What is the inscription of the Japanese sword besides the name of the sword maker?
Japan promulgated the Dabao Law in 702 AD, which is the second year of Dabao, stipulating that swordsmiths must engrave their swords. That was the era of the legendary sword craftsman who made Ko Karasuma, known as the ancestor of Japanese swords. This was a clue to form the list of more than 23,000 sword craftsmen we know today, although some of them have only existed in historical records. in.
[Katana inscription and wakizashi inscription]
The so-called sword inscription, the main body is the name of the sword worker, generally not the real name, but the "stage name" similar to the sword worker. The traditional sword inscription is engraved on the "table" of the blade, that is, the side facing the outside when worn. In the same way, the side facing the body when worn is called "li". Tachi and katana, wakizashi, and tanto are worn in different ways. Therefore, the distinction between the exterior and the interior is also the opposite. This is the difference between the so-called tachi and katana.
The name of the sword should be engraved on the table, and on the other side the production time may be engraved, called the "year inscription", such as "August Day, Jiayong First Year"; or engrave a sentence or two of the reason for making this sword and who made it, For example, "Honda Hida Shouzhi Nei", this is also called "Zhuwenda", which is made by a swordmaker after receiving a special order; or engraving a name on the sword, such as "Chaolan" or "Mura Yu"; or One or two sentimental greetings, such as "Those who have nothing to do with their hearts", "Serve the country with their hearts", and so on. Some will engrave the result of the trial cut, that is, the "judgment inscription", which will be discussed in detail later. In addition, there are a handful of swords whose inscriptions are engraved on the ridge of the blade. For example, the Gushan Zong sub-model wrote the famous "Xiaolong Jingguang". The surface and the inside of the blade are all carved according to the original inscription. , And Zongci’s own inscription is placed on the stem. This practice is not a rule, and most of it is done out of personal taste.
In short, a certain sword worker did a good job with a sword and was recognized by the government, so the court issued a letter with an honorary title for encouragement, without the corresponding power and salary.
Swordsmen in the ancient sword period rarely saw the receiving inscription, and those few were basically concentrated in the late Warring States period. The earliest acceptance inscription recorded in the materials is Mino Swordsman Kanko in the Mingying period, who was given the title of Izumi Mamoru. The next ones are more famous. Takeda Shingen's famous worker Izumori Kenda, and Mutsushou Dao is also more famous. He is the famous worker of Jindo, Yoshido, Raijindo and Zhengjun's father.
After the end of the Warring States period, the inscriptions of Reception sprung up like bamboo shoots after a rain. Counting those new swordsmiths who are familiar to everyone, there are really not many who have not received the inscription. It is said that Iga Shoukindo, known as the "Japanese blacksmith" among the three families with good relations with the imperial court, offered bribes to the imperial court and wrote letters of recommendation as a precedent for his disciples to obtain inscriptions. As a result, many swordsmiths have obtained the same or similar official names as their own for their disciples. Therefore, we often see that several generations of swordsmiths have used the same official name "XX Shou" or "XX Da掾", just like XX The disciples and disciples of Izumori are the same as Izumori.
Ju is the head responsible for specific affairs, and the head is the official. Large countries, and important countries, such as the Musashi country centered on Edo, are called Osue, and the small country is Osue, and so is the target. Of course, Xiaomu Xiaomu is more ugly, so swordsmiths don't want these two official names, like Musashi Omi and Omi Omi, it sounds more prestigious.
There are also some special official positions that can be seen in the sword inscriptions. For example, forging a sword in front of General Tokugawa Yoshizong, he was personally awarded by the general to "Master Mizusho" Masayo, and "Master of horses" a Heiandai. These two Official positions were originally titles in the Imperial Palace.
In addition, the shogun Sakan, the guard lieutenant of Zuo/Youemon, and even Murata, who are often seen in the ancient sword inscriptions, are also ancient official positions, but today they are not included in the category of "acceptance inscriptions" awarded by the Japanese court. discuss.
In the early days of ancient swordsmen, sword workers often simply put their own names, such as "An Gang", "Zheng Heng", or add their own place names and country names, such as "Biqian Guoyoucheng", "Waozhou Zushi Dongguang" ". Some will also add their own real name or name of the path, such as "Sagami Kunigoro enters the road authentic sect", "Bizen Kunizumi Longfune and Sanzaemon Yusada", "Bizen Captain Hikaru" became a monk. After that, he used his legal name "Shunqing". In order to enhance their identity, some swordsmen added "Fujiwara", "Hei", "Gen", and "Tachibana" to themselves in the sword inscriptions, which are different from those with no name and no surname. civilian.
