Japanese Sword Spirit

Having been involved with the martial arts for most of my life, I have an interest in swords and shuriken (I even wrote a book about shuriken). I’d been exposed to stories by my teachers who occasionally spoke of the spirit present in some swords and had read many books that mentioned this phenomenon.

 

One day one of my English students invited me to her home where her elderly father had a few shuriken and swords. I’d spoken to one of the older English teachers I worked with and he asked if he could go with me and see the real swords. My student readily agreed and we went there on a Sunday evening. Unfortunately, what her father had thought were “shuriken” were actually “kozuka“, which are different from the shuriken, which was thrown.

 

Her father handed me a sword in its scabbard to examine and I held it and bowed to it before slowly drawing it partially out. I don’t like to remove a sword completely from a scabbard in a small room, so I examined only about three-fourths of the blade before replacing it and bowing to it before returning it to her father. My friend watched me draw the sword and after I’d looked at two others asked if he could look at one. I kept him in my peripheral vision as I examined another one and instantly focused my eyes on him when I sensed a sudden shift in his kehai (presence). He had the sword about half-way out of the scabbard and had flipped it and was bringing it towards his face, which had a blank look, almost as if he was in a trance.

 

I jumped up and shoved the sword back into its scabbard as I pulled it away from him. As soon as I’d freed him of the sword, he looked confused and asked, “What happened? I felt dizzy there for a second.” I told him that he’d come close to cutting his face in half with the sword, but he had no memory of the moment. After that, I explained to him that some swords have spirits and that he’d chosen to look at one that will draw the enemy into it.

 

My student and her father both witnessed what had happened and were shocked. Her father told me that the sword was quite old and that it had been made by a rather famous sword-smith. Both of them had heard about swords having spirits, but had never quite believed it until then.

 

日本刀の魂

若い頃から武道をしてきたので日本刀と手裏剣には興味を持っている(手裏剣の参考書も書いたこともある)。先生達はたまには『剣の魂』や『日本刀は武士の魂』の話しをしていたし、その現象について何冊かの本も読んだこともある。

 

ある日、私の興味を知った英会話の生徒さんは自宅に招待してくれた。彼女のお父さんは日本刀と手裏剣のコレクションを所有していた。英会話学校で年配の英会話講師にその話をしたとき、彼は興味を示して一緒に行きたいと言った。生徒さんに聞いてみたうえ、彼も訪問するようになった。日曜日の夜に伺った時、彼は先ず『手裏剣』と思っていた『小柄』を見せてくれた。残念ながら、手裏剣ではなかった。

 

次に彼女のお父さんは鞘に収めた日本刀を私に手渡した。私は太刀を両手に取ってから持ち上げて礼をしてから、ゆっくり鞘から四分の三ほど抜いた。狭い部屋には抜刀することは好きではないので、刃をその程度抜いて満足した。それから2本を見てから友人が自分も持って見たいと言った。周辺視野で彼女のお父さんが渡す姿を確認した。突然、彼の気配が激変した!彼に眼を向かうと刃を半分ぐらい抜いて鞘を逆にして刃側を自分の顔に向けていることに驚いた!彼は表情のない顔でトランス状態で刃を顔に近づけていた!

 

私は飛び上がって、太刀を引っ張り奪いながら鞘に戻した。彼は鞘から手放した瞬間、混乱した顔で「何があったんですか?一瞬めまいがしました。」彼に顔を半分にするところだったと説明したが、彼は一切それについての記憶にはなかった。続けて日本刀には魂がある、そして彼が持った太刀には恐らく敵を引き込む力があった説明を加えた。

 

生徒さんと彼女のお父さんはずっと横で見ていた。2人は言うまでもなく驚いていた。かなり歴史のある太刀で有名な鍛冶が造ったと彼が語った。2人共は日本刀の『魂』の話しを耳にしたことがあったが、実際に初めて信じた。

By Billy Hammond (Copyright AELS)

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Books published by AELS (AELS出版書籍)

魔女学院&光塾:魔女ガールズの冒険

原作&翻訳:ビレー ハモンド

日本語編集:伊庭野れい子

Majoh Gakuin & Hikari Juku – Japanese Witch Schools – English Edition (魔女学院&光塾(英語)

By Billy Hammond

迷える魔女の戦い (魔女学院&光塾シリーズ第2)

原作&翻訳:ビレー ハモンド

日本語編集:伊庭野れい子

Lost Witch (Majoh Gakuin & Hikari Juku Series Book 2) – English Edition (迷える魔女: 魔女学院&光塾第2弾:英語版)

By Billy Hammond

幸せを運ぶ魔法のチャレンジ 魔女学院&光塾シリーズの第3(Fate & Magic Jp)

原作&翻訳:ビレー ハモンド

日本語編集:伊庭野れい子

“Fate & Magic” Majoh Gakuin & Hikari Juku Series – Japanese Witch Schools Book 3 – English Edition (幸せを運ぶ魔法のチャレンジの英語版)

By Billy Hammond

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