Quick post. Wanted to share something I came across a while ago whilst looking up a blade in Satō Kanzan’s Shintō Oshigata. The book features a blade by Hizen Tadakuni (肥前忠国), which shows a hardening pattern in the form of the Kanji characters for “tiger” (虎) and “dragon” (龍), plus the shape of a dragon as well. Just thought you might find this interesting, as I did.
Wow, he sure had precise control of his clay. I can see the Tiger’s head with it’s mouth open and facing to the left, halfway between the yokote and the character for dragon.
Could this be a reference to the famous Chinese poem 暗石疑藏虎 / 盤根似臥龍 (“behind the rock in the dark probably hides a tiger, and the coiling giant root resembles a crouching dragon”) made popular in the west by the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon? Do the Japanese share in the 臥虎藏龍 saying / idiom?
In Japan, the Tiger & Dragon combination (Ryūko, 龍虎) was mostly associated with the “I Ching” (“Book of Changes”), i.e., with the two being representations of the opposite, but interconnected forces of Yin and Yang. The subject gained popularity in the Sengoku period and was often used as an allegory for two mighty rivals. Prime eample: Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin, which were described as “Tiger of Kai” and “Dragon of Echigo” (or vice verse).
Very informative Markus, thanks!
Thank you for all the knowledge you share.
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Hi MarkusPaul had a Hizen blade once that also had a temper in the shape of a dragon.JohnSent from my T-Mobile 4G LTE Device