Quest For Japan Logo-Ver7

Osafune in Okayama : The land of Japanese sword – Part 3 –

Date Published: Last Update:2015/05/20 Travel & View point , , , , , ,

Bizen Osafune Japanese sword museum (2)

In this post, I’m going to introduce the rest of the craftsmen from the craft centre – “nu-shi”, “tsuka-maki-shi” and “choukin-shi” / “tsuba-shi”, the museum and the official website.

 

[“Nu-shi” (lit. coating master)]

Coating patterns

- Coating patterns -

“Nu-shi” coats a scabbard for “koshirae” (decorative scabbard) with Japanese lacquer.
The only craftsman I saw working on the day I visited the centre.
I was not sure if I could interrupt him because he looked so concentrated.
After all, I couldn’t even take a photo let alone talk to him.

Coating process

- Coating process -

Native resin of Japanese lacquer has waterproof and moisture-proof effect.
“Nu-shi” brushes a scabbard with lacquer, dries it in a “muro” (drying room), polishes it, then repeats this process again and again.
In the end, the layers of lacquer become a thick coating and that makes the scabbard stronger and more beautiful.
To finish the coating, it takes one to three months.

 

– Makie –

Sometimes “Makie-shi” (lit. gold / silver lacquer master) adds lacquer decoration sprinkled with metal powder on a coated scabbard.

"Makie" on Japanese lacquered ware

- "Makie" on Japanese lacquered ware -
Photo from Ashinari

 

[“Tuka-maki-shi” (lit. hilt-wrapping master)]

Working place for "tsuka-maki-shi"

“Tuka-maki-shi” processes a base for a hilt which usually “saya-shi” makes.
He / She wraps the hilt with ray skin, and twists strings around it to strengthen it as well as to make it easier to grip firmly.

"Tsuka-maki-shi" twisting strings around a hilt

- "Tsuka-maki-shi" twisting strings around a hilt -
Image from the description board in the room.

Tsukamaki pattern

- Different ways of twisting -
Image from the description board in the room.

 

[“Toushin-choukoku” (lit. blade carving)]

Working place for "choukin-shi"

“Souken-kinkou” (lit. a metal worker who make parts for swords) or “Choukin-shi” (lit. a person who engraves metal) carves blades, makes metal parts like “tsuba”.
I’m not sure if they forge metal as well or just do engraving.

Tsuba part

- "Tsuba" of my katana key ring -
A metal part between blade and hilt for the protection of the hand.

Carved blades seemed to be considered as a symbol of power among local ruling families in the old times (around between the 4th and 7th century).
When samurai began to gain power, blade engraving was done to make a sword lighter without decreasing in strength or to show their religious faith (in this case, its design was of course Buddhism-related).
Then, peaceful time had come, it was getting more decorative like Japanese apricot, Chinese poetry, etc.

 

[About the official website]

Omamori-gatana

- Omamori-gatana (lit. katana for protection) -
I bought this at the museum shop (1500 yen).
About 20 cm (approx. 8 inch).
"Mamori-gatana" ("O" is a prefix to show respect) is a short sword to protect yourself.
However, this one is just a paper knife in spite of the word "omamori-gatana" carved on the scabbard.

Official English website is here.
The English website has got only general information on this institution and Japanese sword, while Japanese one has more details including the schedule of swordsmithing demonstration and the latest news.
So, it would be good to take a look at the home page of the Japanese website even if you can’t read Japanese.

 

– Guideline to understand the useful information in the Japanese website –

All the information is subject to change.
As of December 2014, there is a link to a PDF file for a discount voucher in the “Information” area of the home page.
Print it out and show it when you buy your ticket.
You will get 100 yen off from the usual fee, but you cannot use it when extra fee is charged for a special exhibition.
I didn’t notice this voucher, so I paid full price.

In the lower part of the home page, there is a calendar for two months.
The institution is closed on the blue-coloured days.
The yellow day means that they offer a paid lesson to make a small sword.
(It’s held on every first and third Saturdays of the month from 10 am to 4 pm.)
The red one means traditional swordsmithing demonstration can be seen at the forge.
(Every second Sunday, from 11 am to noon and 2 pm to 3 pm.)
The green one is the day they offer a lesson how to take care of a Japanese sword.
You need to book in advance for this lesson and I’m not sure whether it’s free or not.

