Firstly, I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read ‘Mune and Mura’.
The basis of this story had been in my mind for a long time, formed from research for another story I am writing that will involve aspects of Japanese history. The stories of the two most well-known sword smiths in Japanese history, Masamune and Muramasa, caught my interest during the research of weaponry.
The events of the story are placed from 1572 AD to 1602 AD, with each Chapter five years removed from its predecessor. A brief history of the ‘gap years’ was provided by the intermissions. This timeframe was used because the character who inspired Yasugawa used one of Masamune’s weapons as the symbol of his dynsaty.
I broke the cardinal rule of the two main characters by taking them out of their true timelines to put them together. Masamune is believed to have lived around 1264-1343AD, while Muramasa was believed to have lived roughly 300 years later.
Masamune is the ‘good’ swordsmith, and is so well-known that a prize is named after him. His noted talent was creating swords of unbelievable quality and beauty from steel that was of suspect quality.
Sengo Muramasa, however, is known for creating cursed blades. His unmatched skill in sword-making was offset by a ‘violent and ill-balanced mind verging on madness’, according to Wikipedia. This madness supposedly went into his swords, and Wikipedia further states that ‘once drawn, a Muramasa blade has to draw blood before it can be returned to its scabbard, even to the point of forcing its wielder to wound himself or commit suicide.’
To give Mura a believable road to a ‘violent and ill-balanced’ mindset, his life had to have terrible events to help cause it. Hence the relentless bullying he had early on, and his lifelong injuries from the fire at Honno-ji.
Mune, on the other hand, is the sort of person who has a natural affinity for tasks he undertakes. Where Mura could have despised him for it, Mune was made to be a giving and caring character that always backed his friends, even from the earliest days of their friendship.
For the history of the real people who inspired the characters, Wikipedia links are below. My character naming conventions will be obvious:
Yasugawa : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokugawa_Ieyasu
Kaizuiten : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenkai
Nagahei : Heianjo Nagayoshi, mentioned on Muramasa Wikipedia page.
Also, the list of real life events inspiring pivotal points in time of the story:
Chapter 3 : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incident_at_Honnōji
Chapters 5 & 6 : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasions_of_Korea_(1592-1598)
Chapter 7 : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokugawa_shogunate
I have created a ‘Mune and Mura’ category, so all the pieces of the story can be seen in one (hopefully) convenient location on the home page.
Again, thank you for taking the time to read, I hope you enjoyed it, and any feedback or advice would be appreciated =)