Some people are into fighting and love swords, others are into history and love swords, others just like the cultural aspect of swords. For me, I simply know nothing about them except that like most people, the Samurai Sword has always held some mystic for me.
I ran into a Samurai warrior at the port of Nagasaki in Japan on my most recent trip this summer. He taught me a thing or two about swords, mainly how they’re held and how he USED them. In other words, it wasn’t something I touched or played around with.
I learn from someone who has known him for years, that some of the more commonly known types of Japanese swords are the katana, wakizashi, and tachi. For nihonto, the type classifications indicate the combination of a blade and its mounts, as this then determines the style of use of the blade.
Samurai is the name that comes to mind when you think of swords. The word came to mean nobility and while I haven’t spent time around a lot of Samurai warriors, I have met a few over the years and they all exude the feeling of noble-ness.
By the end of the 12th century, samurai became almost entirely synonymous with bushi, and the word was closely associated with the middle and upper echelons of the warrior class. The samurai followed a set of rules that came to be known as bushidō. While the samurai numbered less than 10% of Japan’s population, their teachings can still be found today in both everyday life and in modern Japanese martial arts. It was fascinating to watch this man…no longer young, in action.
His hands were still very quick and he had a sense of serenity about him that was lovely to be around.
Note: the trip to Japan was hosted by Princess Cruises, including the stop in Nagasaki, however all opinions expressed are entirely my own.