A Meeting of East and West – Written in Steel!

Check out this amazing European-style Japanese rapier, readers! Though it resembles a traditional Western sword, the blade was fashioned by swordsmiths from the Land of the Rising Sun. While we do not know who those men were or quite how they made the sword, their work speaks volumes – as does the history of the warlord who commissioned the weapon centuries ago.

Learn more in the article below:

戦国武将・加藤嘉明の洋剣「水口レイピア」、国産だった - YouTube

Feudal warlord’s European-style rapier was created in Japan

By JIRO TSUTSUI/ Staff Writer

January 10, 2020 at 07:00 JST

KOKA, Shiga Prefecture–A European-style rapier owned by a feudal-era warlord was actually forged in Japan, but who commissioned the production and what was used as the model remain unclear, according to a study.

Researchers from the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties and the Koka city education board examined the rapier and found that Japanese sword-producing techniques were used in the manufacturing process.

The rapier dates from the first half of the 17th century in the early Edo Period (1603-1867) and was found in the Minakuchi district here.

Called the Minakuchi Rapier, the weapon is said to have been the property of Kato Yoshiaki (1563-1631), a warlord who served Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598) and was one of the seven commanders who distinguished themselves in the 1583 Battle of Shizugatake.

The warlord also showed a strong interest in European culture.

Read more…

2 thoughts on “A Meeting of East and West – Written in Steel!

  1. I have a friend who used to travel in the Orient a lot for his work, and one night they were in Hong Kong their hosts were taking them out to a traditional Japanese restaurant. When they were served, he was surprised and at first disappointed that they were having T-bone steaks, until the host said to try it first. He loved it, and of course they explained to him that the Japanese borrowed (or “appropriated” in the vulgar tongue of today) things from all over the world and made it their own. Like certain forms of German engineering, they have a way of seeing the strengths and weaknesses of whatever they analyze, and making their own version of it. This rapier was probably made in that same way. A very interesting piece.


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