The Municipality of Turin, Italy, recently hosted the Japan week, an international event organized by the International Friendship Foundation, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, whose main purpose is to “promote friendly relations, mutual understanding and peace through culture and art”.
So we had the chance to visit and attend, after a reasonable queue, the exhibition and workshops hosted at the Turin’s Museum of Oriental Arts, a bright gem in the Italian cultural landscape.
Among many interesting booths, our attention has been caught by “Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword”, from the town of Setouchi, Japan.
Their economy is deeply rooted on their centuries-old knowledge in sword making -especially their ability in engraving the hilts (or if you prefer, the katana’s tsuba). These people are trying to reboot their business also by setting a crowdfunding which could enable them in nurturing their vision.
Sara won a little contest between visitors so she was awarded with a special gift: an engraving on a small copper plate. Of course she asked the word “Aikido”.
We like to recall what Morihei Ueshiba wrote in “The Art of Peace”, as he stated:
Life itself is always a trial. In training, you must test and polish yourself in order to face the great challenges of life. Transcend the realm of life and death, and then you will be able to make your way calmly and safely through any crisis that confronts you.
Whatever O’Sensei intended for “testing and polish”, we all experience that on our skin. Watching the smith engraving the kanji can be a silent contribution to understand the exact meaning of what we try to embody in our dojo’s practice.