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Old 31st January 2014, 07:50 AM   #241
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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3.The nature of the blade profile does seem to have storta characteristics, at least in certain examples of those North Italian swords which of course had varying forms. Then there is the case of the creatures head on the peak of the blade at the back nearing the point, which resembles various 'oriental style mythical beasts.


Salaams Jim, This is indeed a puzzle! I suggest that one scenario may have the weapon arriving into the Philipines via Acapulco and across the Pacific...whilst another perhaps has a hybrid being made for presentation specially and from existing parts of various different mixed Chinese and other spare parts in the King of Spains workshops in the Philipines? It puzzles a lot of people that here we are holding up for comparison a Spanish delivered sword of curious origin presented to the Japanese in Manila in 1620, looking like a hybrid Sri Lankan Kastane but possibly nothing to do with Sri Lanka at all! (except the hilt is interesting from that perspective) see below for another clearly Lion like hilt on a Storta.

I have identified a number of weapons whose blades meet some of the criteria but I wonder where the monster came from?...If the blade is a Storta was it struck later perhaps just prior to the presentation date? If the Japanese struck the blade stamps did they simply add the monster decoration at the same time? Is it all a mixed bag with Chinese/ Oriental features? The fullers are very interesting...as you note.

Please see http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=12064 where a comparison is quite close.

Viewing the Storta line up below we also confront a Lion Head hilt...?

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 31st January 2014, 09:49 AM   #242
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Dear Ibrahiim,

I am forced to respond to this, becouse you "quoted" my post #187 in this, according to Jim, "Interesting recap on the Hasekura example", #237.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Forum is advised that though these are early examples that one is artwork and the other is a sword of as yet "uncertain provenance" and that it has been moved in and out of Japanese official ownership several times (private collection/museum) thus placing some doubt as to its authenticity.


Since the return of Hasekura Tsunenaga in Japan, the Kastane was stored by Date clan in Sendai until 1951, when an amount of artifacts were donated to the state, since then in a rang of National Treasure. These artifacts are the reason for foundation of Sendai City Museum and the stock of it. The provenance is as impeccable as it could be for an 17th century object in a curiosity chamber collection in Renaissance Europe. Actually it's the best possible provenance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
I hope to show that the weapon was not only presented "as is"... to Hasekura Tsunenaga but that the owner and his stamp can be named even though the pictures at thread are a little grainy...

It may be known that the sword was presented on behalf of the King of Spain(actually according to Gustavs #187
Quote "Sasaki Kazuhiro has the oppinion, both keris and kastane are presented to Hasekura Tsunenaga by Philip III.) whilst the Japanese delegation was in the Philippines prior to their final return leg of their journey to Japan".Unquote.


I (or better Sasaki Kazuhiro) never have said, that the weapons were presented to the delegation in Philippines. The opinion of Sasaki Kazuhiro is the absolute contrary of it. Here oncemore the passage of question from my post #187:

"Sasaki Kazuhiro has the opinion, both keris and kastane are presented to Hasekura Tsunenaga by Philip III. Here in short he's points and other interesting details:

Among the 52 mementos that Hasekura brought to Japan, only three were presented to Date clan: portrait of Pope Paul V, kastane and keris.

Date Masamune drafted official letters only to Pope, the mayor of Sevilla and King Philipp III.

Masamune allowed Hasekura to take care of all official contacts with dignitaries in other countries.

Masamune obviously had great interest in the messages and gifts these figures bestoved on Hasekura.

Then Sasaki Kazuhiro writes:

"If we suppose Masamune requested only the articles from the three men he deemed most critical, then the two swords should have come from one of these three men. (...) it seems much more likely the Namban swords were a gift from Philipp III. This would also explain the reason these gifts made their way to the Masamune collection, while presents from dignitaries in other locales were allowed to remain in the Hasekura collection."

End of the quote.

Actually in his article Sasaki Kazuhiro represents the opinion (and it's a scholar oppinion), the weapons are presented to Hasekura Tsunenaga in Madrid, possibly in one of the two audiences he had with the King of Spain.

Please, when you are quoting your favorite source of knowledge Wikipedia (there:"and a set of Ceylonese and Indonesian daggers acquired in the Philippines"), don't mingle it with a contrary opinion of a scholar. The dish resulting of this is unpalatable.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
See below the blade stamp and the coat of arms of the Japanese ambassador...(Hasekura Tsunenaga) Originally he was Buddhist but converted to Christianity during his trip...and before arriving at the Philippines. This was no mean feat since Christians in Japan were being persecuted at the time...Also shown below are the blade stamps/engravings. It may be noted also that silver and gold and presumably exotic and rich weapons etc were forbidden to be imported to Japan thus if the sword could be presented to an individual rather than a country it perhaps skirted around that order?

Thus I suggest that the blade mark belongs to Hasekura Tsunenaga and was altered before being struck onto his sword.. and therefor the Museum weapon was actually presented and is real, genuine and actual for that timescale.


Sorry, but I don't see the slightest resemblance between the blade stamp and the coat of arms of Hasekura Tsunenaga.

In your post #201 you say, the blade stamp is an M, now it supposedly is an H (as in an earlier version of your #237). The literate people in this world see it as N.

