Osafune in Okayama : The land of Japanese sword – Part 3 –
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)]
“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.
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.
[“Tuka-maki-shi” (lit. hilt-wrapping master)]
“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.
[“Toushin-choukoku” (lit. blade carving)]
“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.
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]
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.
Latest posts by kara (see all)
- Basic Japanese : “Sumimasen” – “Thank you” in Japanese - June 24, 2015
- Basic Japanese : “Arigatou” – “Thank you” in Japanese - May 29, 2015
- Basic Japanese : “Go-chisou sama” – Phrase after meal - May 27, 2015
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 […]
Dazaifu Tenman-guu : The “ema-dou” area and around the pond The “ema-dou” (ema house) area There is a small square where “ema-dou” is located. “Ema” is a wooden plaques with people’s wishes and/or appreciation to God. The “ema-dou” was built in 1813, and it’s the biggest and oldest existent “ema-dou” in Kyushu island. A “sake” […]
Talking about Tokyo, I could think of tall buildings, high bridges, and a well-developed City. That is what comes out of my mind before I went to Japan. When I was in Japan, we had our trip to Tokyo and we visited some of the famous places there and I could say, Tokyo is not […]
In the last post about Okayama Korakuen, I introduced you the different scenic spots, yearly events and even animals that can be found in the garden. If you haven’t read it yet, check it here. In this post, I’ll be talking about the shops and other services Okayama Korakuen has to offer. Shops within Okayama […]
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. […]
I have never been to any form of hunting trip till my friends and I head out to Kyoto this year to experience Momijigari which literally translates to maple leaf (momiji) hunting (gari). Just like Hanami (sakura viewing) in spring, Momijigari in autumn is well rooted in the Japanese culture and recently has also gained […]
It was early autumn when I first had the chance to travel to the city of Kyoto with my Japanese teacher and a colleague from work. Visiting a number of tourist attractions, one place stood apart from all of them – the Golden Pavilion or Kinkaku-ji. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts sakura […]
Other places to see in Takahashi (2) [Takahashi church] Built in 1889, thanks to donations from Christians. This is the oldest church in Okayama prefecture. In Takahashi, Christian missions were started in 1879, and Christianity rapidly developed after Jou Niijima visited the city the next year. – About Jou Niijima – Jou Niijima was the […]
Almost everything in Japan is ranked. From top gardens to top temples. Even celebrities and manga/anime characters are ranked too. They can be based on popularity or something more particular. Nihon Sankei(日本三景) or Japan’s Three Most Scenic Views is one of those list when it comes to tourist spots and sightseeing. Japan’s Three Most Scenic […]
One of the longest running manga and anime today is Meitantei Conan (lit. Great Detective Conan) or known as Case Closed in the West. To date, the manga has more than 80 volumes and the anime has more than 700 episodes. For those who are not familiar with it, it is about highschool detective who […]