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Chinese desire for Japanese swords

 
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nagaeyari
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 9:20 am    Post subject: Chinese desire for Japanese swords Reply with quote
According to Professor William Wayne Farris, the samurai sword, by 1200, was being exported to China.

I had never heard this before, but it's very interesting.

Has anyone ever heard this before? Any details that stuck in your head? Any sources?
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hi nagaeyari, I am currently a thousand miles from home at sea, but I can confirm that thousands of swords were exported to China. I saw documentation to that effect, of course I can't access them now.
http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0030-8684(194705)16%3A2%3C125%3ATIOGIJ%3E2.0.CO%3B2-H
There may be info here. I recall earlier data though, John
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for the JSTOR link! I will have to read the article (it looks interesting).

Thanks for providing back up on the information.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Sorry, that article mentions trade of rice and silk by way of the Portuguese. John
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I noticed it wasn't directly applicable, but interesting nevertheless. Thanks!
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
JSTOR: Money Economy in Medieval Japan. A Study in the Use of Coins.But on the basis of the number of swords shipped to China this was not true because in 1433 the Japanese exported 3502 swords while the Japanese mission of ...
links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0363-6917(195211)12%3A1%3C94%3AMEIMJA%3E2.0.CO%3B2-A
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Sword was one of main export item from Japan, so there are many Japanese swords remain in China and Korea and SE asian countries.
But I've never heard pre-1200.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I have no sources in front of me right now to back this up, but I was under the impression that the "samurai sword" as we know it, i.e. the katana, wasn't really developed until much later, possibly in the Sengoku period or around then.

Of course, there were samurai before that, and they had swords, and they certainly could have exported said swords to China, but...

Am I completely off the mark here? Were there katana, or something quite closely resembling them, as early as the late Heian period?
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yasutsuna (Tokyo National museum) Late Heian period.


Yasutsuna is famous for "Shuten Doji" story.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
shikisoku wrote:
Yasutsuna (Tokyo National museum) Late Heian period.


Yasutsuna is famous for "Shuten Doji" story.


Awesome I was looking for art based on the Shuten Doji story. I saw a print of the scene where they were going up the mountain, in a museum, and that peaked my interest of the story.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
This is definitely the field of Tsubame and not myself...

I've seen/held/licked swords from the Heian period and to a novice, they LOOK very similar to later, typical samurai swords. I'm sure I'm speaking blasphemy, but I don't know enough to technically analyze a sword.

Sure, swords changed throughout the years (I believe in the Kamakura period they got longer, heavier, and less curved, although I might be wrong), but ever since the 774-811 campaigns against the Emishi in the Tohoku, the "samurai" sword was curved.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
nagaeyari wrote:
I've seen/held/licked swords from the Heian period and to a novice, they LOOK very similar to later, typical samurai swords. I'm sure I'm speaking blasphemy, but I don't know enough to technically analyze a sword.


Shocked

Why wouldn't a tachi from 1160 be considered a samurai sword? May not be a katana, but it's certainly a "samurai sword", is it not? (Question directed at Lord Ameth--I just had to comment on Nage's quote as well).
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
nagaeyari wrote:
I've seen/held/licked swords from the Heian period.


Yes, I've been told that swords from the Heian period are more on the salty side, while those from Kamakura a little more sour. So, licking swords is a good way to determine the period in which they were forged. Laughing
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Laughing
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:
nagaeyari wrote:
I've seen/held/licked swords from the Heian period.


Yes, I've been told that swords from the Heian period are more on the salty side, while those from Kamakura a little more sour. So, licking swords is a good way to determine the period in which they were forged. Laughing


Unless your the poor bastard who licks the ha

Maikeru
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
maikeruart wrote:
Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:
nagaeyari wrote:
I've seen/held/licked swords from the Heian period.


Yes, I've been told that swords from the Heian period are more on the salty side, while those from Kamakura a little more sour. So, licking swords is a good way to determine the period in which they were forged. Laughing


Unless your the poor bastard who licks the ha

Maikeru


Yes, but Ashida Kim has developed a new way to do this without getting hurt. He's a super sensei! Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hi all. Writing from work.