Anyway, bringing the personal stamp on an artifact, which is to be presented to this persons feudal lord is absolutely unthinkable in medieval Japan. Oncemore - this sword belongs not to the Hasekura's collection. It belongs to the Date's collection and was one of the three artifacts (out of a total of 52) officially presented to Date.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
There is a powerful lobby to indicate Chinese blade provenance and that is well received, however, it is my view that the blade having been presented from the Spanish Royal Household at embassy level that it must have been a genuine piece of steel and more likely to be Spanish than anything else...It is certainly not a Kastane blade... and has the deep multiple grooves of the Spanish blade (see below)....


As I already wrote in my post #187, the presentation of Spanish arms to a foreigner was then prohibited by law.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
The Popham is intriguing but illustrates a remarkable fact... That at the same time as the Japanese weapon another was being carried on the armour shown. This is not any old armour but the highly respected and very elaborate private armour of a VIP; not an artists prop thus the Kastane must have been an original ...but vitally in the same time period as the Japanese variant. The hilt can perhaps be seen to be serpent/ makara/ gargoyle in fashion and with accompanying deities quite unlike the very recognizable Lion type.


All handles presented in your outstanding post #237 are lionheads of different carving schools, with the sole exception of the Makara hilted hilt from Malay Peninsula from the very end of 19 cent./beg. 20. cent., described in your post as "A Malaya/Javanese hilt".

Dear Jim, sorry, but to call #237, besides a lot of harmless wishful thinking containing also a false quotation, an interesting recap on Hasekura example is quite an indecent joke.

Regards,
Gustav
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Old 31st January 2014, 03:52 PM   #243
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav
Dear Ibrahiim,

I am forced to respond to this, becouse you "quoted" my post #187 in this, according to Jim, "Interesting recap on the Hasekura example", #237.



Since the return of Hasekura Tsunenaga in Japan, the Kastane was stored by Date clan in Sendai until 1951, when an amount of artifacts were donated to the state, since then in a rang of National Treasure. These artifacts are the reason for foundation of Sendai City Museum and the stock of it. The provenance is as impeccable as it could be for an 17th century object in a curiosity chamber collection in Renaissance Europe. Actually it's the best possible provenance.



I (or better Sasaki Kazuhiro) never have said, that the weapons were presented to the delegation in Philippines. The opinion of Sasaki Kazuhiro is the absolute contrary of it. Here oncemore the passage of question from my post #187:

"Sasaki Kazuhiro has the opinion, both keris and kastane are presented to Hasekura Tsunenaga by Philip III. Here in short he's points and other interesting details:

Among the 52 mementos that Hasekura brought to Japan, only three were presented to Date clan: portrait of Pope Paul V, kastane and keris.

Date Masamune drafted official letters only to Pope, the mayor of Sevilla and King Philipp III.

Masamune allowed Hasekura to take care of all official contacts with dignitaries in other countries.

Masamune obviously had great interest in the messages and gifts these figures bestoved on Hasekura.

Then Sasaki Kazuhiro writes:

"If we suppose Masamune requested only the articles from the three men he deemed most critical, then the two swords should have come from one of these three men. (...) it seems much more likely the Namban swords were a gift from Philipp III. This would also explain the reason these gifts made their way to the Masamune collection, while presents from dignitaries in other locales were allowed to remain in the Hasekura collection."

End of the quote.

Actually in his article Sasaki Kazuhiro represents the opinion (and it's a scholar oppinion), the weapons are presented to Hasekura Tsunenaga in Madrid, possibly in one of the two audiences he had with the King of Spain.

Please, when you are quoting your favorite source of knowledge Wikipedia (there:"and a set of Ceylonese and Indonesian daggers acquired in the Philippines"), don't mingle it with a contrary opinion of a scholar. The dish resulting of this is unpalatable.




Sorry, but I don't see the slightest resemblance between the blade stamp and the coat of arms of Hasekura Tsunenaga.

In your post #201 you say, the blade stamp is an M, now it supposedly is an H (as in an earlier version of your #237). The literate people in this world see it as N.

Anyway, bringing the personal stamp on an artifact, which is to be presented to this persons feudal lord is absolutely unthinkable in medieval Japan. Oncemore - this sword belongs not to the Hasekura's collection. It belongs to the Date's collection and was one of the three artifacts (out of a total of 52) officially presented to Date.



As I already wrote in my post #187, the presentation of Spanish arms to a foreigner was then prohibited by law.




All handles presented in your outstanding post #237 are lionheads of different carving schools, with the sole exception of the Makara hilted hilt from Malay Peninsula from the very end of 19 cent./beg. 20. cent., described in your post as "A Malaya/Javanese hilt".

Dear Jim, sorry, but to call #237, besides a lot of harmless wishful thinking containing also a false quotation, an interesting recap on Hasekura example is quite an indecent joke.

Regards,
Gustav



Salaams Gustav, Your input earlier was very useful to forum exploration and research. The fact is...we don't know... that is why I have used plentiful "maybe" and "possibly" and "perhaps"... largely since many reports are conflicting but of course if you have some more details then we shall naturally soak them up into the discussion and there is no need to take offence...I maen hang on Gustav we are trying our best here...but are only human. Sometimes in supposition I make mistakes...but its a forum and very little is carved in stone.

The crossed arrows and swastika with the cross above make a very interesting discussion so it is only a well aimed possibility... maybe we ought to get the page you placed translated? It could help... as would perhaps be better photographs. I am a little far from Japan but would relish a visIt to the Museum..

I continue to absorb volumes of detail about the famous Japanese tour and shall continue to do so. WIKIPEDIA IS NOT MY FAVOURITE SOURCE OF KNOWLEDGE.. FORUM IS.

