Since i have saw the higlander 3 the sorcerer,I have add this question. In the film they show him making is sword he as a stone writen on it knowledge. And he seams to meditate every day making is sword. Today there is only 30 traditionnal japanese sword maker and many of them say that they have drop the ceremonial part of the tradition. But was there a deeper aspect(psycho-spiritual,meditation) to sword making? We know that alchemist where not only about metal but about hiden spiritual truth. so maybe it was the same for japanese sword maker?

here is what i have found so far:From the 13th century when the legendary founder and pioneer Motoshige first began making swords in Seki, they were much appreciated throughout Japan. Warlords praised them highly, as we may gather from the old saying: "They neither break nor bend and cut marvelously well." Down through the ages the craftsmen of Seki remained faithful to the secrets of their ancestral art as well as to the Buddhist teaching of Hajya Kensho, which translated literally means: "Smash vice and iniquity, and restore light to righteousness." Clad in their white robes to keep themselves free from defilement, these men forged blades in a spirit of inner emptiness, a characteristic goal of Buddhist spirituality which may explain why so many master sword-makers went on to become famous performers of No and of Kyogen, the comical counterpart of No. Even today the swordsmiths of Seki carry on this 700-year tradition. Some of them say that the flame is the most important element in producing a blade. They say that its color or appearance teaches them everything they need to know, from the state of the steel to the precise moment when the bellows must be brought into play. The flame is their master and friend, and through it they remain in touch with the spirit and art of their predecessors.

Kenshō [note 1] is a Japanese term from the Zen tradition. Ken means "seeing," shō means "nature, essence".[4][2]

Kenshō is an initial insight or awakening, not full Buddhahood.[5] It is to be followed by further training to deepen this insight, and learn to express it in daily life.[6][7][8]

The term kenshō is often used interchangeably with satori, which is derived from the verb satoru[9], and means "comprehension; understanding"

Buddhist scholars have defined kenshō as:

D.T. Suzuki: "Looking into one's nature or the opening of satori"[16]; "This acquiring of a new point of view in our dealings with life and the world is popularly called by Japanese Zen students 'satori' (wu in Chinese). It is really another name for Enlightenment (Annuttara-samyak-sambodhi)".[17][note 4] Dumoulin (1988/2005): "Enlightenment is described here as an insight into the identity of one's own nature with all of reality in an eternal now, as a vision that removes all distinctions. This enlightenment is the center and the goal of the Zen way. Hakuin prefers the term "seeing into one's nature", which for him means ultimate reality. The Buddha nature and the cosmic Buddha body, wisdom (prajna), and emptiness (sunyata), the original countenance one had before one was born, and other expressions from the rich palette of Mahayana terms were all familiair to him from his continued study of the sutras and Zen literature."[19] Peter Harvey (1990): "It is a blissful realization where a person's inner nature, the originally pure mind, is directly known as an illuminating emptiness, a thusness which is dynamic and immanent in the world."[20] G. Victor Sogen Hori (2000): "The term consists of two characters: ken, which means "see" or "seeing", and sho, which means "nature", "character", "quality." To "see one's nature" is the usual translation for kensho".

on the same page i have found this:The notion of "experience" introduces a false notion of duality between "experiencer" and "experienced", where-as the essence of kensho is the realisation of the "non-duality" of observer and observed.[23][26] "Pure experience" does not exist; all experience is mediated by intellectual and cognitive activity.[27][46] The specific teachings and practices of a specific tradition may even determine what "experience" someone has, which means that this "experience" is not the proof of the teaching, but a result of the teaching.[47] A pure consciousness without concepts, reached by "cleaning the doors of perception"[note 8], would be an overwhelming chaos of sensory input without coherence.[49] The notion of "experience" also over-emphasises kensho, as if it were the single goal of Zen-training, where-as the Zen-tradition clearly states that "the stink of Zen"[50] has to be removed and the "experience" of kensho has to be integrated into daily life.

smile ha ha ha. I wounder why people meditate for over 40 days to solve their own inner puzzle,to not be double minded and move out of duality. sure the more puzzle you have on the table the more confusion you will have, know your self and solve them.

Hakuin was alot like Osho he add understand that when you doubt you seek the truth.

