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Thread: Oi no Nezame

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    Default Oi no Nezame

    OI NO NEZAME

    This is the first translation of the journal entitled Oi no nezame ( Wakeful nights of the Aged) written by the Bakumatsu period Swordsmith Yamaura Saneo (Masao) (1804 - 1871), brother to the enigmatic Kiyomaro.

    The Journal documents the heartfelt emotions of a old man looking back on the events of his life.

    It is signed Yū-un-sai Toshinaga, the Art name which he used last.

    I am indebted to the patience and skill of Mrs Mieko Gray, who tirelessly translated from Edo period Japanese into Modern Japanese and then into English.

    The project has been five years in total, I hope you will find it of use.


    Oi No Nezame in Edo Period Japanese

    山浦真雄 「老いの寝覚め」(全文)

    老の身能寝さめ可ち那るをい可にせん 独ともし火にむ可ひてつ久づ久おもひ侍るに我が好刀工の道多るや其うつわの利害得失盤さら那り 刃味の源趣位の高下に至る迄も同じ手して作里出ける多に お那じさまに盤出来ぬ ものなるを人の手して造り多らんはいふも可ひなき事になん有ける

     さて其同じ可良ぬが那かに都きて もろもろ能名工多ちの短なる所を知りてこれを捨て其長なる処をとりて帰せしめ 志可してのち能衆妙の門に悟入し多らまし可ばげに天の下の良工名作とも仰がれぬべしとぞおもふ こ こにいにしへよ里有とし有ける世の名剣どもの上につきて考るに 剣てふもののよし安しをあげつろはんに盤 安那可知利鈍のうへのみにあら須 おのつ可ら其徳其威備は里ぬれは ぬ可ねとも鬼神おそ礼 ふるは祢とも強 敵も伏しぬべからしめるを社た可らともいふ也けれ さ礼盤かしこ可れと 大御剣を奉始わ可日のもとにして盤 国の守世の守ともなりぬべきもの此剣の外やはある 可具もとふとき剣なれば そを作らん人は常に先我が志 を高く

     清らかにして心に可可る事那く澄て 仁義信勇自然と備を肝要と心可くべき事曾可し 扨剣作らんとおもふ時は 先平素錬磨し置多る精神をも者ら槌に凝らし 我が身玉の如く大空も快く晴 わ可神静にして鬼神頭の上に 在が如く 左右に現るる可如久なる時を得て 殺人刀より活人刀を作得て 国の守代の守ともなれ可しと打立るとき盤い可那る鬼神強敵といふとも などかおそ礼ざらんや さるを近頃の人々はかかる筋の心得多らんもの甚 稀也けり 曾盤わ可道の本意那らぬのみにあら須 さる人の作り多らんもの帯びな須人さへに花な可る遍し

     おのれわかか里し時撃剣の技をたしなみて 年の十三斗の頃より志き里に太刀を得まほしくおもひ 是曾能きと見る器得毎に利鈍を試み 用法を考ひ 佩て軽重をは可り 長短得失に至る迄も座臥進退につけ都都ためしも て二百余刀に及べり されど一ふりだにも心に叶ものあらざりれり ここに水心子正秀といへる人は其頃の名誉也ければ その許にたづ年行て造刀の事を頼みけるに 快よくうけ引侍りて 寒き程の霜乃刃をば作り出してた びけり おのれう礼し久おもひて例の如く試みるに 心ゆ可祢ば 今一手際と望ける程に

     正秀大に腹たてていふよふ わ礼積年鍛する所千余刀に及びぬれと三都可らためして出しつる器再びなといはれし事おぼへ那し 曾もけし可らぬ人哉などと散々にののしられ里
    おのれいひけるはいやとよ わ可望ところは人と異先肝要とする所は姿也 身に帯する時はたとふに可のけものらや角のおのづ可らなる如く 剣と身と相わすれ 嶮岨をわたり遠路をゆ久とも腰都可れ須勇気たゆまぬを社よ しと盤すれ 又反り浅きは佩ひ心よから寿

     祓に不便也 切味に婦うして堅物にかかりてはのるぞかし 戦争にはともすれば平打の難あり かかる得失利害を含給へて先生の業して打立る時は 金気充実してと可ぬ程より身潤を生じ 試み寿して疑なき刀の出来るも のならんと曾おもふ