When you state categorically;
All handles presented in your outstanding post #237 are lionheads of different carving schools, what evidence do you place for that please? Have you details on the Sri Lankan carving schools within the Royal Workshops? Are you saying that proof exists of a time based solution to Makara heads versus Lion Heads...? (I insert here the caution that insofar as the potential of the two styles there is always the chance that "PERHAPS" there is only one... and that the final shape was down to artisan freedom of expression/client choice and that history is playing a joke on all of us..

Sometimes probing and detective work uncover more questions than they solve ... this may be a case in point but we work together actually and the final product is a Forum one. Some would say its like making an omelet...and you know? ... we have to break a few eggs along the way. Either way you ought never to feel forced to enter a thread discussion as always input is sought from all... The ink is free.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 31st January 2014, 04:00 PM   #244
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Gustav, thank you so much for your thorough and edifying clarifications on these previous entries by myself and Ibrahiim. I am not sure where we fell off course with thinking this intriguing sword was somehow obtained in the Philippines, but clearly that assumption is incorrect as you have gratefully noted that the Hasekura mission indeed was present in Madrid. I admit I relied unfortunately on memory from research some time ago and this I fear may have given traction to that assumption. Thank you so much for this correction. It is so important of course to reconfirm and verify facts and evidence, and I failed to do that.

Can you detail the article by Kazuhiro so that I may obtain a copy? clearly I need to reread it

I think the reference to the provenance referred to the questions surrounding the peculiar nature of the elements of this example as opposed to more familiar blades and other features of kasthane, that is, toward where the sword may have been produced. One of the key points in examining this sword was originally to establish a terminus ante quem for the lionhead kasthane hilt . Any impunity toward the Sendai Museum was not intended and apologies for that perception.

I would also respond to my post terming the 'recap' on the Hasekura example, and explain that I meant this as a reference to reviewing the material previously posted . While I admit that I often extend ideas and observations which are admittedly sometimes fanciful in degree or by analogous description, and I often respond to other posts which are in kind, I would respectfully disagree that my efforts are any kind of indecent joke, and aside from that unfortunate remark, I very much appreciate your beautifully written and extremely helpful post.

Now, returning to some of the questions I have, I had wondered about the interesting guard configuration and discovered that similar exist on forms of the 'spada schiavonesca' from c. 1480-1500 (Boccia & Coelho, 1975, p.345) in the early hilts of schiavona. The basic guard and quillon structure is of that and of course other European forms which later developed into the often more complex guards.
It is interesting to consider these hilt systems in their influence on those of the 'nimcha' as well as of course, the kasthane (as discussed in A. North, 1975, "A Late 15th Century Italian Sword, 'The Connoisseur'). In another article by the late Mr. North in 1989 ("17th and 18th Century Europe", Ed, M. Coe p.68-69) he notes with regard to the wares brought to Europe by Dutch traders from the Far East, "...they included some extraordinary sword hilts based on contemporary European forms- local craftsmen clearly had European hilts to copy from but decorated and constructed them in local and traditional styles".

It is clear that many features of European swords, particularly from North Italy filtered through trade routes from the late 15th century onward, and that that these often profoundly influenced the indigenous weapons of many ports of call. It seems that perhaps, conversely some features of weapons or material culture in these 'exotic' ports indeed influenced that of many other visited ports as well of course as their destined European trade centers.

There are a good number of European hangers which have lionheads and other grotesque creatures in their theme which date around 17th and 18th centuries clearly reflecting these influences. Some of the 'makara' head example swords often mistaken for Sinhalese are actually from Malaya, Thailand, Viet Nam and other SE Asian regions, but these reflect usually their own traditional symbolism..it is primarily the zoomorphic pommel concept which is notable toward comparison.

Great discussion here, and Gustav, thank you again for the clarification and extremely helpful notes.

All best regards,
Jim
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Old 31st January 2014, 04:50 PM   #245
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Salaams All… Note to Library;

I add the following interesting detail from http://civitavecchia.co.uk/hasekura.html

Quote”Hasekura Tsunenaga, the Samurai Ambassador
Hasekura Rokuemon Tsunenaga (or "Francisco Felipe Faxicura", as he was baptized in Spain) (1571–1622) (Japanese: 支倉六右衛門常長, also spelled Faxecura Rocuyemon in period European sources, reflecting the contemporary pronunciation of Japanese) was a Japanese samurai and retainer of Date Masamune, the Daimyo of Sendai. In the years 1613 through 1620, Hasekura headed a diplomatic mission to the Vatican in Rome, traveling through New Spain (arriving in Acapulco and departing from Veracruz) and visiting various ports-of-call in Europe. This historic mission is called the Keichō Embassy (慶長使節), and follows the Tenshō embassy (天正使節) of 1582. On the return trip, Hasekura and his companions re-traced their route across Mexico in 1619, sailing from Acapulco for Manila, and then sailing north to Japan in 1620. He is conventionally considered the first Japanese ambassador in the Americas and in Europe .

