swordgirl
swordgirl:

johndarnielle:

art-of-swords:

[ NEWS ] Scholars confirm first discovery of Japanese sword from master bladesmith Masamune in 150 years
by Casey Baseel
Should you visit a history museum in Japan, and, like I do, make an immediate beeline for the collections of samurai armor and weaponry, you might be surprised to notice that Japanese swords are customarily displayed with the stitching removed from the hilt. Visually, it sort of dampens the impact, since the remaining skinny slab of metal is a lot less evocative of it actually being gripped and wielded by one of Japan’s warriors of ages past.
The reason this is done, though, is because many Japanese swordsmiths would “sign” their works by etching their names into the metal of the hilt. Some craftsmen achieved almost legendary status, becoming folk heroes whose names are widely known even today.
The most respected of all, though, was Masamune, whose reluctance to sign his blades has made identifying them difficult. But difficult and impossible are two different things, and for the first time in over a century, a sword has been confirmed by historians as being the creation of the master himself.
Masamune was active during the late 13th and early 14th centuries, the part of Japan that today is part of Kanagawa Prefecture. He lived his life during the Kamakura Period, when the samurai class saw the most dramatic rise in its power over Japan.
Producing the highest-quality blades during a time of military power made Masamune’s swords extremely prized. Today, the only swordsmith who can approach his exalted historical status is Muramasa, who was born hundreds of years later. Justified or not, Muramasa is said to have been psychologically imbalanced and prone to violence. Superstition holds that these traits were passed on to the swords he forged, and as such Masamune’s are often held to be the superior weapons.
However, it can be hard to keep track of weapons in a country that’s gone through as many civil wars, revolutions, and occupations as Japan has, no matter how impressive their pedigree. Last year, a man brought a sword, which had found its way into his personal property, to the Kyoto National Museum to be appraised. Historian and sword scholar Taeko Watanabe spent the months between then and now studying the blade, and has recently announce her conclusion that it is a Masamune.
"Judging from its unique characteristics such as the pattern that can be seen in the side of the blade… it was unmistakably forged by Masamune."
The particular sword, which Watanabe says is called the Shimazu Masamune, had been given in 1862 by Iemochi, the 14th Tokugawa shogun, to the Imperial Family to mark his marriage to Princess Kazunomiya, also known as Princess Kazu.
"By presenting such a masterwork to the Imperial Family, Iemochi showed the deepest appreciation and highest respect," Watanabe commented.
Following this, the sword’s whereabouts were unknown until its anonymous owner brought it to the museum in Kyoto. It is the first blade to be confirmed as a Masamune in roughly 150 years.

Source: Copyright © 2014 Rocket News 24


thinkin about swords this morning
this is some very very cool sword lore

Saw the end of this first and thought it was Cricket, but then it was JD. You guys post very similar things! Also, this is awesome, always up for some swordlore.

You know, I did almost reblog it.  Thanks for being the tipping point, and for comparing me to that fascinating mind. 

swordgirl:

johndarnielle:

art-of-swords:

[ NEWS ] Scholars confirm first discovery of Japanese sword from master bladesmith Masamune in 150 years

  • by Casey Baseel

Should you visit a history museum in Japan, and, like I do, make an immediate beeline for the collections of samurai armor and weaponry, you might be surprised to notice that Japanese swords are customarily displayed with the stitching removed from the hilt. Visually, it sort of dampens the impact, since the remaining skinny slab of metal is a lot less evocative of it actually being gripped and wielded by one of Japan’s warriors of ages past.

The reason this is done, though, is because many Japanese swordsmiths would “sign” their works by etching their names into the metal of the hilt. Some craftsmen achieved almost legendary status, becoming folk heroes whose names are widely known even today.

The most respected of all, though, was Masamune, whose reluctance to sign his blades has made identifying them difficult. But difficult and impossible are two different things, and for the first time in over a century, a sword has been confirmed by historians as being the creation of the master himself.

Masamune was active during the late 13th and early 14th centuries, the part of Japan that today is part of Kanagawa Prefecture. He lived his life during the Kamakura Period, when the samurai class saw the most dramatic rise in its power over Japan.

