What's in the Name?
'Shi' in Japanese means a warrior or samurai. 'Ro' can be translated
as 'young man'. Therefore 'shiro' could mean 'young warrior' or 'young
The coastal city of Kamakura in the 12th Century was
a hotbed of samurai activities with the arrival of the shogun there. Swordsmiths
were flocking to the city to offer their services to the warrior class
but sword-making techniques at the time produced long, straight, unwieldy,
brittle or in other words- terribly unreliable weapons. The 13th Century
Mongol invaders were keen on invading the city but were twice hampered
by 'kamikaze' winds which diverted their ships back to Korea. This alarmed
the government as they realized a succesful invasion is highly possible
and prompted research efforts in making better blades. A man called Masamune
came up with a new sword design using blended steel.
Masamune, born in 1274, combined soft and hard steels into a gracefully
curved sword, hard enough for battle but not so brittle that it would
snap on impact. His design was copied worldwide. Masamune passed the tradition
on to his son, starting what is probably the world's longest recorded
lineage in craftsmanship. He also had students who learned his skills
and went on to become famous swordsmiths.
Masamune is the name of a swordsmith, not a particular sword. Japanese
swords are often called by its maker's name. However he is of legendary
reputation and any of his swords are worth a fortune. Unless it comes
with proper, authentic documentation and a really hefty price, a Masamune
blade is near impossible to find nowadays.
Note: this is a tanto blade (or short sword blade) made by a smith named
Unjo. Its here for decorative purposes, and is NOT a Masamune blade. I
can't find any pictures of a Masamune sword (Maybe none exists?) Maybe
you can help?
Sticking on Bell
Possibly an octopus-like creature... highly skilled in manga art. His works does tend to stick to your head, like what happened to poor Belldandy on the left here. Well known for series such as Appleseed, Dominion and Ghost In The Shell.
His specialty are drawings of 'girls with mecha', and lately 'girls with creatures'. Heard that he has a cult following as well! (Gee... I wonder who those followers are!)
Its mysterious... how can an octopus produce such amazing works? Maybe because it has eight limbs? Does it squirt the ink stuff when provoked? Is it delicious to eat? I'm just confusing you... Explore the Hyperpages. Its all about the man they call Masamune Shirow and his works!
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