The Japanese Embassy went on to Italy where they were able to meet with Pope Paul V in Rome in November 1615, the same year Galileo Galilei was first confronted by the Roman Inquisition regarding his findings against geocentricism. Hasekura remitted to the Pope two gilded letters, one in Japanese and one in Latin, containing a request for a trade treaty between Japan and Mexico and the dispatch of Christian missionaries to Japan. These letters are still visible in the Vatican archives. The Latin letter, probably written by Luis Sotelo for Date Masamune, reads, in part:
"Kissing the Holy feet of the Great, Universal, Most Holy Lord of The Entire World, Pope Paul, in profound submission and reverence, I, Idate Masamune, King of Wôshû in the Empire of Japan, suppliantly say: The Franciscan Padre Luis Sotelo came to our country to spread the faith of God. On that occasion, I learnt about this faith and desired to become a Christian, but I still haven't accomplished this desire due to some small issues. However, in order to encourage my subjects to become Christians, I wish that you send missionaries of the Franciscan church. I guarantee that you will be able to build a church and that your missionaries will be protected. I also wish that you select and send a bishop as well. Because of that, I have sent one of my samurai, Hasekura Rokuemon, as my representative to accompany Luis Sotelo across the seas to Rome, to give you a stamp of obedience and to kiss your feet. Further, as our country and Nueva España are neighbouring countries, could you intervene so that we can discuss with the King of Spain, for the benefit of dispatching missionaries across the seas."
-Translation of the Latin letter of Date Masamune to the Pope.
The Pope agreed to the dispatch of missionaries, but left the decision for trade to the King of Spain. The Roman Senate also gave to Hasekura the honorary title of Roman Citizen, in a document he brought back to Japan, and which is preserved today in Sendai. Sotelo also described the visit to the Pope, book De ecclesiae Iaponicae statu relatio (published posthumously in 1634):
"When we got there by the aid of God in the Year of Our Salvation 1615, not only were we kindly received by His Holiness the great Pope, with the Holy College of the Cardinals and a gathering of bishops and nobles, and even the joy and general happiness of the Roman People, but we and three others (whom the Japanese Christians had specially designated to announce their condition with respect to the Christian religion) were heard, rested, and just as we were hoping, dispatched as quickly as possible."
-(Sotelo, De ecclesiae Iaponicae statu relatio)
Besides the official description of Hasekura's visit to Rome, some contemporary communications tend to indicate that political matters were also discussed, and that an alliance with Date Masamune was suggested as a way to establish Christian influence in the whole of Japan:
"The Ambassador strongly insisted that the authority and power of his ruler was superior to that of many European countries"
-(Anonymous Roman communication, dated 10 October 1615)
"The Franciscan Spanish fathers are explaining that the King of the Ambassador [Hasekura Tsunenaga] will soon become the supreme ruler of his country, and that, not only will they become Christians and follow the will of the church of Rome, but they will also in turn convert the rest of the population. This is why they are requesting the dispatch of a high eclesiastic together with the missionaries. Because of this, many people have been doubting the true purpose of the embassy, and are wondering if they are not looking for some other benefit."
-(Letter of the Venetian ambassador, 7 November 1615).” Unquote.

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Old 31st January 2014, 05:32 PM   #246
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DANGER CONJECTURE AHEAD. THE JAPANESE AMBASSADOR WAS PRESENT IN SPAIN FOR TWO YEARS SO PERHAPS A SWORD COULD HAVE BEEN SPECIALY COMISSIONED AND MADE. HE MAY HAVE SEEN THE VARIOUS SWORDS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES PRESENT IN SPAINS MUSEUMS. THOSE ACCOMPANING HIM WOULD HAVE REPORTED TO THE KING ANYTHING HE FOUND MOST INTERESTING AND COMENTED ON. THE LAW AGAINST GIVING SPANISH ARMS TO A FORIGNER MAY HAVE BEEN BYPASSED BY HAVING A SWORD COMISSIONED ESPECIALLY FOR THE AMBASSADOR INCORPORATING THE FEATURES AND TYPES HE MOST ADMIRED WHEN LOOKING AT THE EXAMPLES IN SPANISH COLLECTIONS.
THE CARVING ON THE BACK OF THE BLADE AS WELL AS ITS FORM DOES NOT RESEMBLE A SIRI LANKAN KASTANE BLADE IT LOOKS MORE LIKE THE SPANISH BLADE SHAPE. THE DRAGON OR MONSTER CARVED INTO THE BLADE LOOKS MORE LIKE WHAT IS SEEN ON CHINESE OR OTHER ASIAN COUNTRIES POLE ARM BLADES. THE HANDLE IS CLOSE TO THE KASTANE FORM BUT A BIT DIFFERENT. THERE DOSENT SEEM TO BE A SCABBARD FOR THE SWORD AND THE ONE IN THE PAINTING HAS A SCABBARD LOOKING MORE LIKE A LEATHER EUROPEAN FORM THAN ONE FROM CEYLON. MOST KASTANE DO NOT HAVE A SCABBARD AS THEY ARE USUALLY MADE OF THIN WOOD AND ARE VERY FRAGILE. THE SILVER ONES HOLD UP BETTER BUT ARE OFTEN MISSING AS WELL. IF THERE WAS A KASTANE PRESENT IN THE COLLECTIONS IN SPAIN PERHAPS ITS SCABBARD WAS MISSING AS WELL.
WHAT WOULD PROVIDE SOME GOOD INFORMATION AND NOT JUST CONJECTURE WOULD BE TO HAVE SOMEONE FAMILIAR WITH FORGED BLADES FROM SPAIN LOOK AT THE SWORD AS WELL AS SOMEONE EXPERT IN SIRI LANKAN WORKMANSHIP. UNTIL THEN WE MUST DIG AND SPECULATE AND PERHAPS HIT ON SOME FACTS ALONG THE WAY .
I DON'T HAVE A PICTURE OF A BLADE WITH A CARVED MONSTER BUT INCLUDE TWO CHINESE BLADES A POLE ARM BLADE AND A SWORD.
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Old 31st January 2014, 05:37 PM   #247
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Salaams All ~ Note to Library.