The most important and influential teaching of Hakuin was his emphasis on, and systematization of, koan practice. Hakuin deeply believed that the most effective way for a student to achieve insight was through extensive meditation on a koan. Only with incessant investigation of his koan will a student be able to become one with the koan, and attain enlightenment. The psychological pressure and doubt that comes when one struggles with a koan is meant to create tension that leads to awakening. Hakuin called this the "great doubt", writing, "At the bottom of great doubt lies great awakening. If you doubt fully, you will awaken fully".

Four ways of knowingAsanga, one of the main proponents of Yogacara, introduced the idea of four ways of knowing: the perfection of action, observing knowing, universal knowing, and great mirror knowing. He relates these to the Eight Consciousnesses:

1.The five senses are connected to the perfection of action, 2.Samjana (cognition) is connected to observing knowing, 3.Manas (mind) is related to universal knowing, 4.Alaya-vijnana is connected to great mirror knowing.[19] In time, these ways of knowing were also connected to the doctrine of the three bodies of the Buddha (Dharmakāya, Sambhogakāya and Nirmanakaya), together forming the "Yuishiki doctrine".[19]

Hakuin related these four ways of knowing to four gates on the Buddhist path: the Gate of Inspiration, the Gate of Practice, the Gate of Awakening, and the Gate of Nirvana.[20]

1.The Gate of Inspiration is initial awakening, kensho, seeing into one's true nature. 2.The Gate of Practice is the purification of oneself by continuous practice. 3.The Gate of Awakening is the study of the ancient masters and the Buddhist sutras, to deepen the insight into the Buddhist teachings, and acquite the skills needed to help other sentient beings on the Buddhist path to awakening. 4.The Gate of Nirvana is the "ultimate liberation", "knowing without any kind of defilement

One of Hakuin's major concerns was the danger of what he called "Do-nothing Zen" teachers, who upon reaching some small experience of enlightenment devoted the rest of their life to, as he puts it, "passing day after day in a state of seated sleep".[21] Quietist practices seeking simply to empty the mind, or teachers who taught that a tranquil "emptiness" was enlightenment, were Hakuin's constant targets. In this regard he was especially critical of followers of the maverick Zen master Bankei.[22] He stressed a never-ending and severe training to deepen the insight of enlightenment and forge one's ability to manifest it in all activities.[17][18] He urged his students to never be satisfied with shallow attainments, and truly believed that enlightenment was possible for anyone if they exerted themselves and approached their practice with real energy.

Experience and enjoy.

My research stopped at: garbha-samsthana,did not find anny thing more after that.

asked 07 Feb '13, 09:28

white%20tiger's gravatar image

white tiger

edited 07 Feb '13, 16:16

Barry%20Allen's gravatar image

Barry Allen ♦♦


i love this question :)

(07 Feb '13, 09:56) ru bis

Wow that is a lot of information and seems to answer your own question. It doesn't seem I could add anything that hadn't already been said.

(07 Feb '13, 11:37) Wade Casaldi

Well if someone find more add it i always like to learn more stuff.My research stopped at: garbha-samsthana did not find anny buddhis text talking about that,was getting curious of their experience and finding. Not bad for 2 hours of research.

(07 Feb '13, 11:43) white tiger

I believe the Japanese Sword-Smith was before Buddhism. Shinto seems it would fit more since the Samurai considered the Katana as his own soul.

(07 Feb '13, 12:14) Wade Casaldi

I do not agree wade if i remember well shinto was a style of sword in the 8th century.Water ritual also took place there.Water purification Misogi harai or Misogi Shūhō (禊修法) is the term for water purification.

The practice of purification by ritual use of water while reciting prayers is typically done daily by regular practitioners, and when possible by lay practitioners.

(07 Feb '13, 18:27) white tiger

Kenshō dates back to the 7th century.Buddhist teaching of Hajya Kensho, which translated literally means: "Smash vice and iniquity, and restore light to righteousness." dates back to the 3th and 4th century.

(07 Feb '13, 18:39) white tiger
showing 0 of 6 show 6 more comments

It amazes us to discover that before the age of industry, before mass production, a little piece of the craftsman went into the production (listen to me, calling crafting "production"...oh, well... :)) of whatever they made...! The clockmaker is renown for his intense love of tiny gears doing amazing things, all wrought from the gears in his own imagination. Why is it so surprising to find out that making a weapon that is intended to protect, defend, and possibly kill a foe, would be filled with serious ritual and spirituality?

