Mike has ordered a Little Voodoo (I’m seriously almost out of these waxes) and he wants a full custom job on it. The themes are complex but to sum it up, its going to be Japanese.
Now I’m not talking about anime and neither is Mike. That’s not Japan, okay?
I’m talking Musashi Miyamoto, Book of Five Rings, Seven Samurai, Bushido, Zen, badass Kamons, green Jade eyes, Son of Heaven, Shogunate, land of the gods Japan.
Like most things Japanese, this is going to be simple, but also complex as hell.
I’ve got a leg up on this because I’ve seen everything Kurosawa’s ever done. I’ve seen some Mizoguchi, a ton of Ozu, and a few Seijun Suzuki flicks. I’ve read The Book of Five Rings. I’ve read some histories of Japan. Yeah, I’m not an idiot.
Now the first thing is obviously going to be jade eyes. Mike and I are on the same page here.
Forehead? Right now I’m thinking of making a kamon out of the five ring motif that appears on a number of editions of Miyamoto Musashi’s “Book of Five Rings.”
Mike was very clear that this shouldn’t be mistaken for a Chinese ring and I couldn’t agree more. So using a Kamon is a great way to go. Check out the lotus in the upper right hand corner of that pic. I can work that in with THIS:
The five ring symbol creates a sort of lotus-type shape anyway and I can probably combine that into an original crest that fits the bill.
I’ve also collected a lot of kanji. But here’s the thing. Unless you’re born and trained in kanji and the art of making script, this stuff is almost impossible to do correctly. There are subtleties in the form that my Irish-American ass won’t be able to get a grip on. So likely this is out, unless I keep it very, very simple and have Mike approve everything before I try to carve it. Musashi details elements in his book (fire, water, earth, void, etc) and I’ve collected kanji script for each element.
that means "water" apparently.
If you think you understand this stuff, trust me, you don’t. Typefaces in the English alphabet are like child’s play next to kanji. Still, the kanji script for all of Musashi’s elements would look great around the back of the shank.
Yet another thing to think about is this tsuba shape, which is supposedly designed by Musashi before he died.
This too could be worked into something like these images:
I really dig the upper right hand corner, second from the right on the top row.
For the shank, it would also be interesting to explore a diamond patter like one might find on the hilt of a sword. Damn, there are so many options.
Anyway, Mike, let me know what you think about my five rings idea. Or if you like something else you see up here.