From http://www.artsales.com/ARTistory/Xavier/Hasekura.html

I quote"Having just crossed the Pacific Ocean Hasekura Tsunenaga had an audience with the Mexican viceroy in 1614. After traversing Mexico between Acapulco and Vera cruz and the Atlantic Ocean in 1615 he sailed for Spain where he met with the Spanish monarch Philip III (1598-1621). While in Spain he was baptized a Christian. The ceremony was conducted by the Archbishop of Toledo and the Duke of Lerma was designated as Hasekura's Godfather. Hasekura'a delegation stayed in Spain for eight months before traveling on to Italy".Unquote.

Thus since got the weapons presented there it would seem plausible that there could have been some Spanish influence in the case of a weapon having apparently a mixed provenance?

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Old 31st January 2014, 05:43 PM   #248
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VANDOO
DANGER CONJECTURE AHEAD. THE JAPANESE AMBASSADOR WAS PRESENT IN SPAIN FOR TWO YEARS SO PERHAPS A SWORD COULD HAVE BEEN SPECIALY COMISSIONED AND MADE. HE MAY HAVE SEEN THE VARIOUS SWORDS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES PRESENT IN SPAINS MUSEUMS. THOSE ACCOMPANING HIM WOULD HAVE REPORTED TO THE KING ANYTHING HE FOUND MOST INTERESTING AND COMENTED ON. THE LAW AGAINST GIVING SPANISH ARMS TO A FORIGNER MAY HAVE BEEN BYPASSED BY HAVING A SWORD COMISSIONED ESPECIALLY FOR THE AMBASSADOR INCORPORATING THE FEATURES AND TYPES HE MOST ADMIRED WHEN LOOKING AT THE EXAMPLES IN SPANISH COLLECTIONS.
THE CARVING ON THE BACK OF THE BLADE AS WELL AS ITS FORM DOES NOT RESEMBLE A SIRI LANKAN KASTANE BLADE IT LOOKS MORE LIKE THE SPANISH BLADE SHAPE. THE DRAGON OR MONSTER CARVED INTO THE BLADE LOOKS MORE LIKE WHAT IS SEEN ON CHINESE OR OTHER ASIAN COUNTRIES POLE ARM BLADES. THE HANDLE IS CLOSE TO THE KASTANE FORM BUT A BIT DIFFERENT.



Salaams Vandoo... Like Hasekura and the Pacific our posts crossed... Yes I dont give a lot of weight to the illegality of the weapon since he was given a European name on Baptism and later even made a Roman citizen...and since he was gifted it by the King himself I dont really think it was a problem. I do agree that more weight to a Spanish weapon would be plausible and I note your point on the hilt as well as the blade fullers and odd monster.
Thank you for your post.
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Old 1st February 2014, 12:29 AM   #249
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Pics from Boccia & Coelho ("Armi Bianche Italiene", 1975, #516-519), this is an Italian sword presented to Philip III of Spain by Carlo Emanuel I of Savoy (1562-1630) apparently in 1603.

Worthy of note, the lionhead, and the 'monster head' on the scabbard tip.
While the blade is more of a narrow type with yelman rather than the form on the Hasekura example, these other features are interesting in considering influences present in Spain prior to the mission's arrival.
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Old 1st February 2014, 12:40 AM   #250
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This is a falchion stated German from Stone (1934, p.224, #276) and stated 15th century. There is little information in text in Stone on this sword, its reference is shown as "A Cyclopedia of Costume or Dictionary of Dress" (James R. Planche, N.Y. 1877).

Please note the pronounced peak on this example, resembling this notable feature on the Hasekura sword. While the German provenance is of course distracting from our focus on Spain, and Italy, it is important to note that going through Calvert (1907, "Spanish Arms & Armour") there are profusely examples of German armour supplied to Spanish nobles and monarchs.
Armourers were typically actually 'brokers' and assembled harness components from many subcontracted artisans. With this they often furnished swords in many cases.

The 15th century classification is of course considerably earlier than the period we are discussing, but these blade profiles remained prevalent for many generations, even centuries with tradition bound Spain .
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Old 1st February 2014, 12:40 AM   #251
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Another grouping of stortas from Boccia & Coelho (upper left #509) is from Venice c.1600.

(upper right, #543, #544) are both from Naples c. 1600-10

below #386, 387, 388 are from Venice c 1550, note the recurved crossguards reflecting basic form of developing hit system, also the human and lionheads.

* The late Tony North in his "Late 15th Century Italian Sword" (Connoisseur, 1975) notes the developed hilt system similar to nimcha of North Africa and of course kastane probably developed from this type sword hilt, citing Charles Buttin with concurring views.

Quite interesting is the sketch of a zoomorphic head in carved ivory from Italy (#389) dating from c1554. Of note, the deeply channeled fullers cf. those seen in the Hasekura kastane. Again, there are many Italian swords with these deeply channeled fullers, often in elaborate sectioning.
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Old 1st February 2014, 01:54 AM   #252
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At last! I finally completed my three posts with images, posts #249, 250 and 251. Due to scanner issues I enlisted the help of my wife (my tech support) to use her phone to take these, so sorry for the drawn out grouping.

#249: Images of the Philip III sword from c1603, where this sword is in the Royal Armouries of Madrid as catalogued by Calvert in 1907. It is illustrated in "Armi Bianchi Italiene" (1975, opcit. and text on p.390).

