Nihonto – Part 2

It was a shivery mid-winter night and the last bit of that Imperial Sun surrendered to the horizon. The river I was wading in dropped in temperature… so did the village. Yokota was better known for producing some of Japan’s most methodical swordsmiths.

My creator happened to be of scrupulous alignment, however his methodology for bringing me into existence was painstakingly savage. He often meditated in the knee deep river until he could hear the granules of iron shifting back and forth, sending rhythmic tones all throughout his body. Some nights only the passing river could be heard.

On that night he shoveled a handful of melodic sand out of the water and there I lay, a lazy clump of muck with destructive potential. He was known to the villagers as 科学 (Kagaku). Although his wife 平静 (Heisei) often referred to him as hard-headed as she could never understand his fixation. Because once he started the creative process, he only stopped for two reasons. Perfection or imperfection.


Just as quick as he excavated me from the river, I was tossed into a man-made clay oven that my creator and his two apprentices built inside of an old horse stable. In preparation for my arrival they already had it burning at a temperature the Devil himself would nod favorably upon. I smelted for seven days.

The fire eventually went out. I woke to the crumbling of the clay oven as the apprentices pulled apart the walls. Ash and partially lit embers hovered at shoulder level. Finally, I could see light as they removed the debris I was buried under. I was no longer iron sand. I was now a rigid piece of steel but scattered about in several parts. My creator reached into the pile of rubbish, slowly examined my parts, and kept only those pieces with the same rhythmic tone he sought when he stood in the river.

With my creator’s blessing, I was headed back into another fire but this time as a clump of steel pieces. For some reason, the fire I was exposed to this time wasn’t as close to the heat that I felt from the clay oven.


My creator tightened his grip on his forging tongs as he clamped down, making sure that all my steel bits carefully stayed in tact as he dipped me into the second fire. His apprentices kneeled patiently with their cross pein hammers next to the anvil. I was swiftly pulled from the fire boasting a nuclear red glow. Clank! Clank! Clank! I was forged for seven days.

They only stopped for food and water. At night they rested. The curvature of my spine was well received by my creator. His soul purpose in life was to create the most eloquent and grossly immoral sword in the history of the world. In the right hands, one could slay the Emperor with a simple upwards swipe similar to that of an artist’s pen stroke.

My creator examined my form with an eye of a Sparrowhawk. Any sight of impurity meant rejection. He made an unassuming “hhmph” sound as his apprentices boxed me up for my departure. To whom I would serve remained a mystery.korehirawatan_swdmkr

 

Dig Deeper.

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