The philosophy of samurai swords

Published: 05th January 2006
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Decorating your 21st century interior in a Japanese manner has become very popular. The Japanese artifacts, like the samurai swords, are proof of great taste not only because of their eye catching colors and shapes but because they hold a lot of meaning. They represent moral values like patience, discipline, honor, loyalty and determination. The modern world has forgot some very important codes, but their symbols still exist as a reminder in the Japanese works of art that distinguish some homes or offices.
The samurai swords, for example, are very used objects of decoration. People who appreciate martial arts or the Japanese life style often hang them on walls. Owning samurai swords means you appreciate Japanese history and the virtues that this object stood for in an antique society. For those of you with the good idea of buying samurai swords here are some hints about these beautiful and meaningful objects and their philosophy. Knowing how they are made and their value will make them more treasured decorating objects.

The value of the samurai swords comes not only from their handcrafting, but also from the fact that they are a symbol of the worrier. The samurai swords define power, duty, responsibility, self-defense and ethics. The samurai swords were weapons used by a class of people who cherished their freedom above all and defended it with great skill. The samurai swords were used in hand to hand combat which was a very demanding perhaps the most, form of combat. Having to fight with a sharp weapon required skill of body and mind, abilities, reflexes and technique. Only through a lot of practice, exercise and patience one could become able to handle the samurai swords in order to protect the code of honor.

The Samurai (knights-retainers) were also called Bushi (warriors) and their most treasured weapons were the samurai swords. They considered the swords a part of themselves and sometimes believed the swords were the soul of their worriership. They gave their samurai swords names and awarded them medals. Some samurai worriers even died trying to retrieve their treasured samurai swords for their Shogun (the most powerful samurai worrier for a period). Bushido means Way of the Warrior and the heart of the Bushido philosophy, which lead their beliefs and conduct, is freedom from fear. This meant they had no fear of dying. They were able to use their peace of mind to give themselves power to serve their master faithfully to the death. Therefore, duty and loyalty were a great part of their philosophy. Their way of life ranked them at the top of the social hierarchy in Japan for hundreds of years until 19th century.

Artisans of ancient time put a lot of thought in the creation of samurai swords. They had to create weapons that were not too heavy to handle, nor too rigid to brake off. They discovered sharp samurai swords, used against an armor, broke and that samurai swords made of soft steel were flexible and light. So, they considered the most appropriate weight for samurai swords would have been around 2-3 pounds. However, to create such samurai swords would have meant a lot work.

There were many methods used to handcraft samurai swords. Some used the repeated and tiring process of heating and folding of steel. The blades had to be polished afterwards carefully and the smiths engraved their signature on their work of art. The samurai swords were proof of great handcrafting skills, which meant that the person who created them possessed some unique virtues. Like for any art object, to create samurai swords meant to put soul in your creation, to invest patience and will together with intelligence to obtain the best results possible. A lot of artists worked on their detailed ornaments of the hilt, on their handle bindings and sheaths and the results were samurai swords worth being worn by worriers.

These virtues have been forgotten as the modern society no longer cares, respects or praises the military man as much as in the past. The samurai were (and still are) highly appreciated figures of history. The samurai swords were priceless and were identified with the worrier class. Made from the heat and pounding of skilled smiths, the samurai swords brought honor and the spirit of the true worrier to those who carried them. Because of this, many modern people buy samurai swords as a reminder of that time and those values. Samurai swords decorate today's homes, as symbols, for those who know what true beauty means virtue and honor.

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