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Kogarasu Maru
(also known as Kogarasumaru or Kogarasu-maru)


Kogarasu Maru means "Little Crow" and refers to the first curved sword created by the swordsmith Amakuni in 701 CE. It is the most famous of the transition swords that came before the tachi but after the tsurugi.

A popular Japanese story tells that typically after a battle the emperor would greet the smith and thank him for helping win through the creation of his fine weaponry, but one time the emperor passed by Amakuni without acknowledging him. He came to find that many disheartened warriors were returning from battle with broken blades and so Amakuni swore an oath to make a better sword and regain the emperor's favor.

After much prayer, Amakuni began work on the first curved sword. It had the advantage that it could be unsheathed from horseback more easily and was both hard and flexible, so it would not break. The next summer not a single blade broke in combat, and the emperor stopped by to personally thank Amakuni for his service.

CE 08th Century, History, Japan, Sword, Weapon


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