     されば新刀鍛冶数百家有といへとも たくら婦べき物なき名刀也とおもふ可故に望なりといふ 正秀此事を聞て忽色気を直し御身壮年に似合ぬおしろき事いふ人那りさら者打進らせん寿るものを手伝して給へとて 相鎚せ さ勢て三七日程にまたなき程に曾作里出しける 其時此正秀をしも師とも頼み 此道の技折してほしうはおもひつれとやみぬ 今其折の事のもひ出るに都け 近頃我が自得しつる古伝の鍛法も 可の正秀におひてものいへし 程よりぞ 淵原しつるもおほ可んめり

     曾れよりあまたの年月を経て後 おのれ二十六という年 刀剣の高下勝劣を倩考るに 刀工世々に衰へて 鎮護の要器たる事を旨として鍛する刀工甚稀也けり 文政の今に及んでいよいよ衰へ 皆世渡りの業と成行人目を 惑す業而己長じ 自然と真実を失ひ 精神なき物おふ久 是ぞ世の守と信す遍きつるぎ見へざれば 是も天気のなす事とはおもひな可らも 頼みなき事とおもひ おのれ古伝の鍛法をさ久り 自可ら造りて佩刀となさん事を おもひ立て 河村三郎寿隆といへる人に逢て 始て此道に入立侍りたりける 此人盤諸国修行しぬれば 慶長この可たの事は 衆工の妙所を自得し

     花やかなる事はおさおさ いにしへ人も及ぬ程な可ら いにしへの法則には心得薄き可たなれば 其の妙趣におゐては い可可有とおもふも多可りける

     おのれ此人のもとに通へつる事二とせ斗にして 其後は家に安里てあまね久古今の鍛法をさ久りて打試みける事とはなしぬ

     昼は諸用の多ければ 夜毎に弟也ける清麿と二人して精を砕きて数多の都るぎ作立て侍るほどに またの夜さり更多けての知 い可に吹くとも可年乃わかざる事有けり

     その程は父の諱信風いまそ可里つる時なれば 傍よ里見給ひて 各よ気の疲たらんと給ひけるを 可げにて母聞給ひもとより常ならぬ事には気がかり有る性なれば 酒持出てたび給ひれり 兄弟ほっする寿じなれば 清麿 是は有難し有難しとこおどりしてよろこび 父母にも進らせ おのれらものみて時うつりとりかかり吹立侍りれり可年のわ久事始には似ず いかにも快く鑠きぬるを面白久おもへ 夜のあくるも知ら寿鍛侍りけり 此事を考 るに始めわ可ざりしは 夜半極陰の時なればなり の知の鑠きよろしき盤明近き頃にして鈍陽の故なんめ里 かくいろいろにおもひを凝らしぬ

     そも我家居所といふは信濃なる小県郡赤岩といふ処にて 先祖山浦常陸介信宗が城地をその儘住所にし侍りつる事なれば 功岸高して千曲川の激流を眼下に見下し 左に鶴が城 糠塚城 横根山といふ高山を見さけ 辰の 方に袴腰城 己の方に布引山嶺岩寺が城 峩々として風景あり 可の葛尾の麓なる岩鼻を右に望みて 前後六七里斗が間 眼中に歴々たる風景也 一とせ夏の夜乃事にし有けるに 螢の光をきらきらとして千曲の河都ら一面 に飛かふを見て 天地の気乃はたらきてふ事を風とおもひより侍りて おのが息と脈とをとりて考つるに よろ津の事すべてあめつ知のわざならぬは安らじとおぼひぬ礼ば 此天地に則をとりて わ可天性の理気を本として 我精神よ里ねりいで多らんには 天人妙合の場に悟入せざらん事やはある登おもひとりては中々に夢にもわするる事な久 四十余の年月を此道に親灸しつれば 今盤か都か都世にも志られ 我が作の贋物を造る者処々にある 程の身とはなりぬれど おもふ心の半にもわ可業のいたり可たきをい可にせん 安者れ安者れ斯老ぬる迄 とし頃赤き心もていか伝国の為 人の為とのみおもひ入てし誠を者 天津神国都神の志ろしめ給ひて

     我玉の緒の世々都々き多らん程 多々の一婦り也とも天人妙合互行互具 稀代のわざもの作り得せしめ 此道の幸知にあ津可らしめたび給ひ祢なと

     おもふも老の久里事那可ら 久里可へし久里可へし祢きおもひまつるになん有ける

     安那やさし 年盤明治四といふ秋の夜乃長きを可こ知わび

    六十とせ八の翁
    遊雲斎寿長 しる須
     除紙に一章を記



    Modern Japanese:

