Famous Chinese Swords – Their Role in Ancient History

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Chinese culture has definitely made its mark in the world of martial arts. It’s the homeland to many martial art forms. During the remote past, several types of swords were developed that were essential for different purposes. Swords have been discussed in ancient literature or books such as Records of the Grand Historian (Shiji), Works of Lie Zi, Yue and Annals of Annals of Yue and Wu. These famous Chinese swords are not only famous, but are the emblem of China’s moral integrity and uprightness. We will discuss some of these swords below:

Famous Chinese Swords

Cheng Ying

Cheng Ying was a long sword without a blade. It made a shadow on the wall in the morning and in the evening when it was afternoon. This is the sword Lie Zi rained accolades on according to the corpus Works of Lie Zi. Made during the Shang Dynasty (600 BC-1100 BC), it went to the ownership of Kong Zhou. Kong Zhou hailed from the State of Wei in Spring & Autumn (770 BC-476 BC). Cheng Ying was indeed, a sword that represented fine elegance.

Famous Chinese Swords

Chun Jun

Chun Jun is the sword of royal power and Gou Jian, the King ding of the Yue State possessed in the autumn and spring period. Sources like The Lost History of Yue say Gou Jian, the King invited Xue Zhu who was an expert in swords to review and appreciate few valuable swords. Though the king had many precious swords, Xue loved only sword Chun Jun.

Xue advised the king not to give it anyone to exchange even for a thousand good horses, two big cities, the three rich towns all combined. Xue said Chun Jun was unique creations made jointly by man and Heaven. The king went by his advice, preserved it. The sword has been kept in the Hubei Provincial Museum.    

Yu Chang

Yu Chang was symbol of bravery. The History of Assassins when King Liao of the State of Wu was enjoying some food served by Zhuan Zhu who was a cook sent on the mission to assassinate the king. As soon as he heard an eagle flying down to him a sword came out of the fish he was going to eat. With the sword, Zhuan Zhu instantly pointed the sword to King Liao. Though Liao was guarded by well-trained soldiers, the sword reached him only to stab into the heart. You Chang was, thus, the sword of bravery.

Gan Jiang and Mo Ye

The name Gan Jiang comes from that of a husband. And, Mo Ye was the sword names of after his wife Mo Ye. The couples were inseparable. The two swords – one male and the other female, were not to get separated.

Gan Jiang who was a blacksmith, was asked to make a sword for the king. As the due date of submitting the sword came close, Gan Jiang was panicked. The fire was not strong to forge the metal and he was skeptical that he will be able to make the sword by the close of the time limit.

Taking cognizance of the husband’s distress, the felt sad because her man is going to be executed son is he could not make the sword as per schedule. She decided to save her man’s life by giving her life to fire, there, thus eating making enough fire to forge the sword. When the husband came to know it she just said would meet again.

What Happened Then?

After the death of this wife, Gang Jiang made the two swords and named the two swords Gan Jiang and Mo Ye. He retained Mo Ye and gave the Gan Jiang to the king. The king came to know about what Gan did and wanted to execute them. When he was captured by the king’s officials, he asked about how and his wife would meet. In the meanwhile, Mo Ye became a dragon. Later, the Gan Jiang sword also became a dragon and vanished.

Gan and Mo Reunite

After six centuries, in a small town, the sword saw the dragon in the lake and immediately turned into a dragon thus they united again. The following day, people found a new couple settled here. Now the husband was a skilled blacksmith and made only agricultural tools for people and refused to make swords. His wife fanned and cooled him and cleaned the sweat. Thus, Gan Jiang and Mo Ye signified love. These famous Chinese swords glorify China’s history and culture.

Bottom Line

There are plenty of types of swords available beyond Japanese swords such as the katana, nodachi, odachi, etc. Above were some brief descriptions of some famous Chinese swords and their history of how they came about. They include: Chen Ying, Chun Jun, Yu Chang, Gan Jiang and Mo Ye. Each sword has a unique story of its own, and these all signify different things for sword owners and clubs.

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