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Wave Tossed
Tsushima no Kami
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 5:54 am    Post subject: Sword Spirits? Reply with quote
In reading (and some viewing), I've come to understand that many Japanese believe -- or used to believe -- that Japanese swords carry spirits inside them. I've read treatises on "the life-giving sword." Also have read about some swords that are possessed of evil spirits.

So I'm curious. This seems to be a Shinto concept i.e. swords carrying kami inside of them. Does anyone have any insight on this?
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cbubacz
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
THe obvious focal point of this kind of topic is Masamune, whos swords were allegedly cursed or evil. I'll have to crack open a book or two on the subject before I comment too much futher, but there are films that portray this very circumstance.

I wish I could racall it, but there is one film where a Masamune katana cuts someone it should not have and thus the story twists into a new direction.

Why can't I remember this film?

A woman is convinced to cut a high-ranking samurai with a sword in order to deceive someone, but the sword is a Masamune and so it cuts deeper than intended.

I remember now. It wasn't a film. It was a story from the Samurai Executioner manga. Good stuff, right there.
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niitsu kakunoshin
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
cbubacz wrote:
THe obvious focal point of this kind of topic is Masamune, whos swords were allegedly cursed or evil. I'll have to crack open a book or two on the subject before I comment too much futher, but there are films that portray this very circumstance.

I wish I could racall it, but there is one film where a Masamune katana cuts someone it should not have and thus the story twists into a new direction.

Why can't I remember this film?

A woman is convinced to cut a high-ranking samurai with a sword in order to deceive someone, but the sword is a Masamune and so it cuts deeper than intended.

I remember now. It wasn't a film. It was a story from the Samurai Executioner manga. Good stuff, right there.


Muramasa's swords were considered evil. It has long been passed around that he was a student of Masamune but he actually lived later as the dating on their swords show.
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Kuseru Satsujin
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
As much as I don't care for the accuracy of the site, this information is still pertinant to the discussion:

Wikipedia wrote:
Tsukumogami (付喪神, Tsukumogami? artifact spirit) are a type of Japanese spirit. According to the Tsukumogami-emaki, Tsukumogami originate from items or artifacts that have reached their 100th birthday and thus become alive and aware. Any object of this age, from swords to toys, can become a tsukumogami. Tsukumogami are considered spirits and supernatural beings, as opposed to enchanted items.


So yeah, definitely a Shinto concept.
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ltdomer98
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Kuseru Satsujin wrote:
Any object of this age, from swords to toys, can become a tsukumogami.


....CHUCKY? Shocked
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niitsu kakunoshin
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
ltdomer98 wrote:
Kuseru Satsujin wrote:
Any object of this age, from swords to toys, can become a tsukumogami.


....CHUCKY? Shocked


Laughing
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shikisoku
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Not only Katana.
In Shinto, anythings carry spirit(kami).
There are 8 kami in my grandpa's house.
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Wave Tossed
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
shikisoku wrote:
Not only Katana.
In Shinto, anythings carry spirit(kami).
There are 8 kami in my grandpa's house.
The strange thing is that, though I was brought up in the U.S.A. within a Christian (Episcopal) denomination: I've always had a belief, a "feeling" that objects do carry spirits. I had never even heard of Shinto back in my childhood -- and yet I still believed this, deep in my heart, that objects carry spirits.

I KNOW that my computer programs at work definitely carry spirits. Especially mischievious, evil spirits when they don't have the computers do what I tell them to do. Just Kidding Twisted Evil

Seriously, call me crazy if you wish. But I own a 400-year old wakizashi -- and I can feel the spirit that exists inside the blade.
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Obenjo Kusanosuke
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Wave Tossed wrote:
call me crazy if you wish. But I own a 400-year old wakizashi -- and I can feel the spirit that exists inside the blade.


You haven't been drinking Nagaeyari's tea again, have you? Rolling Eyes

Seriously, I can understand what you mean. That is why I don't go out and buy antique blades. My wife and I had a lengthy talk about this issue over a cup of tea after seeing a spectacular Masamune exhibition at the Nezu Museum in Tokyo about 5 years ago. She says a blade that may have tasted blood is not something she wants around in our house. I agreed. I also kind of believe the old saying that the sword is a reflection of the soul of its owner-hence evil soul = evil sword. I had an interesting talk about this with an author friend of mine when discussing the film, "Sword of Doom" after visiting a real antique sword shop. It was a great conversation to have after having a chance to handle some real antique beauties.
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Miyake
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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:
Wave Tossed wrote:
call me crazy if you wish. But I own a 400-year old wakizashi -- and I can feel the spirit that exists inside the blade.


I also kind of believe the old saying that the sword is a reflection of the soul of its owner-hence evil soul = evil sword.


That is also what I believe
I have recently cleaned and polished a 60 year old Tai Chi sword, and although I can't say I felt a spirit, I felt something different than in more recent swords. When discussing it with my Teacher, he told me this:
"A man training with a certain weapon wants the weapon to react like a part of his body, but the physical cannot transcend, so a piece of the user's soul connects to the sword, making it a part of him."

I think this could be a good explanation as to how certain objects could gain spirit, but I'm just a lowly student.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
In the television-series Nemuri Kyoshiro starring Kataoka Takao, in one of its episodes, Kyoshiro (actor Kataoka Takao) mentions that his Sword is occupied by a FEmale spirit. He explains that is the reason why stays away from ladies, why he stays aloof to them. When he says he is married to his Sword, it sounds more literal than figurative.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
The only spirit evident in a sword is the spirit with which it is wielded. To rely on or blame an intrinsic spirit relieves one of personal responsibility for one's actions. John
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Renzaburo
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
As it's New Year's Day, the Shinto temples locally have their appropriate ceremonies. One Shinto temple has a gagaku dance, and another Shinto temple has a shishimai. Shishimai is an Exorcism, the ritualistic removal of negative spirits.
If any others of you have Shinto temples in your area, you might want to share about those events.
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kitsuno
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Speaking of long dead spirits of long dead forum posts

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