Tosogu presentation

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Tosogu presentation

Postby Joe D » Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:21 pm

Every year the Japanese department at my university has a Japanese festival. The festival features all the anime and green tea ice-cream parts of Japanese culture that I personally abhor as well as student presentations on a Japanese topic. This year the department did not have enough people sign up for the presentations so my teacher asked students to do presentations. On my student profile I said that I was interested in Japanese history and Tosogu. Long story short I have been directly asked to do a brief presentation on Tosogu. I haven’t fully committed to the presentation yet because the festival isn’t until the end of September.
I do not feel qualified to give a presentation on this subject. I am very nervous about misrepresenting such a beautiful tradition as well as spreading misinformation. I am aware that I have not payed my dues in terms of research and time with tools in my hand. I haven’t even seen a tsuba “in the flesh” apart from my own first attempt (I am still working on tsuba #1).
I would very much value the critique of some of the experts on this forum. I have placed the rough PowerPoint I plan to use in google drive (it’s a big file). Please look at the presentation notes for what I plan to actually say. I have used Joe Earl’s Lethal Elegance and Art of The Samurai sword by the Met as my main sources. Please tell me if there is anything I need to include or if there is anything I should correct. I don’t think I have done an outstanding job selecting fine examples. If you can find another example that better represents the school or technique please let me know. I need more iron Tsuba.
I am also limited to 10 minutes so I simply can’t go into great detail.
I have a couple of questions that I couldn’t find answers to in my books.
Was there a point when shibuichi, shakudo, and other alloys “debuted?” I would have thought they became popular in the Edo period. Until that point were they mostly Iron?
I also wish to dispel the notion that only “combat ready” tsuba were real tsuba. With your permission, Ford, I would like to quote you from this post: http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/topic/92 ... tionality/
“Any significant protection against a sword cut was clearly not enough of a consideration to direct the design evolution of tsuba in a purely functional way that reflects that concern. Therefore, we must regard all development of tsuba beyond the most basic and functional, . . . as being as a result of aesthetic considerations.”
It is very difficult to try to cram all this material into a 10 minute presentation any suggestions would be very welcome.

Link... https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwwDH ... EZ5a2stNEU
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Re: Tosogu presentation

Postby D.Sweet » Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:00 pm

The Hallam University paper notes shakudo references in text dating back to the Nara period with the oldest Japanese example dating to 1174. I believe the earliest examples of shakudo tsuba came about in the late Muromachi period with copper, yamagane and brass alloyed tsuba coming before. Further reading about ko-kinko work should provide more information and examples. Shibuichi on the other hand supposedly doesn't come around until the late 17th, early 18th century.

I hear that we will get some interesting insights regarding the history of these alloys fairly soon.... :rolleyes:

The points that were made by the "only iron tsuba are functional tsuba' crowd seem rather ridiculous to me. Some being more akin to fantastical dreams of being Rurouni Kenshin.
-Donovan
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Re: Tosogu presentation

Postby Ford » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:51 pm

Hi Joe

use whatever you like of mine if it's of any use.

You may find some bits of use here.
https://fortheloveoftosogu.wordpress.com/a-window-onto-the-world-of-the-samurai/

and here's link to a film of half of the lecture I gave in Johannesburg, SA, a few years ago that the blog post is based on. The film goes much further. Use anything you find useful. 8)
"The artist yields often to the stimuli of materials that will transmit his spirit." Odilon Redon
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Re: Tosogu presentation

Postby Joe D » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:59 pm

Thank you so much for your responses.
I saved that paper somewhere and completely forgot about it. Now I have to go find it.
I completely agree that the “real tsuba” classification is silly and that is why I want to discuss it.
Thank you Ford I have never seen that link before.
I will do my best.
Thanks!
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