Ancestral Swords of the Ichigawa Family
This daisho consists of an uchiganata and a wakizashi, both finely forged using an unknown process that resulted in glossy black blades.
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Takahiro Ichigawa once told his daughter that his daisho was handed down, father to son, since his paternal ancestor, Ichigawa Ryuichi, during the reign of Ashikaga Yoshimochi.
Ryuichi had left his village to for a fishing trip, he had finished making a fine new, strong, fishing line the night previous and desired nothing more than to bring in a fine shark with it. While on the road, he heard the cries of a woman in trouble. A small stream ran nearby, following it, he came upon a clearing where a samurai was forcing himself on a young woman. Ryuichi, offended and appalled, shouted at the samurai, and attacked him, armed with nothing but his fists and fury.
The samurai, moving with contempt, turned from the woman and struck Ryuichi with his armored fist. Head spinning from the blow, Ryuichi barely avoided the rabid slash of the samurai’s katana. Facing certain death, he spared only a fleeting apologetic glance at the woman before fleeing back along the stream bed, the samurai in hot pursuit.
Unable to beat the samurai in a fight, Ryuichi had to rely on his knowledge of the area. To this end, he made for the cliffs overlooking the sea, staying in the woods as much as he was able. When he was sure the samurai was a good way behind him, Ryuichi tied his new fishing line to a massive trea, the other end about his waist. Then, with a brief prayer to Sarutahiko Okami that he wouldn’t let go of the trees roots, and an apology for what he was about to do, Ryuichi kicked a large stone. Even knowing what he was doing, kicking the rock hurt so much that he let out a great bellow and began stumbling about.
Which was exactly how Ryuichi wanted it. His pained yell caught the samurai’s attention, and seeing his prey stumbling about injured, the samurai rushed forward to tackle Ryuichi. Ryuichi, with the samurai clinging to him, went over the cliff side, as his fishing line pulled taught, Ryuichi snatched the samurai’s daisho from him. The samurai, stunned by the fall, and jarred when Ryuichi’s fishing line snapped back, lost his grip on Ryuichi and plunged deep into the sea.
Ryuichi returned to his village and found the woman he had saved. Together, they offered prayed to Sarutahiko Okami and later married at the Okami’s shrine.
And what can be learned from Ryuichi’s capture of the daisho, and a bride?
If you use your brains and honor the kami, you can defeat any enemy. And, in doing so, prove yourself more noble than he.