    Wakeful Nights of the Aged.
    山浦真雄 「老いの寝覚め」(全文)
    YAMAURA SANEO (MASAO)
    Oi no nezame

    老の身の寝覚め勝ちなるを如何せん 独り、灯火に向かいてつくづく思い侍るに我が好む刀工の道たるや其の器の利害得失は更なり 刃味の源 趣位の高下に至る迄も同じ手して作り出しけるだに 同じ様には出来ぬものなるを人の手して造りたらんは言うも甲斐なき事になんありける

     さてその同じからぬがなかにつきて 諸々の名工達の短なる所を知りてこれを捨て その長なる所をとりて帰せしめ しかして後 よく衆妙の門に悟入したらましかば げに天の下の良工名作とも仰がれぬべしとぞ思う ここに古よりありとし有ける世の名剣どもの上につきて考るに 剣という物の良し悪しを 論はんには あながち利鈍の上のみにあらず おのずからその徳其の威備はりぬ れば 抜かねども鬼神恐れ 振わねども強敵も伏しぬべからしめるをこそ宝ともいうなりけれ されば賢かれと 大御剣を奉始 我が日のもと(日の本:日本)にしては 国の守世の守ともなりぬべきものこの剣の外やはあ る かくも尊き剣なれば そを作らん人は常に先ず我が志を高く

     清らかにして心に懸かる事無く澄みて 仁義信勇自然と備わるを肝要と心かくべきことぞかし さて剣作らんと思う時は 先ず平素錬磨しおきたる精神をもっぱら槌に凝らし 我が身玉の如く大空も快く晴れ 我が心静に して鬼神頭の上にあるが如く 左右に現るるが如くなる時を得て 殺人刀より活人刀を作り得て 国の守世の守ともなれかしと打立るときは 如何なる鬼神強敵というとも などか恐れざらんや さるを近頃の人々はかかる 筋の心得たらんもの 甚だ稀なりけり そは我が道の本意ならぬのみにあらず さる人の作りたらんもの帯びなす人さへに花なかるべし

     おのれ若かりし時撃剣の技を嗜みて 年の十三ばかりの頃より しきりに太刀を得ま欲しく思い これぞ能き(良き)と見る器を得ん毎に利鈍を試み 用法を考え 佩て(はきて)軽重を量り 長短得失に至る迄も座臥進 退につけつつ試しもて二百余刀に及べり されど一振りだ(一本の刀)にも心に叶うものあらざりけり ここに水心子正秀といえる人はその頃の名誉なりければ その許に尋ね行きて造刀の事を頼みけるに 快よく受け引き 侍りて 寒き程の霜の刃をば作り出して給いけり おのれ嬉しく思いて例の如く試みるに 心ゆかねば 今一手際と望ける程に

     正秀おおいに腹たてて云う様  我、積年鍛する所千余刀に及びぬれと 自ら試して出しつる器再びなと言われし事覚えなし そもけしからぬ人かな等と散々に罵られり おのれ言いけるは、 嫌とよ 我が望むところは 人と異り 先ず肝要とする所は姿なり 身に帯する時は例うに かの獣らや角の自ずからなる如く 剣と身と相和すれ 嶮岨を渉り遠路を行くとも腰疲れず勇気弛まぬをこそ良しとはすれ 又反り浅きは佩き心 よからず

     祓う(払う)に不便なり 切味鈍うして堅物にかかりては伸る(のる:曲がる)ぞかし 戦争にはともすれば平打ちの難あり かかる得失利害を含み給えて先生の業して打立る時は 金気充実して研がぬ程より身は潤を生 じ 試みずして疑なき刀の出来るものならんとぞ思う 

     されば新刀鍛冶数百家有といえども 他比ぶべき物なき名刀なりと思うが故に望なりという 正秀此の事を聞てたちまち色気を直し御身壮年に似合ぬおもしろき事いう人なりさらば打進らせんずるものを手伝して給えとて  相鎚せさて三七日程にまたなき程にぞ作り出しける その時この正秀をしも師とも頼み 此の道の技折して欲しいは思いつれとやみぬ 今其の折の事の思い出るにつけ 近頃我が自得しつる古伝の鍛法も かの正秀におい て物言えし程よりぞ 淵源しつるも多かんめり