What interesting here is the lionhead on this sword (of European form of course) and most notably the monster head on the scabbard tip .

It would seem that the use of figure heads was in place in Italy, and possibly elsewhere in Europe by mid 16th century, and as seen here, this and the 'monster' head were already featured on swords in Spain prior to the Hasekura mission.

If indeed the blade was produced in Spain placing this type of monster head on the peak of the blade, and spurious markings (as often placed) were added, could the second marking be a European attempt at Japanese characters?
I think we can rule out China as a place for blade provenance, and as seen, the Philippine possibility is out. Oriental influences seem quite present by the time of this sword c.1603.

The other images are pretty much explained in each post.

I want to note that these images and data are from the books referenced and photos using phone as noted.



***** Note: Apparantly there is conflict in whether the kastane and keris were acquired by Hasekura in Madrid at audience with Philip III.....or in another account which suggests these were obtained in Philippines -on behalf of Philip III ? Naturally confirmation of which is important in the consideration of these comparative examples.

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Old 1st February 2014, 02:53 AM   #253
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Dear KukulzA

I am including a few references regarding a basic timeline of Sri Lankan swords primarily from the publication “Ancient Swords Daggers & Knives in the Sri Lankan museums” by P.H.D.H.De Silva and S. Wickramasinghe (2006)

You are correct that the Kasthana and the D guard swords are the last common forms of the Sinhala swords. The earliest swords where evidence survive from the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa kingdoms going back more than 2000 bp. were mostly down curved swords and straight long double edged blades. There are many forms of short curved and Gladius type weapons illustrated but with little surviving artifacts. the early types are always simple and in-ornate. the transformation of ornate arms (in general) is possibly in the Gampola or Dambadeni kingdom era and couple of centuries prior to the arrival of the portuguese. the massive destruction wrought on by the portuguese destroyed most of the incidental evidence that would have assisted in constructing a proper timeline.

Vandoo the proper spelling is Sri Lanka and not SIRI Lanka

Regards
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Old 1st February 2014, 03:12 AM   #254
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sorry images failed to attach- re sending

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Old 1st February 2014, 03:32 AM   #255
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Adding two more swords. including "Kandy ritual sword" extracted from a paper by G.L.Anandalal Nanayakkara (included in the above publication) which I believe is a valuable link as a transitional surviving link between the polonnanruwa era swords and the Kasthana. it also contain predecessors of the animal forms on the guards as well.

p.s. there is a class of replica weapons used in Devala and Kovils where different deities are worshiped. the arms used usually parallel actual arms in use at the time. so IF this was only a "ritual sword" there was very likely a real arm as well at that period of a similar form.

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Old 1st February 2014, 10:17 AM   #256
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Dear Prasanna, thank you for these posts. At least something substantial and relevant here.
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Old 1st February 2014, 12:01 PM   #257
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Magnificent material Prasana.
Although not properly substantial but, i suppose, based on serious evidence, is the 'calachurro', if you allow me to go back to this subject, already posted in #71 and #82. This could have been a non adorned but certainly popular field edged weapon, manifestly used during the XVII century, if not before, perhaps only so far missing chroniclers to have written about it.
It is not a coincidence that Antonio Bocarro mentioned it in 1635, João Ribeiro in 1685 and Friar João de Queiroz in 1687.
This short sword, named by Ribeiro as traçado, potentialy the wrong spelling for terçado, name that, in the short sword typology, refers a rather short sword with a wide blade. He precised its length being of 2 1/2 palms (some 55 cms.); while Bocarro refers to its wide and short blade, although not much curved. Friar João de Queiroz emphasizes its frequent resource in combat.
Sebastião Dalgado (1855-1922), author of works like Dialect Indo-Portuguese of Ceylon, in his Luso-Asiatic glossary, in atempting that calachurro is a portuguesation of Kãla + Churi (dead knife = killing knife) is afirmative in that in modern times its name shifted to Kirichchya, a term borrowed from the Malay keris.
I know i am repeating myself but am wondering that, at light of later research and developments, you might have new assumptions on this subject ... like, for example, atempting on match between the Kãlachuri and some of the images posted, as also with the examples shown by VVV in his post #8, which book H. Parker's Ancient Ceylon you 'might' have.
I am sorry for returning to an old approach ... only hoping it could by now contribute a little more to Siri Lankan swords theme.
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Old 1st February 2014, 01:47 PM   #258
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav
Dear Prasanna, thank you for these posts. At least something substantial and relevant here.



I absolutely agree that Prasanna has continually presented outstanding and profoundly significant material here. Thank you so much Prasanna.
I think it is important to note that he is Sri Lankan and not only with excellent resources in the location we are trying to learn more on, but rightfully proud of his heritage.

We others that are trying to learn more are using whatever resources we have, and making an honest effort to present and analyze whatever we can to develop our understanding. I know that I have had books strewn about along with many years of notes from earlier researches for days here in this limited space I have. I spent many hours yesterday and the day before going through resources and with difficulties trying to post images etc.
My goal was to illustrate what European sources may have influenced the kastane in its traditional form.

There seems to be a derisive posture toward the efforts of some of us to enter into discussion using the material and data we have available. I would point out that we have done so in good faith, and our intentions have only been to learn more on these intriguing weapons.

How unfortunate that common courtesy cannot prevail without these kinds of comments.
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Old 1st February 2014, 02:18 PM   #259
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav
Dear Prasanna, thank you for these posts. At least something substantial and relevant here.



