At Osaka, I lived opposite to one Kusano Yoshiaki, a swordsmith, a most intelligent and amiable gentleman, who was famous throughout his neighbourhood for his good and charitable deeds. His idea was that, having been bred up to a calling which trades in life and death, he was bound, so far as in him lay, to atone for this by seeking to alleviate the suffering which is in the world; and he carried out his principle to the extent of impoverishing himself. No neighbour ever appealed to him vain for help in tending the sick or burying the dead. No beggar or lazar was ever turned from his door without receiving some mark of his bounty, whether in money or in kind. Not was his scrupulous honesty less remarkable than his charity. While other smiths are in the habit of earning large sums of money by counterfeiting the marks of the famous makers of old, he was able to boast that he had never turned out a weapon which bore any other mark than his own. From his father and his forefathers he inherited his trade, which in his turn, he will hand over to his son – a hard-working honest and sturdy man, the clank of whose hammer and anvil may be heard from daybreak to sundown.
Kazuma’s Revenge, Tales of Old Japan, AB Mitford, 1871
I not entirely sure why, I liked this passage, but it appealed to me. Enough to type it out, unceremoniously (and un-ergonomically) wedged in between a Basset hound and German Shepherd (both snoring), on a Saturday night while I wait for the Zoom invite that will kick off our online board-gaming session…
… since we are old now and have procreated everyones kids need to be asleep before we can get out our geek on and murder each other… with (virtual) dice.
I guess I like the duality inherent in this story, that a sword-maker, the creator for an instrument whose sole purpose was to bring death to another human being felt compelled to… balance out his life in this way.
I have a friend who owns a gun shop. Primarily expensive hunting rifles that are sold to hunting lodges that are then loaned out to those with… certain proclivities and want to murder something four legged and African. I’ve poked at him on occasion about how he would feel about selling a gun to someone who committed some sort of really heinous act with it. There is no ambiguity on his part, in his mind he simply provides a tool… what you chose to do with that tool is up to you.
And on some level I get that. It’s a mind set that has served many of us well over time. From the scientists who created the atomic bomb to… well I guess… a hardware store owner could sell someone a hammer and that person could go home and smash his ailing mother in the head with it.
In any event, maybe I just liked the fact that the protagonist in this story wanted to do something good. (My game starts)
I luck into drawing Nymara. She’s one of my favorites Her traits are Commerce and Skullduggery… and my psyche clicks well with her.
Its closer that I anticipate. But I eke out the win. Yay me.