     それより数多の年月を経て後 おのれ二十六という年 刀剣の高下勝劣を倩(つらつら、よくよく)考るに 刀工世々に衰えて 鎮護の要器たる事を旨として鍛する刀工はなはだ稀なりけり 文政の今に及んでいよいよ衰 え 皆世渡りの業と成り行き 人目を惑す業のみ長じ 自然(自ずと)と真実を失い 精神なき物多く 是ぞ世の守と信ずべき剣見えざれば 是も天気のなす事とは思いながらも 頼みなき事と思い おのれ古伝の鍛法を探 り 自ら造りて佩刀となさん事を思い立て 河村三郎寿隆(上田藩工)といえる人に逢いて 始て此道に入立侍りたりける 此の人は諸国修行しぬれば 慶長このかたの事は 衆工の妙所を自得し

     花やかなる事はおさおさ 古人も及ばぬ程ながら 古の法則には心得薄きかたなれば 其の妙趣においては いかがありと思うも多かりける

     おのれ此の人のもとに通いつる事二年ばかりにして 其の後は家にありて遍く古今の鍛法を探りて打試みける事とはなしぬ

     昼は諸用の多ければ 夜毎に弟なりける清麿と二人して精を砕きて数多の剣作立て侍るほどに またの夜さり更に長けてのち 如何に吹くとも鉄(かね)の沸かざる事有けり

     その程は父の諱(いなみ)信風今ぞ借りつる(いまそかりつる=存命)時なれば 傍より見給いて 各よ気の疲れたらんと給いけるを 影にて母聞き給い もとより常ならぬ事には気がかり有る性なれば 酒持出てたび給 いれり 兄弟欲する筋なれば 清麿 「是は有難し有難し」と小踊りして喜び 父母にも進らせ おのれらも飲みて時移りとりかかり吹立侍りれり 鉄(かね)の涌くこと始めには似ず いかにも快く鑠きぬる(溶きぬる)を面白く思え夜の明くるも知らず鍛え 侍りけり 此の事を考るに始め涌かざりしは 夜半極陰の時なればなり 後の鑠きよろしきは明近き頃にして鈍陽の故なんめり かく色々に思いを凝らしぬ

     そも我家居所というは信濃なる小県郡赤岩という処にて 先祖山浦常陸介信宗が城地をそのまま住所にし侍りつる事なれば 向岸高して千曲川の激流を眼下に見下し 左に鶴が城 糠塚城 横根山という高山を見下げ 辰 の方に袴腰城 巳の方に布引山嶺岩寺が城 峩々として風景あり かの葛尾の麓なる岩鼻を右に望みて 前後六七里ばかりが間 眼中に歴々たる風景なり 一とせ夏の夜の事にしありけるに 螢の光をきらきらとして千曲の 河面(づら)一面に飛交うを見て 天地の気の働きという事を風と思いより侍りて おのが息と脈とをとりて考つるに 万の事すべて天地の業ならぬはあらじと思いぬれば 此の天地に則をとりて 我が天性の理気を本とし て我精神より練り出でたらんには 天人妙合の場に悟入せざらん事やはあると思いとりては中々に夢にも忘るる事なく 四十余の年月を此の道に親灸しつれば 今はかつかつ世にも知られ 我が作の贋物を造る者処々にある 程の身とはなりぬれど 思う心の半にも我が業のいたり難きをいかにせん 哀れ憐れ斯く(かく)老ぬる迄 年頃赤き心もて(以て)いかで国の為 人の為とのみ思い入て至誠をば 天津神国都神(天つ神、国つ神)の知ろ しめ給いて

     我玉の緒の世々継きたらん程 ただの一振りなりとも天人妙合互行互具 稀代の業もの作り得せしめ 此の道の幸に預からしめたび給いねなと

     思うも老の繰り言ながら 繰り返し繰り返し寝き思い奉るになんありける

     あな恥し 年は明治四という秋の夜の長きを囲ち侘び

    六十とせ(歳)八の翁
    遊雲斎寿長 記す
    除紙に一章を記す



    First English Translation

    Oi no nezame
    Wakeful Nights of the Aged (Complete).
    山浦真雄 「老いの寝覚め」(全文)
    YAMAURA SANEO (MASAO)

    As one gets older one tends to have wakeful nights. Alas, what shall we do! I, alone, facing the candlelight, am deep in thought over my devotion to the Way of a sword-smith. I ponder the cutting ability of a sword, then its very essence and finesse, which are inevitably different even when created by the same hand and much more if crafted by different hands.