Salaams Gustav, If I can simply illustrate how far we have advanced on this thread our understanding of the developed main thrust of this topic "The Kastane " and incidentally the broader view regarding other Sri Lankan weapons as well as the fine addition by Prasanne on the likely origins of the sword seen on the Sri Lankan National Flag etc;

We are perhaps close to identifying the Japanese item with what could well be a Falchion/Storta blade ... which forms a great little side avenue for research and which has taken many hours of deliberate and exacting research. The avenue includes potential links to oriental weapons and influence through Portuguese involvement in Sri Lankan designs from the outset in 1505. The journey by Hasekura Tsunenaga has been an amazing episode where parallel research opened my eyes in addition to the Sri Lankan/Chinese relations with the Ming dynasty etc. Getting a clear picture of Hasekura's involvement has been confounded by incomplete data and conflicting reports but I believe we are much better informed than before and despite the idiosyncrasies of 400 years of clouded detail understandably lost in time.

Much of the involvement by the three invaders Portuguese, Dutch and British has been unfurled and their effects on the key weapon in the Sri Lankan blades arsenal; The Kastane. We have observed the link with the Royal Workshops, the development of the weapon as a Court Sword and badge of office and rank. The ancient historical link and influence of design by Buddhist/Hindu pre-history has been given great attention.

Over all great strides have been made in our understanding; Therefor I have to ask of your remark above...Is that the best you can do?

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 1st February 2014, 10:35 PM   #260
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav
Dear Prasanna, thank you for these posts. At least something substantial and relevant here.


What an uncharitable and unproductive comment, Gustav. Troll-like, even.

I suggest a vacation from this thread.
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Old 1st February 2014, 10:36 PM   #261
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Therefor I have to ask of your remark above...Is that the best you can do?


Let's not go down this path, please.
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Old 2nd February 2014, 02:52 AM   #262
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Dear Prasanna,
In your post #254 you showed an old and presumably Sri Lankan patissa.
Quite some time ago I posted 2 of my patissas:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=6012

Do you think they might be Sri Lankan as well? Will you hazard a guess re. their age?

They are made out of bloomery steel, the earliest and the most primitive way of obtaining enough material to hammer into a blade.
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Old 2nd February 2014, 04:46 AM   #263
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Fernando- still a bit puzzled by the Calachurro. The term “Kala Kiringne” is still in use for a type of knuckle duster. but even the word “Kala Kirichchiya” is not in proper use as to my knowledge. been discussing this with some Angam folk as well, but nothing significant is extant that clearly indicate this arm.

My personal assumption though is that it probably refers to the short wide bladed sword depicted as in the Gladiator at “Ambekke devale” illustration above. though no artifacts of these swords are found this sword is the most prolifically illustrated sword of the period. I am including an image from a frieze in Ridi-vihara depicting gladiators fighting with these swords.

Ariel, interesting to see those swords. The similar styled Sri Lankan swords are dated roughly between 5th -12th centuries in both Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa kingdoms. I would not be sure of a particular name given to them though; there are references to patissa in certain sources I am not sure if it refers to this. There is one curious difference though in construction; the Sinhala swords are assembled as hilt and guard sections inserted to a rod extension of the blade and held together with a screw on end piece similar to the X -ray radiograph image shown. your hilts seem to be cast separately and fitted to the blade with pins. (??)

Prasanna
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Old 2nd February 2014, 01:10 PM   #264
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prasanna Weerakkody
...I am including an image from a frieze in Ridi-vihara depicting gladiators fighting with these swords...

Amazing!
See how a Portuguese has depicted the Chingalas* in the XVI century ... pass his naíve trace and artist's freedom.
(Watercolours belonging to the Casanatense Codice, from which i have both a basic and a de luxe reproduction ... both full of support articles and chronicles).

* or Chingalás; how the Portuguese called the Sinhalese in those days.


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Old 2nd February 2014, 02:22 PM   #265
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Fernando,
great to have this image- actually it seems quite accurate, the Hair and mustache styles, ornaments etc. match the style of the Sinhalese (Chingalas) at the time. so the weapons should also be faithfully reproduced. the swords match the local illustrations as well. Fantastic image find. Thanks again for sharing.

Prasanna
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Old 2nd February 2014, 03:55 PM   #266
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Glad to be useful
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Old 3rd February 2014, 07:25 AM   #267
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Default When and where was the Sendai Kastane presented?

Salaams All. Note to Library.

One question hangs over the location in which a presentation of an Indonesian Kris and ostensibly a Sri Lankan Kastane (hybrid?) was made to Hasekura...Where and when was this? No mention is made of the fact when he achieved an audience with King Philip III.

Would this presention have been logical insofar as we are considering two SE Asian weapons and one with potential Chinese markings on the blade? It doesn't add up. However during my investigation I turned to the Philippines...viz;

Japan in Philippine history
By Ambeth R. Ocampo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
10:42 pm | Thursday, October 31st, 2013


Quote"Hasekura Tsunenaga was a Japanese samurai who was received in Mexico, Spain, the Vatican, and the Philippines as a Spanish ambassador in a romantic seven-year journey. He was given an audience by King Philip III in Madrid, was baptized at the Real Monasterio de Descalzas Reales where the Duke Lerma stood as ninong, then was received by Pope Paul V and granted honorary citizenship by the City of Rome.