I was required, as part of my Shaman training, to make a Shaman stick, a two-foot stick that would assist me in doing spells, journeying, healing, and renouncing evil. I spent about 200 hours making my stick. I started with an oak branch, which I let sit for a year before i even began to craft my stick, my wand, as it were. I think it is beautiful (which may be due to all that time I spent making it) If I can, I will post a picture of it here. In making the stick, I saw myself using it in different ways, my imagination soaring as I crafted the wand. You can see pictures of my wand in this questiion if you would like to see it completed.(Scroll to the bottom of the question.)

When I saw this question, I thought to myself, "I have nothing to say about sword-making" But I thought about it, and realized that I do have something to say. Whenever you make something that takes a lot of time with your own hands, it gets imbued with spirit and life-force which is lacking from mass-produced items. Just think about the last time you were in a big store that sells things cheap...Did you feel anything spiritual there? I doubt it. But if you went into an antique shop, you do feel something spiritual. It is due to the hand wrought work, and the treasuring of the owners. It is a palpable thing, this essence of the creator in what is being created. You can feel it, and so can the Enemy.

So I guess I understand it, after all.




answered 07 Feb '13, 21:52

Jaianniah's gravatar image


edited 18 Feb '13, 00:02

i can aswer that question Jai,the science people found that ancient civilisation made things that require knowledge of atome in the 7th centory(japanese sword making.),in Nazca they found drawing on the ground that you can see only from the sky that date back thousand years ago,some of those drawing represent some microscopic spider.Some pyramid dating back to thousand year would be hard to make with today technology.So they are surprise,that in the past they add superior knowledge.

(08 Feb '13, 01:34) white tiger

Loved the essence of the creator in what is being created.Very good jai.made in is image,smile.

(08 Feb '13, 01:44) white tiger

Yes sword making is one of the japanese ways to enlightenment, in working the four elements fire, air, water and metal the maker is also working in parallel his own subtle corresponding energies - all physical phenomena are accompanied by a subtle energy counterpart - in putting his heart and soul into making the sword he comes to realize the power of the fifth element, spirit, and his own spiritual counterpart.


answered 07 Feb '13, 13:44

ru%20bis's gravatar image

ru bis

Sword making is a spiritual art in many countries. In Indonesia, mostly Java, Madura, Bali, Sumatra and Borneo.

Pandays, or blacksmiths also work in the dark. They judge the temperature of the metal by the glow. The making of a Javanese Keris is a particularly spiritual practice. The blacksmith works in a fiery forge. Smoke, flames and noise of his hammer and the forge. He often goes through purification rituals and only works on auspicious days, determined, in part by astrology.

One of the favorite metals comes from meteorites. "Sky Metal" forms the basis of many of the tosanaji, or "magic metals."

Keris are made for specific individuals the shape or dapor and the patterns of the folded metals have great significance. A businessman would have a completely different keris than a military man or a scholar.

But not only is the creation of the keris a spiritual practice, but the use of it is deeply spiritual. Intergenerational keris are handed down from ancestors and it is believed it is a conduit to them.

Indonesians believe in the seen - sekala and the unseen - niskala. The keris can be a bridge between these two worlds. But the keris is rarely used in fighting.

The Filipinos have a larger and much more deadly Kris. The blade is massive and very, very sharp. But this is also a spiritual weapon. The warrior will take a newly made blade and stay up all night with it. Invoking a genii of djinn to enter the blade. When this happens, the warrior caps the blade with a piece of metal near the hilt, effectively imprisoning the djin within the blade.

I will post some pictures later. Time for supper!


answered 07 Feb '13, 18:02

Dollar%20Bill's gravatar image

Dollar Bill

In the bible it says that the word is the son of God. Also that the word hebrew 4:12 is sharper than any two edge sword. The word of God {Jesus} is a sword{the sharpest sword ever to be made}.The physical developed from the spiritual.


answered 08 Feb '13, 14:36

Popi%20Bearcat%20Gibson's gravatar image

Popi Bearcat Gibson

Good Point!

(08 Feb '13, 19:39) Jaianniah

the word is truth like jesus said. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

(18 Feb '13, 01:43) white tiger
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