Producing the highest-quality blades during a time of military power made Masamune’s swords extremely prized. Today, the only swordsmith who can approach his exalted historical status is Muramasa, who was born hundreds of years later. Justified or not, Muramasa is said to have been psychologically imbalanced and prone to violence. Superstition holds that these traits were passed on to the swords he forged, and as such Masamune’s are often held to be the superior weapons.

However, it can be hard to keep track of weapons in a country that’s gone through as many civil wars, revolutions, and occupations as Japan has, no matter how impressive their pedigree. Last year, a man brought a sword, which had found its way into his personal property, to the Kyoto National Museum to be appraised. Historian and sword scholar Taeko Watanabe spent the months between then and now studying the blade, and has recently announce her conclusion that it is a Masamune.

"Judging from its unique characteristics such as the pattern that can be seen in the side of the blade… it was unmistakably forged by Masamune."

The particular sword, which Watanabe says is called the Shimazu Masamune, had been given in 1862 by Iemochi, the 14th Tokugawa shogun, to the Imperial Family to mark his marriage to Princess Kazunomiya, also known as Princess Kazu.

"By presenting such a masterwork to the Imperial Family, Iemochi showed the deepest appreciation and highest respect," Watanabe commented.

Following this, the sword’s whereabouts were unknown until its anonymous owner brought it to the museum in Kyoto. It is the first blade to be confirmed as a Masamune in roughly 150 years.

Source: Copyright © 2014 Rocket News 24

thinkin about swords this morning

this is some very very cool sword lore

Saw the end of this first and thought it was Cricket, but then it was JD. You guys post very similar things! Also, this is awesome, always up for some swordlore.

You know, I did almost reblog it.  Thanks for being the tipping point, and for comparing me to that fascinating mind. 

deanobanion
deanobanion:


"Horsemanning, or fake beheading, was a popular way to pose in a photograph in the 1920’s. Sometimes spelled horsemaning, the horsemanning photo fad derives its name from the Headless Horseman, a character from “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

(x)

This remains one of my favorite pictures ever.
Also, I am all about bringing horsemanning back.

deanobanion:

"Horsemanning, or fake beheading, was a popular way to pose in a photograph in the 1920’s. Sometimes spelled horsemaning, the horsemanning photo fad derives its name from the Headless Horseman, a character from “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

(x)

This remains one of my favorite pictures ever.

Also, I am all about bringing horsemanning back.

wesleyhill
noahtoly:

Swords into plowshares, literally
Given the state of world affairs, I can’t think of anything more appropriate to post than my favorite photo from our recent road trip. During the trip, we stopped by the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, the site of some of the US Civil War’s fiercest fighting and a turning point in the war.
The battles played out not just over days or weeks, but over months, as Union and Confederate forces traded losses (yes, that seems the right way to put it) in an effort to control Chattanooga, “The Gateway to the Deep South,” a city of strategic importance because of the convergence of railroads and waterways.
Two decisive battles, one at the Chickamauga Battlefield Site and one at the Lookout Mountain Battlefield Site, bracketed a months-long siege of Union troops that had retreated to the city after losing in their initial confrontations with Confederate troops. The town was apparently decimated by the siege, during which the Union forces eventually resorted to dismantling homes to use their lumber for firewood.
Sometime after the fighting was over, a woman found a bayonet in a field, and someone in the Roark family “bent and flattened” the blade to make it into a sugar cane knife, which you can see in the photo. The Roark family beat this “sword” into a “plowshare.” As we consider the unrest and violence around the world, this is a symbol of what we hope for. Let us pray for the day when, like the Roark family, we can beat our swords into plowshares.

noahtoly:

Swords into plowshares, literally

Given the state of world affairs, I can’t think of anything more appropriate to post than my favorite photo from our recent road trip. During the trip, we stopped by the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, the site of some of the US Civil War’s fiercest fighting and a turning point in the war.

The battles played out not just over days or weeks, but over months, as Union and Confederate forces traded losses (yes, that seems the right way to put it) in an effort to control Chattanooga, “The Gateway to the Deep South,” a city of strategic importance because of the convergence of railroads and waterways.

