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[The Tokugawa Art Museum] Splendid Swords

Hallo everyone! KONNICHIWA!

I'm the staff of Dentoya Akatsuki who loves traditional techniques!!



From May 28th to July 18th, 2022, consignment sales have been decided at the Tokugawa Art Museum!


The exhibition during this period is "Splendid Swords: Masamune and the Sagami Tradition".













Splendid Swords: Masamune and the Sagami Tradition


Japanese swords have changed with the times.


Soshuden is an "old sword" made from the end of the Heian period to the Civil war era. In this era, there are characteristics depending on the production area, and there are "Yamashiro-den", "Yamato-den", "Bizen-den", "Soshu-den", and "Mino-den" respectively, and they are collectively called "Gokaden" (five sword making school).


"Soshuden" originated in Sagami Province (now Kanagawa Prefecture) in the middle of the Kamakura period.



In fact, when the Kamakura Shogunate was established, there was no famous swordsmith, so Tokiyori Hojo invited a swordsmith to improve the technique for making swords.

At that time, it was said that Shinto Gokunimitsu, the ancestor of Soshuden and a master of daggers, studied under a master craftsman.



After that, it is said that "Masamune" spread the name of Soshuden most.



In the Edo period, the three swordsmiths who were treated exceptionally as famous swordsmiths in the world are called "Tenka Sansaku", and Masamune was selected as one of them.




The characteristic of "Soshuden" is the forging method that is said to be the most difficult in "Gokaden".


This is because it is a forging method that kneads hard and soft steel, which was not a sword-making technique until then.


Heat at a very high temperature and then quench.


As a result, it is lightweight yet has excellent durability, and you can make a sword with a beautiful blade pattern.



The figure is long and wide. The feature is that there is a warp in the center of the blade. The curve of the tip is gently extended and sharp.


During the Kamakura period, Japanese swords were shifting to those that also had artistry.



"Masamune sword" has both excellent curvaceous beauty and sharpness, and is considered to be one of the best Japanese swords.


Even today, Japanese swords have been handed down as works of art, and Tsunahiro Yamamura, a descendant of the 24th generation from Masamune, still runs the "Masamune Crafts Art Factory" as a swordsmith.


I saw his interview article, but it seems that he wanted to be a designer, not a swordsmith from the beginning.


Gradually, he felt the history and artistry of Japanese swords and entered the world of Japanese swords that will remain over time.


However, after all, the training path was so tough that he thought he would stop it many times. First, he said, even the task of cutting charcoal into small pieces to make a fire was difficult to learn.


Craftsmen change the size of the charcoal used depending on the content of the work, and determine the next work by the color of the heated iron. This is exactly "intuition based on the experience of craftsmen"!


In the current digital world, you can redo it with just one button, you can save it in the middle, and even if you make a mistake, you can restore it, but this is not the case in this craftsman's world.




I want to leave this technology with such a long history to future generations.



He said that the wonderful thing about "Masamune" is that it looks bigger than the real thing and the way it shines is amazing.



Please take a look at the real thing.



Tokugawa Art Museum website

https://www.tokugawa-art-museum.jp/exhibits/planned/2022/0528-1/




Currently, "Dentoya Akatsuki" products are getting more and more attention as they can be handled at some museums in Japan.


I want to continue to convey the splendor of Tamahagane and traditional crafts to many people!!






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Due to the recent surge in material prices and transportation prices, the prices of some products have been raised since April 1.


We apologize for the inconvenience, and thank you for your understanding.



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