Usually the born of "Samurai sword" is fixed to 940/950 A.D.,even if curved swords were randomly saw even before. From that date they are considered complete NihonTo in the modern meaning.
I'm not sure that "Samurai Sword" has any meaning to
the japaneses and if yes is something modern, much
later then first appearance in the middle Heian of such weapons.

Chineses bought a lot of swords either as valuable items, (hardly used anyway, can't say the reason) and to disarm pirates.

I concur with Nate that early Tachi are to be considered the same way as Shinshinto swords
if we have to call them "Samurai swords".

Sorry for the hurry. Any direct question will be replied better.
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Last edited by Tsubame1 on Mon Oct 15, 2007 8:52 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
nagaeyari wrote:
but ever since the 774-811 campaigns against the Emishi in the Tohoku, the "samurai" sword was curved.


Hi Nagaeyari. I would be interested in pictures and texts/sources of these swords to be added to the research you know...
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
Why wouldn't a tachi from 1160 be considered a samurai sword? May not be a katana, but it's certainly a "samurai sword", is it not?


Of course, you're right. Any sword used by samurai is a samurai sword.

Still, in English, among those not really in the know, when they say "samurai sword", they're thinking of katana. Of course, I expect that people on this forum would know better, but even so, the term has that connotation, and so I felt the need to make said comment. I apologize I wasn't clearer...
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tsubame1 wrote:
nagaeyari wrote:
but ever since the 774-811 campaigns against the Emishi in the Tohoku, the "samurai" sword was curved.


Hi Nagaeyari. I would be interested in pictures and texts/sources of these swords to be added to the research you know...


That would be great, but I don't know of any pictures of these swords beyond the ones we already are familiar with.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
You silly rabbit! Laughing

Where in Yokohama are you? I hope you aren't one of those guys that loiter near the West side exit of Yokohama station all day clutching a tall boy of chu-hai, but again, that would explain a lot of things--especially if you bathe in the water from the nearby river. Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Ha. No. I tend to avoid that sad excuse for a mini-Shinjuku like the plague.

I go to school in bright, shiny, Minato Mirai, and live in a quiet residential type neighborhood some distance away, a bit beyond Motomachi/Chukagai and Ishikawacho.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I work about 6 minutes by foot from Yokohama Station's west exit, and I could have sworn I saw a guy that looks like your avatar drinking a tall boy in front of TGI Friday's rambling on to a group of sailors from Yokosuka about how he bathes in the water of the Yokohama river and the girls dig it...Hmmm...are you sure it wasn't you?
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:
I work about 6 minutes by foot from Yokohama Station's west exit, and I could have sworn I saw a guy that looks like your avatar drinking a tall boy in front of TGI Friday's rambling on to a group of sailors from Yokosuka about how he bathes in the water of the Yokohama river and the girls dig it...Hmmm...are you sure it wasn't you?


Yer sayin' you saw a giant bunny pontificatin' and poundin' down a brew?

You sure it was him that was drinkin' the tall boy?
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Gee, Brick, could that have been you in disguise? If it was, I'm surprised I missed you. Your musky scent usually gives you away. If I had known it was you, I would have dragged you in Friday's by grabbing your bunny ears and made you buy me some drinks COD because the last time I went drinking with you, you left me with one heck of a bill, I remember that moment vividly. We were drinking in Kyoto at some joint near the Keihan Kawaramachi station and boom-- a bunch of shrine maidens invaded the place, obviously attracted your scent. You then led them off parading down the street singing doo wa ditty ditty dum ditty dum. Unforgettably funny but an unforgiveable act--leaving your pal with the bar bill. But then again, you've got that reputation.

Maybe Meth is the gaijin I always see in Yodobashi Camera drooling over the Sony Vaio computers. Or maybe that is my own reflection in the mirror I am seeing! Just Kidding
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