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Harris Jonas takes a look at our Japanese swords

11 March 2016 by Emma Martin

Harris (left) taking in the history of the blades with Mark (right).

Harris (left) taking in the history of the blades with Mark (right).

This week we had a visitor to the Japan collections. Ethnology volunteer Mark Jones tells us about it here.

“In a blog I wrote back in 2014, I discussed the different Japanese blades I’ve documented for World Museum’s Japan collection. This week I had the opportunity to meet Harris Jonas, a 6th Dan in karate and a senior instructor at the Liverpool Shotokan Karate Club (LSKC). Harris was a student of Grandmaster Ronnie Colwell the founder of LSKC for forty years. He was also part of the team, led by Colwell, that won European and World titles in 1983. A display about Ronnie Colwell’s life and his experiences as a martial artist is currently at the Museum of Liverpool.

Harris examining the swords

Harris examining a sword in the collection

Harris visited the museum store to see a small fraction of the Japanese collection and was really excited to see the blades from the early Samurai periods. He was overjoyed to inspect the excellent craftsmanship from famous swordsmiths such as Muramasa and Ari Kuni. We are fortunate to have an excellent copy of the blade called “Little Crow”. The original was crafted by a famous smith known as Amakuni, who it is said to be the first swordsmith to sign his blades.

Harris described seeing the blades as a milestone in his life as a martial artist, as he had previously believed that he would have to travel to Japan to see such extraordinary blades. During his visit, Harris took photographs with the swords and said he plans on displaying the images on a timeline of his life as a martial artist in his martial arts studio.”

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