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  全日本刀匠会会長  三上 貞直

 平成25年9月1日、吉原國家会長の後任として、第7代全日本刀匠会会長に指名され就任いたしました。歴代会長の志を受け継ぎ、日本の心と技を伝えるため、微力ですが、誠心誠意務めて参りたいと思います。皆様のご理解とご支援を賜りますよう、宜しくお願いいたします。就任にあたり、日頃の思いを一文に致しました。どうぞご覧下さい。


和のこころ(7)

 太古の昔、神々の住む天空から地上に鉄(隕鉄(いんてつ))がもたらされました。やがて地上界でも鉄を取り出す技術が生まれ、鉄器が生まれ、剣が生まれて、世界に広がりました。
万物に神が宿る瑞穂の国に伝わった剣は、やがて独特の美しい姿を持つ刀に進化していきます。それらには猛々しい神が宿り、人の力の及ばない凶事・物の怪から身を守り、未来を切り開いていく「守り刀」として、祈りと願いが秘められていました。
 そして平安時代、日本の刀は大陸に渡り、美しく優(すぐ)れた武器、妖魔・凶事を払う力を持つ日本の刀、「日本刀」と呼ばれ、室町時代には大陸の果てヨーロッパにまで伝わったといいます。
美しく研ぎ澄まされ、冴え冴え(さえざえ)と光輝く刃文と練り鍛えられた地金を見るとき、私は「和をもって貴しとなす」「武士道の究極の目的は平和である」と述べた先人達の心、それに応えた刀工達の技が、形となって語りかけてくるように感じます。
今日、伝えられている刀は全て、創られた時には、その時代の人達に支えられて出来た現代刀でありました。私達も、皆様と共に、先人たちの心と技を見つめ直し、未来を切り開く支えとなるような現代の刀、「守り刀」を創りたい。 現代の魅力ある刀を創りたいと、それぞれがひたすらに鉄を打ち鍛えています。  
  私達は、微力ではありますが、歴史と伝統を遵守しつつ、現代の息吹も取り入れ、次世代に伝えていく努力を重ねて参りたいと思います。日本の心が世界に伝わり、平和な未来が築かれますよう、多くの皆様のご支援、ご鞭撻をいただきますようお願いいたします。  

平成25年9月1日
会長 三上貞直



Greetings

On September 1st, 2013, I succeeded Kuniie Yoshihara, and became the 7th Chairman of the All Japan Swordsmiths Association. The task of living up to the previous chairmen in conveying the skill and heart of Japan is huge, but I will serve to the best of my ability. I look forward to everyone’s support and understanding. Thank you all very much. On accepting this office, I have written some of my daily thoughts below that I would like to share with you. I would be happy if you read them.
Sadanao Mikami 1st Sept, 2013


The Heart of Japan

In ancient times, iron in the form of meteorites (in-tetsu) fell from the sky, and was thought to have come from the gods. The technology to extract iron from the earth was soon discovered, and gave birth to the iron-age. The steel sword was born shortly after, and then spread around the world. When the sword was introduced to the land of Japan, where the gods dwell in all things, it soon evolved into a unique blade, with a beautiful shape, and fierce gods dwelling inside that protected the owner against things beyond the human realm, such as demons and ghosts. Later, these swords came to be known as Omamori-gatana (swords as spiritually protective amulets), and the owners’ wishes and prayers would be placed inside the blade.
In the Heian period (794-1185), the beautiful, superior sword of Japan with the power to quell demons and ghosts, crossed over to the Asian continent. They were referred to as Nippon-to, and by the Muromachi period (1392-1573) they were known about as far as Europe.
When I look at a beautifully polished blade with a bright and clear hamon (pattern of the hardened edge) and the forge folded steel, I understand the spirit of our ancestors sayings, "Harmony is paramount" and "The ultimate aim of Bushido is ‘peace", and I realize the skill of the swordsmiths who responding to this call. Today, all the swords that have been passed down to us were the modern swords of their age when they were made, and supported by the patrons of that era. Together, we too, in the spirit of our ancestors can give our support to the craft to create modern Omamori-gatana that can be passed on to future generations. For we too, also want to make beautiful swords representative of our generation, with each one forged with our modern spirit.
I think that we have a lot to live up to, but in accordance with the history and tradition, we must continue to persevere and pass on the tradition to the next generation so that the heart of Japan is transmitted to the world in the hope of creating a peaceful future. I humbly ask for everyone’s support and encouragement.

Translation: Paul Martin