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1.19 Uramatsu Handayu Takanao (kabuki name)
True name: unknown, falling backwards into the snow.
Katana mei: Osafune Sukesada?
Wakizashi mei: unknown
Uramatsu Takanao was the eldest son of Uramatsu Kihei, 6 feet tall, strong, skilled in the martial arts, and a superbly powerful young man. His father, who’s full name was Uramatsu Kihei Hidenao, became a priest and took the name Ryuen (see print 1.42). The family lived in Hatchobori and later moved to Honjo.
Takanao took his sword to the sharpener, Tazaemon, to be honed and went to get it early in December. He was overjoyed at the work that had been done and added a tip of one bu when he paid the fee.
Then he told Tazaemon that he was leaving for his home soon, and Tazaemon brought out a feast of fish and sake. Takanao got quite drunk and asked his host what he might test his sword against. Tazaemon saw that he had a determined man here and suggested that he should cut the pillar of supporting eaves. ‘That’s not hard’. ‘I’ll do it’ said Takanao, and, with a shout, cut the pillar off at an angle. The blade was made by Osafune Sukesada, and Takanao’s technique was that of Shinkage school. He might as well have been slicing a daikon.
Off to the side, the host was amazed by the sharpness of the blade and let out a shout. When word of the night attack by the faithful band got around not long after that, stories where told of Tazaemon’s pillar, and curiosity seekers came to look at it.
In the attack Takanao came upon Kasahara Choshichi in the garden and killed him. When he practiced, his swing would bring down pine branches. One large one with snow on it knocked him on his backside. He laughed about that.
Afterwards he told his comrades the story.