    Not a single sword is the same. By learning from the merits and demerits of fine sword-smiths, I try to emulate and strive to attain the universal virtue worthy of a master sword-smith. To examine renowned works by past masters, one should not only judge a sword for its sharpness (cutting ability) but also for its virtuosity and dignity. The gods and demons would fear you and quell your enemy even without the sword being drawn out of the sheath! This is what we call the (weapon of) treasure. With due reverence and awe, since the time when the great sword Omi-tsurugi was created for the peace of the country (Hinomoto: Japan) and for the peace of society, swords are considered to be sacred indeed. So, first of all, if you are a sword-smith, you must keep your spirit lofty all the time.  

    One must keep one’s mind pure and clear, with no clouding thoughts. One should strive to behold Benevolence, Righteousness, Sincerity and Courage. When you are about to create a sword, you should focus your well-trained spirit and mind to the hammer single-mindedly. Pray that the sky be pleasantly clear, that one will be well and healthy like a precious jade, and one’s mind be divinely calm. It is only when gods and demons manifest themselves above your head and right and left that you should create a sword—a sword that empowers a person, rather than a weapon for killing people. You must not fear powerful gods and demons or strong opponents/enemies when you begin hammering a sword to safeguard the country and society. However, it is regrettable that recently people are rarely mindful of this principle. This is the true divine way of sword making. Therefore, if you are not aware of this, even a person wearing a reputable sword will not look refined.
    In my youth I tried to learn the art of swordsmanship. From the age of about 13 (12 years old in modern times), I was so keen to acquire a sword. Each time I thought I came across a very nice sword, I tested its sharpness (cutting capability), and then thought about the technique whereby it was made, and wore it and weighed it. I tried and tested about 200 odd swords, wearing each of them whilst seated and walking, for its merits and demerits. However, there was not a single sword that satisfied me. There was a renowned master sword-smith of the time named Suishinshi Masahide (Notes: his dates 1750-1825), and I went to meet him in order to request him to make a sword for me. He gladly accepted my request and made a sword with the most superior cutting capacity (shimo-no-ha). I was pleased with it and tested it as usual, but it did not meet my expectation. So, I requested him to make another one for me.
    Masahide became furious and said to me with tremendous wrath, “I have made over 1000 swords over the years, I was never told to re-make a sword after testing it. You are such an insolent person!” “No, no. Master!” Then I told him that what I wanted differed from other people. I expounded my theory of ideal swords as follows: First of all, the shape of a sword must be perfect, because when you wear it you should feel as if your body and sword become “one”, like an animal having its horns attached. When you walk up steep hills or on long journey over mountains, your hips should not get tired or your spirit weighed down. If the curvature of a sword is too shallow, it does not wear well.

     If a sword’s curvature is too shallow, it will be inconvenient to draw out of the sheath. Also it will not cut well, and bend when cutting something hard. In a battle scene, a sword tends to cut things in hira-uchi. With these pros and cons in mind, I told my master (Suishinshi Masahide) that by his skill with its metal perfectly beaten, and its blade glistening even before polishing, he should be able to make a perfect sword even without testing it.

    There are said to be several hundred sword-smiths who are known as makers of Shinto sword (Notes: Shinto: “New Swords”. Blades made between 1596 and 1781), but I said to him that he (Masahide) is one of the very best master sword-smiths (I dared to say these words to him). Upon hearing this Masahide regained his composure, and told me that I said quite fascinating things for someone of my young age. Then, I was asked to help him forge a sword. We worked together by forging the metal as a pair and we created a sword after 3 weeks of work. Thenceforth, I could not help but truly want to study under him as my master, who could guide me in the way of sword making. Looking back now, this was my point of departure and how I began emulating the ancient methods of forging swords by meeting Masahide.

    Several years later, when I was 26 years old, carefully having thought about the superior and inferior qualities of swords, I recognized that the sword-smiths gradually became less able over the years, and that there are hardly any of them who make and consider swords as the chief treasure-weapons to pacify and protect the state. By then, in the Bunsei era (1818-1829), sword making was on the decline and had just become a kind of profession. Sword-making techniques place too much emphasis on outward appearance and many swords have lost their intrinsic virtue, and become spiritless. As I did not come across a sword that could be considered to be suitable to protect the peace of the society, and thinking that depending on other masters is useless, I made up my mind to analyse ancient traditions of sword making and to forge one for myself and wear it. I went to see Kawamura Saburo Toshitaka (Notes: he was one of the Ueda domain sword-smiths, Hamabe school) to study sword making under him. He (Kawamura Saburo Toshitaka) has travelled widely to study sword making, mastering fine craftsmanship from many master sword-smiths going back as far as the Keichō era (1596-1615).
    His swords might be splendid in appearance, even looking finer than past masters’ work, but he did not know much about ancient methods of sword making. Therefore, I wondered whether his swords might lack in refinement.
    I studied under him for about two years, and after that I decided to work at my place trying and testing ancient and modern methods of sword making.
    During the daytime, I was often occupied with various matters, so my young brother Kiyomaro and I laboriously heated the metal (mixtures of iron known as “sei” in sword-making terminology) every night and crafted many swords together. One night, however hard we tried, even working well into the small hours, the metal did not melt enough (to “waku” or “tsumi-wakashi” in Japanese sword-making terminology). The metal did not reach the temperature that is required for forging.