Hasekura’s last stop was Manila, where he wrote a cheerful letter to his son in 1619 saying he was shopping and preparing to sail home. The original letter is displayed in the Sendai City Museum together with an Indonesian kris and a dagger from Sri Lanka that Hasekura acquired in the Philippines. I was disappointed that no Philippine artifacts were extant. Not in the exhibition are archival documents on the Hasekura mission from the Archivo General de Indias in Sevilla written during Hasekura’s stay in Manila: an inventory of presents sent to the Shogun by the Governor-General of the Philippines, reports from the Bishop of Cebu and the Archbishop of Manila regarding the rivalry between the Jesuits and the other religious orders doing missionary work in Japan, and reports on the continued persecution of Christians in Japan". Unquote

Thus it appears we may be looking at Chinese influence to a presentation or acquired hybrid Kastane (the fullers and Makara/ Gargoyle style blade mark being key... though the Storta blade may still be in contention etc.

There is an interesting background description to the Kris at forum on http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...t=kris+hasekura by A.G. MAISEY that is essential background reading and from which I have recovered the picture below. Wikepedia carries the same artwork and under it states that they were "acquired" from The Philippines. Please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasekura_Tsunenaga

See also http://www.japanartsandcrafts.com/8212.html Indonesian kris and Ceylonese dagger (acquired in the Philippines), presented by Hasekura to Date Masamune upon his return; Sendai City Museum Hasekura reported his travels to Date Masamune upon his arrival in Sendai. It is recorded that he remitted a portrait of Pope Paul V, a portrait of himself in prayer (shown above), and a set of Ceylonese and Indonesian daggers acquired in the Philippines, all preserved today in the Sendai City Museum.

From this picture and fresh timeline /location evidence, it is perhaps relevant to state loosely what we are looking at and viz-a-viz the comparison with the Popham artwork.

Notwithstanding the blades...(although there is probably a complete study within that alone; see note below*) The timescale encompasses the two varied styles of the Kastane Hilt since certainly the Hybrid Kastane at Sendai museum does have a Sri Lankan Hilt ( marked by the obvious Vajra Quillons etc). That Hilt in clear Lion form whilst the Popham, painted from an item of the same time frame, shows a more elaborate Gargoyle/ Serpentine main pommel and grip treatment associated with Buddhist Deity influence.

This suggests broad artistic licence, interpretation and choice of design in the early period of Portuguese involvement in Sri Lanka...and as already reasoned so far which, incidentally, was the main aim of the comparison.

Many thanks to the involved participants so far, with particular emphasis on the fine historical and other input by Prasanna, Jim, Vandoo, Fernando, Gustav and others.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

* The blade looks like a number of styles including Chinese, Storta and in fact some German examples going back to the Falchion era and as outlined by Jim ..Another blade looks similar, the Quderra, however what seems to mark the issue is the blade stamp on one hand and the large serpent like creature identified by me earlier as Makara with a Chinese fuller style as already noted. On balance however it appears that the blade may have been of Storta influence and perhaps worked by a Chinese bladesmith with the design being added .. The influence of an Oriental design feature is certainly more likely in that we may now realize where the blades were obtained during Hasekuras two year stay in The Philippines before returning finally to Japan.
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Old 3rd February 2014, 03:18 PM   #268
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Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
... Many thanks to the involved participants so far ...

So kind of you Ibrahiim ... but, AFAIAC, you needn't bother resuming thanks for one's contribution to the thread. Remember that its author was someone else; you are then saved from the burden of such protocol .
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Old 3rd February 2014, 10:40 PM   #269
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I have decided to open a new thread with its title specific to the kastane which I hope will better attend to discussion on these in particular without further consternation to the broader scope of this thread. While the title here is of course Sinhala/Sri Lankan swords, which obviously includes the profoundly notable kastane, it would seem its complexities and far more comprehensive requirements would be better served in separate discussion.

I would invite anyone reading here with specific interest in the kastane to not only peruse the discussion thus far here, but to also go to "The Sinhalese Kastane: Its Development, Decoration and Symbolism" which will be concurrently on this forum.

I hope this will better appoint the focus in addressing these topics, and although I am not personally the author of this particular thread, I would like to take the liberty of thanking everyone who has participated here as well, and especially KuKulz for the original post. The weapons of Sri Lanka overall, are fascinating as is the remarkable history of this nation , so I look forward to continued development in discussion here as well as on the other thread.
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Old 13th February 2014, 05:04 AM   #270
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HERE ARE SOME PICTURES OF SOUTH INDIAN SWORDS. #1. PICTURE IS REFERRED TO AS A PATTISA AND HAS A 18.5 INCH BLADE. #2. PICTURE SOUTH INDIA TEMPLE SWORDS. #3. NAYAR TEMPLE SWORD.
THESE ARE SIMULAR TO THE SWORDS DEPICTED ABOVE. I ASSUME DURING CEYLONS HISTORY POWER MAY HAVE BEEN HELD BY KINGDOMS IN SOUTHERN INDIA OVER PARTS OF CEYLON AND LIKEWISE CEYLON MAY HAVE HELD TERRITORY IN SOUTHERN INDIA. THIS OFTEN OCCURS EITHER BY TREATY OR FORCE OF ARMS BUT AS I DON'T KNOW THE HISTORY I DON'T KNOW.
I HAVE SEEN SOMETHING SIMULAR IN THIS SWORD FORM (ESPECIALLY THE BLADE ) IN JAPANESE AND CHINESE ART USUALLY REPRESENTED AS A TEMPLE SWORD.
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