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Old 11-22-2004, 07:01 AM   #10
Peter Seth
Dojo: Zanshin. Sunderland University
Location: Sunderland
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 124
England
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Smile Re: Japanese sword on the History Channel

Just as a comparison, there is (and deservedly so) lots of praise and sometimes awe ascribed to the Japanese sword and the artistry of the master weapons makers. There is also other areas of the world which had a long history of weapons manufacture which rivals that of Japan, eg: Toledo and the Arab master weapons smiths. Even less well known are the weapons makers of the Celtic/Saxon era in Britain and Europe, whose technology was equally advanced though slightly different. In a recent programme on weapons, the british/european sword was investigated. The best examples were made, not by folding, but by twisting together different types of steel and then forging these together in the correct order to make the back, central core and the harder edge. This resulted in a weapon with similar characteristics as a 'ken' but with a beautiful sinuous pattern which ran throughout the sword. Quite often this pattern could be interpreted (with imagination) as for example the marks on a vipers skin, a dragon, etc,etc, and therefore would be named
to suit the pattern. I sometimes think European martial arts are neglected in the same manner, Europe/Britain is rich with many diverse martial arts (and weapons, some very wierd), which rival any in the east. But thats another story
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