     At the time my father, Nobukaze (also known as Masatomo), was still alive, and watched us working and asked if we were not too tired. My mother, a very caring person who never failed to give us a moral support, hearing what father was saying hidden from our view, then took some sake drink out for us. For my brother and I were consummate drinkers, Kiyomaro was glad to receive sake and said “Oh this is good, this is good, many thanks”, lightly dancing with joy. Then we offered some sake to our parents too, whilst keeping the fire at the hearth going for hours. Then the metal did melt easily. Finding that finally the metal melted properly, we started hammering the blade, without realising that dawn was breaking. We wondered why the metal does not melt so easily at first. It may be that the metal not melting late at midnight was due to the extreme ying, and the metal melting properly at the dawn was due to the mild yang.

    My house is located at a place called Akaiwa, Chiisagata-gun, of Shinano (Notes: now it is in Tōmi City, Nagano prefecture). It is located where a castle once stood, where the land was owned by my ancestor Yamaura Hitachinosuke Nobumune. The house stands facing a high cliff with the Chikuma River running fast beneath us. On the left in the distance, there are Tsuruga-jo castle, Nukazuka castle and Mt. Yokone standing below. In the direction of the dragon (East-south-east) there is Hakamagoshi-jo castle; and there are Mt. Nunohiki and Ryōganji castle in the direction of the snake (South-south-east). The house is surrounded by all kinds of scenic lofty places. To the right, there is a place called Iwahana, at the foot of Kuzuo. My house commands clear views stretching 6-7 ri (24-28 km: 15-17 miles: one “ri” is 3.93 km) to the front and the back. One summer evening, I was looking at fireflies (glow-worms) with their shiny fluorescent lights fluttering about above the surface of the Chikuma River. Then suddenly I came to understand that everything without exception is the working of Heaven and Earth.

    Henceforth, I created swords out of my true spirit. That is to say, I assimilated the Laws of Heaven and Man, and grounded myself in my natural inborn Li (principle) and Qi (vital force). (Notes: Zhu Xi/ Chu Hsi (1130-1200) was the most influential Confucian scholar of the Song Dynasty who expounded the theory of Li and Qi) In this way, may I enter into the realm of Enlightenment, a Wondrous Union of Heaven and Man! I have been longing to do this, even in my dreams. For the last 40-odd years I have dedicated myself to the Way of the Sword-smith. I have become well- known to people, and there are even some forgers who make fake swords pretending to be my work. Alas and alack! How will my work fare! I have now reached old age, without reaching even half of what I wished. I have always sworn my sincere devotion to my country and my people. May the Heavenly Deity Amatsukami (Kami of Heaven) and the Earthly Deity Kunitsukami (Kami of Earth) know and grant my wish.

    May the gods ensure my sword-smith lineage for generations to come, and let me create a sword that embodies Heaven and Man in wondrous union, and create rare fine swords and be blessed with happiness in the Way of sword making.

    Looking back, this is nothing but murmurs of the aged, which I have been thinking to myself over and over again, during the wakeful nights.

     Alas! I feel bereft (“wabi” in original Japanese text) in the long autumnal night, in the 4th year of Meiji period.

    At the age of 68, as an old man.
    Inscribed by Yū-un-sai Toshinaga.
    Inscribed this passage on a sheet of paper.


    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________



    Malcolm Taylor

  2. Likes pgsmith, Ellis Amdur, P Goldsbury liked this post
  3. #2
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    That was very interesting.

    Thanks Malcolm!
    Paul Smith
    "Always keep the sharp side and the pointy end between you and your opponent"

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    I agree - thank you very much for posting this

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    Gentlemen, thank you for your kind comments.

    The project was a long time in the fruition, but again, allow me to say that I am indebted to the skill and determination of Mrs Mieko Gray.

    Without her, Saneo's voice would remain silent.

    Please feel free to use the three translations in your own studies if you feel fit.

    Very best regards

    Malcolm

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