The Historical Status and Present Situation of Longquan Sword

The Historical Status and Present Situation of Longquan Sword

Longquan Sword, one of the top ten famous swords in ancient China, also known as Longyuan Sword, began in the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period, more than 2,600 years ago. Legend has it that the two swordsmen, Ou Yezi and Gan Jiang, joined forces. According to legend, Ou Yezi and Gan will cast this sword, dig out the Cishan Mountain, release the stream water in the mountain, and lead it to the seven pools next to the sword casting furnace, which are surrounded by seven stars of the Big Dipper. After the sword is completed, looking down at the body of the sword is like climbing a mountain and looking down at the abyss. It is named Longyuan. Hence the name of this sword is Qixing Longyuan, or Longyuan Sword for short. In the Tang Dynasty, because of avoiding the taboo of the great ancestor Li Yuan, the word Yuan was changed to the word for spring, which is called Qixing Longquan, or Longquan Sword for short.


1. The Maker of Longquan Sword


The originator Ou Yezi was a native of Yue in the late Spring and Autumn Period and the early Warring States Period, and was the founder of Longquan Sword. When Ou Yezi was born, it was the period of disputes among the Eastern Zhou kingdoms. He discovered the difference in the properties of copper and iron, and smelted the first iron sword - "Longyuan", creating a precedent for Chinese cold weapons. According to history, he forged the five swords of Zhanlu, Chunjun, Shengxie, Yuchang and Juque for the King of Yue. He was the originator of ancient Chinese sword casting. In 1956, Zhejiang Longquan organized sword artists, and successively established a sword production group, a sword production cooperative and a Longquan sword factory. The Longquan sword was chosen as a national gift to foreign heads of state and friends. Before the 1980s, only the sword exclusively produced by Longquan Sword Factory in Longquan City was called "Longquan Sword".


2. The Historical Status of Longquan Sword


Due to the popularity of Longquan Sword, it is said that Ou Yezi forged this sword in Wugang City, Henan Province (called Baizi Country in ancient times). As early as the Han Dynasty, it was honored as the "Precious Sword" and became the "Shangfang Precious Sword" given to ministers by the emperor of the feudal dynasty. The minister holds this "shangfang sword" and can "behead first and then play". It is also a precious gift used by princes and nobles to pay tribute, reward, and present to show off their status and power.


3. The Status Quo of Longquan Sword


Ou Yezi's sword making business has been passed down from generation to generation in Longquan. So far, the "Wanjian Villa" in Hong Kong still preserves the Longquan sword from the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties and the early years of the Republic of China. Longquan swords from the Qing Dynasty have also been unearthed in Chaohu, Anhui and Yongjia, Zhejiang. In 1927, Jiang Bocheng served as director of the Military Department of Zhejiang Provincial Government, commander-in-chief of border defense of Zhejiang Province and commander of Hangzhou city defense. The five brothers of the Shen family, the second-generation descendants of the Shen Guanglong Sword Shop, presented the sword with the inscriptions on the back of the Big Dipper and "Made by Shen Guanglong of Longquan".


Shen Guanglong Sword Shop, a century-old Chinese sword shop, was founded in the 20th year of Emperor Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty (1894). In 1956, Longquan sword casting artist refined a sword and presented it to Chairman Mao Zedong. At that time, Shen Huanwen, Shen Huanwu and Shen Huanzhou, the second generation descendants of the Shen family, participated in the production as the main backbone. The sword-casting industry has been inherited from generation to generation in the Shen family. Shen Xinpei has inherited the sword spirit of his ancestors and is the third-generation head of the sword shop of Shen Guanglong Ren. The sword of Mao Zedong was presented by Ji Zhangshu, a master of arts and crafts in Zhejiang Province, the "Gongbu Sword with Different Light Patterns" made by Zhang Yesheng, a master of arts and crafts in Zhejiang Province, the "Bagua Yue King Sword" made by Ji Changqiang, a master of arts and crafts in Zhejiang Province, and arts and crafts The "Longquan Swords with Hundred Lianhuan Patterns" made by Zhou Zhengwu all represent the superb level of the traditional skills of contemporary Longquan swords. After the founding of New China, the people's government attached great importance to the restoration of the production and development of Longquan sword, a traditional handicraft. Because the Longquan sword is famous all over the world, the country has included it as a national gift.

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