On the left of the calendar, schedules of craftsmen are written.
There seems to be more craftsmen on Sundays.

 

Related posts:
#Osafune (1) (2)
#Katana : Japanese sword (1) (2)

The following two tabs change content below.

kara

A Japanese living in Okayama. A proud "Otaku"! Loves animals, snacks, manga, games (PC, iPad, Nintendo DS, PSP), foreign TV dramas, traveling and football (soccer).

Sponsored Links

  • Pocket
  • 1 follow us in feedly

Related Article/s:

yakushiji_night

Nara Quest : Yakushiji Temple (薬師寺)

The history of Yakushiji Temple Late in the 7th century(A.D.680), the erection of Yakushiji was planned Emperor Temmu to pray for the recovery of his Empress from a serious illness. The construction of Yakushiji on the site of Asuka, the south part of Nara, in the Fujiwara Capital, was not completed before the Emperor’s death. […]

Read Article

Shousou-in 2

Time Machine: Shousou-in Exhibition, Nara

What is “Shousou-in”? “Shousou” was a term for a repository owned and controlled by government offices or major temples during the Nara (710 – 784) and Heian periods (794 – 1185). “Shousou-in” meant the area where a group of “shousou” were built. Now, only one storehouse of “shousou-in” is existent, located at the temple Toudai-ji, […]

Read Article

School in Takahashi

Takahashi in Okayama, Japan -Part 2-

The Bicchuu Matsuyama Castle in Takahashi city(2) When I reached the top, I found a tea server. “Bicchuu Uji-cha”, a local tea was served and it was free. “Thank god, I can cool my throat”, I thought, but surprisingly it was steaming hot! I didn’t want to waste my tea, so I waited until it […]

Read Article

Torii

How to distinguish shinto shrines from buddhist temples.

If you are sightseeing in Japan, in many cases, you may have the chance to visit different temples and shrines . At this time, you will be troubled for the different manners of temples and shrines. (Because these are the buildings of another religion.)   But, if you understand a few key points, it is […]

Read Article

no image

Nabana no Sato Winter Illumination – Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Yes, march is already ending today and the winter chill has slowly abated making way for spring, but if you still can’t get enough of winter and  you want to prolong that winter holiday feeling, head over to Mie Prefecture and visit Nabana no Sato on the island of Nagashima in Kuwana City. Nabana no […]

Read Article

Twin beds, Intercontinental Osaka

To visit Japan in a typhoon season – Part 1 –

In August of 2014, my friend and I planned to visit an ancient burial mound called “Imashiro-zuka kofun” in Osaka. We booked a hotel called “Intercontinental Osaka” for two nights, where it is accessible directly from the JR Osaka station through a skybridge. It was a typhoon season, but we assumed it would be gone […]

Read Article

A Weekend in Nagasaki

One weekend in June, my friend and I went to Nagasaki City for a weekend trip. Nagasaki City is the capital of Nagasaki Prefecture on the island of Kyushu. When we arrived at the Nagasaki station, we immediately went to their tourist help desk. Good thing there was an English speaking attendant who helped us […]

Read Article

DSCN4045

Learning, More Fun in Nagoya City Science Museum

Since grade school, I always like science museums. Learning outside the four corners of the classroom or beyond the books and wiki pages I read is fun and more exciting than sitting for hours. Interactivity is the key here. It is because I learn and remember more when I can use more than one of […]

Read Article

IMG_0312

Omihachiman and the man named William Merrell Vories – Part 1

Every time I visit Japan for work, one of the many highlights I look forward during my stay is to get to travel with my Japanese language teacher – I fondly call her sensei. We have traveled together to so many different tourist destinations around Kyoto and Okayama. Having her as a travel buddy is […]

Read Article

Swordsmith in Osafune

Osafune in Okayama: The land of Japanese sword – Part 1 –

Bizen country, its main area was southern part of the present Okayama prefecture, was very famous for swordsmithing. It’s also famous for pottery called “Bizen-yaki”, but in this post, I’m going to focus on swordsmithing only.   Swordsmiths in Bizen There were a great number of swordsmiths in Bizen. According to several websites, it seems […]

Read Article

Sponsored Links

Leave a Reply

Sponsored Links

  • Google+
    InstagramInstagram
PAGE TOP ↑