A Super Shinto Period Samurai’s Naganata Polearm With Saya
Signed blade by Masahisa, Shinto period 18th century. Full length original haft.
Picture in the gallery by Kuniyoshi Utagawa (1798-1861) of famous Ronin, Isoai Juroemon Masahisa,
one of the legendary forty seven ronin, and Masahisa wields his near identical naginata blade in a dramatic battle stance. Along with the martial arts, warriors of the samurai class often incorporated other art forms into their training of bushidō. The way of the warrior. Masahisa followed this way of thought and was highly skilled in the koto, the Japanese zither, as well as calligraphy. These elegant past times gained him admiration on the night of the ronin's assassination plot when his comrades noticed a koto plectrum by his waste, showing him as a man of both physical and cultural prowess. The picture of him shows him in a graceful yet dynamic manner, and Masahisa tilts backwards, with his raised naganata striking upwards and across. he revenge of the forty-seven rōnin (四十七士, Shijūshichishi), also known as the Akō incident (赤穂事件, Akō jiken) or Akō vendetta, is an 18th-century historical event in Japan in which a band of rōnin (leaderless samurai) avenged the death of their master. The incident has since become legendary.
The story tells of a group of samurai who were left leaderless after their daimyō (feudal lord) Asano Naganori was compelled to perform seppuku (ritual suicide) for assaulting a court official named Kira Yoshinaka, whose title was Kōzuke no suke. After waiting and planning for a year, the rōnin avenged their master's honor by killing Kira. They were then obliged to commit seppuku for the crime of murder. This true story was popularized in Japanese culture as emblematic of the loyalty, sacrifice, persistence, and honor that people should display in their daily lives. The popularity of the tale grew during the Meiji era, during which Japan underwent rapid modernization, and the legend became entrenched within discourses of national heritage and identity.
Fictionalized accounts of the tale of the forty-seven rōnin are known as Chūshingura. The story was popularized in numerous plays, including in the genres of bunraku and kabuki. Because of the censorship laws of the shogunate in the Genroku era, which forbade portrayal of current events, the names were changed. While the version given by the playwrights may have come to be accepted as historical fact by some, the first Chūshingura was written some 50 years after the event, and numerous historical records about the actual events that predate the Chūshingura survive.
The bakufu's censorship laws had relaxed somewhat 75 years after the events in question in the late 18th century when Japanologist Isaac Titsingh first recorded the story of the forty-seven rōnin as one of the significant events of the Genroku era. To this day, the story remains popular in Japan, and each year on December 14, Sengakuji Temple, where Asano Naganori and the rōnin are buried, holds a festival commemorating the event. The term naginata first appeared in the Kojiki in 712 AD and was used by Sohei warrior priests during the Nara Period, around 750 AD. It is most likely based on the Chinese Guan Dao. In the paintings of battlefield scenes made during the Tengyo no Ran in 936 AD, the naginata can be seen in use. It was in 1086, in the book Oshu Gosannenki ("A Diary of Three Years in Oshu") that the use of the naginata in combat is first recorded. In this period the naginata was regarded as an extremely effective weapon by warriors.
During the Gempei War (1180–1185), in which the Taira clan was pitted against Minamoto no Yoritomo of the Minamoto clan, the naginata rose to a position of particularly high esteem. Cavalry battles had become more important by this time, and the naginata proved excellent at dismounting cavalry and disabling riders. The widespread adoption of the naginata as a battlefield weapon forced the introduction of sune-ate (shin guards) as a part of Japanese armor. The rise of importance for the naginata can be seen as being mirrored by the European pike, another long pole weapon employed against mounted horses. An excellent example of the role of women in Japanese society and martial culture at this time is Itagaki, who, famous for her naginata skills, led the garrison of 3,000 warriors stationed at Toeizakayama castle. Ten thousand Hojo clan warriors were dispatched to take the castle, and Itagaki led her troops out of the castle, killing a significant number of the attackers before being overpowered. Naginatas were often used by foot samurai to create space on the battlefield. They have several situational advantages over a sword. Their reach was longer, allowing the wielder to keep out of reach of his opponent. The long shaft offered it more leverage in comparison to the hilt of the katana, enabling the naginata to cut more efficiently. The weight of the weapon gave power to strikes and cuts, even though the weight of the weapon is usually thought of as a disadvantage. The weight at the end of the shaft and the shaft itself can be used both offensively and defensively. Swords, on the other hand, can be used to attack faster, have longer cutting edges (and therefore more striking surface and less area to grab), and were able to be more precisely controlled in the hands of an experienced swordsman. 95 inches long on its haft, the blade is 15 inches from the base of the habaki to tip.