Thursday, December 7, 2023

Tameshigiri Testing a New Samurai Sword


Tameshigiri is the art of testing a new sword. In the good old days this would often be done using the body of an executed criminal, but sometimes on a live criminal.

When this no longer became practical a substitute was discovered that mimicked the properties of human bodies. Wet goza, the reed mats that cover tatami flooring, when wrapped around bamboo, was close to a human limb.

Nowadays Tameshigiri is a kind of an exhibition martial art, but the goza is not wet and is not wrapped around bamboo.

There are a variety of different cuts and arrangements in Tamegishiri. One of the more difficult is called Tsubamegaeshi. A vertical roll of goza is first cut with a 45 degree downward cut from left to right. then followed by an upward 45 degree cut from right to left below the first cut. Then before the cut piece can fall it is cut in half horizontally from left to right, and a final cut on the remaining standing piece of roll is cut horizontally from right to left. All in the blink of an eye. see Photo 3

This video and these photos were taken at a demonstration of Tamegishiri at the Okuizumo Tatara and Sword Museum and the sword master is Mr. Yoshihara.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the combo of video and closer-up photos.