decide to settle down in Mashiko, a small pottery town 100 km northeast of Tokyo, after spending several winters

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