2011/Heisei 23nen

d 「日本のかたな」

* In Japan, we have a long history of swords has been cared and preserved with special respect. It means that swords have been not only armaments for battle. but also objects of religion, for ceremony, and subjects of appreciation. Leading the way in works of art, the book of "Meizukushi", in which the character of sword smiths was described.
It has been already written in Kamakura period(13th century)
The fact tells us obviously that our people have been making an effort to preserve swords of old ages as like treasures, being away from practicality. To appreciate the cultural legacy of ancestors is joyful right for us, who live in modern(new) age. And to hand it to the future is our noble obligation. Thus being possess of " Nippon-to " is different from collecting simply " Works of Art". So one who possess a Japanese sword comes to have responsibility to preserve the "Spirits of Samurai" as well, to learn the essence of it and to try to train himself up spiritually higher level.
On 29th of April in Keicho 5 (1600), Dutch ship called "De Liefde" was cast away on the shore of Usuki in Hoshu (Oita-ken). After that incidence "Japan" became to be seen by the people in western countries, ofcause including Holland, and the exchange between Japan and Holland started.
Today, after 400 years has passed since then, The Japanese sword(Samurai) is highly appraised with its worth by the people of the world.
We wish you to feel and recognize the "Mononofu(no)Kokoro"(Spirit of Samurai), through appreciating the swords which has been cherished by Japanese samurais.
* 私達の国日本では刀剣に対して特別な想いを持って大切に扱ってきた長い歴史があります。それは単に武器としての道具と言う以外に、信仰、儀礼的用途、また純粋に鑑賞の対象としての役割をもってきたことです。他の美術品にさきがけて、すでに鎌倉時代には刀剣工匠の特色を記した「銘尽」本があらわされています。これによってわが国の人達が、実用を離れた古い時代の刀剣の保存に努力し続けてきたことがよくわかります。  先人の文化遺産を鑑賞することは後世の私達にとって喜ぶべき権利であり、これを将来に伝えるのは崇高な義務であります。「日本刀」を所有すると言う事は、ただ単に「美術品」を募集することとは少し異なり、「武士の魂」を預かり、 その真髄を学び、自己の精神の向上を計ることに他なりません。

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