Two decisive battles, one at the Chickamauga Battlefield Site and one at the Lookout Mountain Battlefield Site, bracketed a months-long siege of Union troops that had retreated to the city after losing in their initial confrontations with Confederate troops. The town was apparently decimated by the siege, during which the Union forces eventually resorted to dismantling homes to use their lumber for firewood.

Sometime after the fighting was over, a woman found a bayonet in a field, and someone in the Roark family “bent and flattened” the blade to make it into a sugar cane knife, which you can see in the photo. The Roark family beat this “sword” into a “plowshare.” As we consider the unrest and violence around the world, this is a symbol of what we hope for. Let us pray for the day when, like the Roark family, we can beat our swords into plowshares.

naminganimals

artofthedarkages:

These are two illuminated gospel books were made between 300-700 AD at Abba Garima Monastery in Ethiopia.

The Garima Gospels contain twenty eight full-page illuminations; each one bursting with color. The remarkably extant book covers are decorated with gold, silver, and holes where gems had been placed.

According to the oral history of the monastery, the manuscripts were scribed and illustrated by Abba Garima himself in the 490s AD. Thus, the Garima Gospels were acknowledged by the monks as being extremely old and religiously valuable.

The handful of Western scholars who managed to venture to Abba Garima Monastery upon their inspection of the manuscripts suspected some Mediterranean influence, but concluded that the illuminations were within a firmly conventional and uninteresting style of 12th-14th century Ethiopian painting.

It was not until 2000, when the French scholar Jaques Mercier brought fragments of the manuscripts’ parchment to Oxford University for radiocarbon dating, that the Garima Gospels were pushed into the international spotlight as one of the oldest (and most well preserved) illuminated gospel books.

Now, the Garima Gospels are considered one of the artistic wonders of the world: a priceless treasure from the ancient world preserved in the most unlikely of places.

The difficulty of actually seeing these extraordinary manuscripts—many of them are hoarded away in the mountain monasteries of Ethiopia—has kept the art historical community from bringing to light what could be a vast and beautiful strain of Late Antique painted religious books.

Additionally, it was not until scholars found a possible connection that the manuscripts from Africa shared with the “Western tradition” that they decided it was worthy of actually being looked at!

The Garima Gospels are both heartening and frustrating in this regard…

archaeologicalnews

Hidden Beached Whale Revealed in 17th-Century Dutch Painting

archaeologicalnews:

image

When art conservators in the United Kingdom were cleaning a 17th-century Dutch seascape, they found a surprise: an image of a beached whale that had been hidden for at least 150 years.

Until recently, the painting — “View of Scheveningen Sands,” created by Hendrick van Anthonissen around 1641 — simply showed groups of people gathered on a beach in The Hague in the Netherlands.

"It seemed a very unassuming painting depicting a very calm beach scene set in winter," Shan Kuang, a conservation student at the University of Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum, said in a video explaining the strange find. Read more.

Surprise whale!

archaeologicalnews

Battered pot found in Cornish garage unlocks Egypt excavation secrets

archaeologicalnews:

image

A battered pot found in a garage in Cornwall, broken in antiquity and broken again and mended with superglue some 5,500 years later, was treasure – but the scruffy little cardboard label it held is now unlocking a lost history of finds from excavations in Egypt scattered across the world in the late 19th century.

The pot came with an odd family legend that back in the 1950s it was accepted in lieu of a fare by a taxi driver in High Wycombe. Alice Stevenson, curator at the Petrie Museum in London, which among its 80,000 objects has the original excavation records and hundreds of pieces from the same Egyptian cemetery, believes the story is true and may even have identified the mysterious passenger. Read more.

letsprocrastinap

bebinn:

Maude Callen delivered hundreds of babies over 60 years as a nurse midwife in South Carolina. She also provided general health care to her poverty-stricken, mostly black Pineville community.

A spread in LIFE magazine by W. Eugene Smith inspired thousands of dollars in donations to support her work, which she used to build a clinic in Pineville. She served there until her retirement in 1971.