Since the name of the sword is similar to the stage name, it is likely to be inherited by the descendants of the sword worker, so there will be several successive generations of Jianyuan, Jianding, Kangji, Zhongji, etc. At the same time or in different eras, swordsmen of different sects will use the same sword inscription, especially in the ancient sword period. There are many people with the same name, which often makes it difficult for beginners to identify. At this time, the information such as the region and official position added in front of the knife worker's name is very important for identifying the knife worker.
New knives Some knives use imported raw iron forging knives, which are often reflected in the sword inscriptions, such as "Kang Ji is made of Nanban iron", "Hizen National Bank is forged with Alanta". Some swordsmen will add forging methods to the inscription of the sword, such as Omura Gabu's "Forging with Fifteen True Armor".
[No inscription and added inscription]
Wuming means that there is no inscription on the blade. It is also possible that the swordsmith did not make an inscription after the sword was made, which is called Shengshen Wuming. Some people say that the swordsmith doesn't use the inscription because the sword is not well done. I think it should be treated in a specific situation and cannot be generalized. Some swordsmiths have many non-ming swords, and there are also very high-level works. In addition, like the early Yamato swordsmen of ancient swords, many of them made swords for the monks and soldiers of the monastery, and they did not remember the rules.
There is also a case of Wuming where the blade is greatly shortened, and the part of the sword is also cut off, so it becomes a Wuming sword. This type of sword is known as Omo on the Unmarked, and it is very common among ancient swords, especially famous swords before the Muromachi period. There are some famous swords that have been passed down from generation to generation in the hands of generals and daimyos. It doesn't matter if there is no inscription. Because of the orderly inheritance, the identity of the swords is very clear. Some Wuming knives have several methods in order to show their integrity.
Zhu inscription, the later appraiser dipped his pen in the lacquer, and wrote the name of the knife on the stem for later judgment. This practice is mostly used on knives that produce stems without names.
Some ancient swords without inscriptions were appraised by later swordsmiths. They sometimes engraved the appraisal results and also engraved their own names to show their importance.
In addition, there are foldback inscriptions and forehead inscriptions, which belong to the practice of preserving the original knife inscription in the case of need to sharpen it.
Trial cutting, which has been popular since the early Edo period, directly proves the cutting ability of the sword. Many trial-cutters like to add the trial-cut results to the stem (basically on the inside), and many knives who love such records also pursue the well-known trial-cut results, and a small number of knives get better trial-cut results later , And will add new results. Most of the judging inscriptions were later added by the slashers, but a small part was carved by the knifemaker himself.
The content of the judging inscription is nothing more than indicating the parts of the human body that have been cut in the earth altar, such as "flank hair", "wife", "goose gold", "two cars", etc., which represent different parts, or a corpse cut at once Quantity: "two つ胴", "three つ胴" and even "four つ胴" and "five つ胴" or more.
【False Inscriptions and Dai Inscriptions】
The swords made by famous swords can usually be sold at a high price. Therefore, forging famous work products for profiteering has occurred in ancient times. The most common method is to use Wuming swords with similar styles to engrave the inscriptions of famous swords. For pseudo-inscription. Therefore, the identification of sword inscriptions has also become one of the necessary content for sword identification. We won’t talk about the specific types and identification of pseudo-inscriptions here. Generally speaking, ancient pseudo-inscriptions are often due to insufficient research on the original sword and insufficient data. Therefore, most of the pseudo-inscriptions are based on the structure of the strokes, the cutting technique, and the applicable age. There are horse feet to be found, which provides a certain rule for the research of false inscriptions.
Many swordsmiths often use their disciples to write inscriptions on their behalf in their later years. For example, many swords made by Izumi Shouguozhen in his later years are made by his son Inoue, and this kind of inscription is very different from pseudo inscriptions.
There are also some swordsman’s inscriptions, almost all of which are made by specialists. For example, the series of swordsmanship in the "Bizen Longfun X-ray". In different periods, the inscriptions are basically the same. Most researchers believe that there is a high possibility that they are local. There is a dedicated person to mark. In addition, the dozens of objects produced by the "Youding Workshop" in Mobiqian have the six-character inscription "Beijing Chief Ship Youding". For those with no age inscriptions, due to the characteristics of assembly line operations, most of the sword inscriptions are carved by special personnel.