“Weapons may have decorations on them to enhance the spirit of the warrior but they should primarily be built for durability.”
Miyamoto Musashi translated by Stephen F. Kaufman

The Martial Artist’s Book of Five Rings

Create “Nothing”

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“The story involves two swordsmiths, Muramasa and Masamune. Both were reputed to produce excellent swords, prized among the samurai. The character of Muramasa, however, was said to be jealous and cynical: his ambition and keen sense of competitiveness motivated him to concentrate on forging blades that cut keenly … any samurai who possessed a Muramasa sword … felt its power and quality and was urged to cut people mercilessly. Masamune’s swords, on the other hand, were said to invest their owners with a sense of confidence and serenity. Though these swords also cut well and were brilliantly beautiful, much of the time they remained sheathed …

It is reported that Chiyozuru-Korehide knew that his blades ‘cut well’. This meant, simply, that the cutting edge was extremely thin. Logically, then, the best cutting edge would be defined as the thinnest possible edge, so thin as to almost approach nothing. For Chiyozuru-Korehide, then, the highest achievement of his craft would be to create ‘nothing.’ But once nothing has been created, it becomes something, and this is no longer nothing. It is no wonder that Chiyozuru-Korehide, as well as other blacksmiths, wrote poetry, for their skill and knowledge were inextricably combined with philosophy.”

Japanese Woodworking Tools – Their Tradition, Spirit and Use by Toshio Odate

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