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Menbarigata Tesson Iron Fan Edo period.

SKU: Weapons; Tesson, Iron Fan $596.00
A Menbarigata tessen, or Sensugata tessen: The Menbarigata tessen is a folding fan whose outer ribs are made of iron. The inner ribs are of bamboo. There are no rules as to how many inner ribs a tessen should have '' anywhere from six to thirteen '' and the number can be odd or even, depending on personal preference or superstition. Tessen are often categorized according to the shape of the outer ribs, but generally they resemble ordinary fans. Three types of folding fans could be distinguished when closed: the sensu (ordinary folding fan), the maiogi (folding fan used in traditional Japanese dance, No, and Kyogen), and the gunsen (the war fan). Naturally, the gunsen was sturdy and heavy in appearance, whereas the sensu, and especially the maiogi, had a more elegant construction. Tessen were named according to the folding fans they resembled. One type is the gunsengata tessen, or 'battlefield fan-shaped tessen,'whose shape is based on the gunsen. A second type is the more refined maiogigata tessen, or 'dance fan-shaped tesson,'based on the maiogi. Finally, there is the sensugata tessen, or 'fan-shaped tessen,'based on the ordinary folding fan. The smaller tessen measured about seven sun (about 21 cm.), and the larger ones between seven sun and one shaku seven sun (a little over 51 cm.) Tessenjutsu ('') is the martial art of the Japanese war fan, tessen. It is based on the use of the iron folding fan. The use of the war fan in combat is mentioned in early Japanese legends. For example, Yoshitsune, a hero of Japanese legend, is said to have defeated an opponent named Benkei by parrying the blows of his opponent's spear with an iron fan. This use of the iron fan was taught to him by a mythological creature, a tengu, who also had instructed him in the art of swordsmanship. The practitioners of tessenjutsu could acquire a high level of skill. Some became so skilled, in fact, that they were able to defend themselves against an attacker wielding a sword, and even kill an opponent with a single blow. Like so many other Japanese arts of combat during this era, tessenjutsu reached a high level of sophistication. For example, a famous swordsman in the late 16th century, Ganryu, was able to defeat several enemies with an iron fan. Apart from using it in duels against enemies armed with swords and spears, the skilled wielder could also use it to fence and fend off knives and poisoned darts thrown at him. Like a sword, the tessen could be dual-wielded to parry with one hand and attack with the other.