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M. Livermore





Joined: 20 Aug 2008

Posts: 95

PostPosted: Thu 02 Apr, 2009 9:11 am    Post subject: question regarding vajra hilted swords         Reply with quote

Hello all,

I am a longtime, appreciative lurker, but this is my first post. I hope someone will be able to help me with a point of curiosity. Some time ago I saw a sword of Tibetan origin (I believe) in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston with a hilt in the form of a vajra or dorje; a buddhist thunderbolt symbol. I have been unable to locate any images or references regarding this particular sword or any like it. Is anyone here familiar with the type? I am curious to know how common such a sword might be.

Thanks,

Matt
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Adam S.





Joined: 01 Sep 2006

Posts: 146

PostPosted: Thu 02 Apr, 2009 6:28 pm    Post subject: Re: question regarding vajra hilted swords         Reply with quote

Hi Matt! Welcome and thank you for posting!

Secrets of the Samurai: The Martial Arts of Feudal Japan by Oscar Ratti and Adele Westbrook makes mention of both Vajra hilted swords as well as Buddhist monks that used a Vajra as a striking weapon.

The Vajra-ken is a popular traditional Japanese art device. (IIRC it is featured in The Craft of the Japanese Sword by Leon Kapp, Hiroko Kapp, and Yoshindo Yoshihara, but I don't have my copy- and it's been a while!)

I don't know of anything outside of Japan, but it stands to reason that spread of Buddhism would include some imagery of the like.

Hope that helps,

~Adam

M. Livermore wrote:
Hello all,

I am a longtime, appreciative lurker, but this is my first post. I hope someone will be able to help me with a point of curiosity. Some time ago I saw a sword of Tibetan origin (I believe) in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston with a hilt in the form of a vajra or dorje; a buddhist thunderbolt symbol. I have been unable to locate any images or references regarding this particular sword or any like it. Is anyone here familiar with the type? I am curious to know how common such a sword might be.

Thanks,

Matt
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M. Livermore





Joined: 20 Aug 2008

Posts: 95

PostPosted: Fri 03 Apr, 2009 6:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi, Adam. That helps very much. I am off to track down the book. Thank you.
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Adam S.





Joined: 01 Sep 2006

Posts: 146

PostPosted: Fri 03 Apr, 2009 4:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Did the blade have a slight flare near the tip? The Japanese examples tended to have this.

I own both books and must say, I think they're excellent.

Craft has a few spots that are, how can I put this diplomatically, Japanese-centric? You can tell the point of view of the author right away, but it's a good and informative book anyway.

Secrets has allot of really fun little sketches.

You can find both on Amazon as well as the other big chains.

Enjoy!

~Adam S.

M. Livermore wrote:
Hi, Adam. That helps very much. I am off to track down the book. Thank you.
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R. Scott Malone




Location: Colorado
Joined: 15 Aug 2008
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 17

PostPosted: Fri 03 Apr, 2009 8:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Boddhisattva of wisdom Manjushri is seen with the khadaga vajra-hilted sword of discrimination.
It is used to sever delusion, ignorance and the notion of duality.
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