Mune and Mura: Post-story Blog

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:

Mune                    :               http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masamune

Mura                     :               http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muramasa

Yasugawa            :               http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokugawa_Ieyasu

Hidetoyo             :               http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyotomi_Hideyoshi

Nobuoda             :               http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oda_Nobunaga

Mitsaki                 :               http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akechi_Mitsuhide

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 =)

djkeyserv140

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8 thoughts on “Mune and Mura: Post-story Blog

  1. I’m amazed by the amount of research you’ve done to produce this story. It clearly shows it, of course, because the story line is so firm and complete, but I myself rarely do this much research to write, probably because I might write about mythical characters, but not about historical ones. I would still urge you to try to publish this.

    • My aims in research are twofold:

      1) Use real world people to inspire my characters and give them depth, then tweak some things to make the story a (hopefully) original one. Hence Mune and Mura being contemporaries (were not), using scrolls to imbue their weapons with power (own abilities), and Mitsaki/Kaizuiten dying (lived for four decades after the real world events of Chapter 7).
      2) Use real world events to make the story believable. The ‘Honjo Masamune’ (real world equivalent of Mune’s sword, Hizashi) being used by Tokugawa Ieyasu as the symbol of his Shogunate in 1603.

      I will need to investigate how one self-publishes in Australia as opposed to the US. Maybe in the future, the story will find a way into a collection of books entitled ‘The Collected Short Stories of djkeyserv140’ =P

      Thanks again for your support =)

  2. Ooooh, that sounds really interesting. I like things related to Japanese culture, though my main knowledge of it comes from a few video games (“Okami” and…guess what, “Muramasa”). Masamune sounds very familiar, but I don’t know where I heard of him. Anyway, I very much would like to read your story sometime. I’ll have to get to it in the near future.

    I was looking at your comment. I think Amazon.com will publish your stories. I don’t know how it works, but the blogger at http://blackwatertown.wordpress.com/ published some of his work there.

    • Thank you =)

      Masamune is paired with Muramasa along the ‘good v evil’ spectrum, with Muramasa being evil and Masamune being good.

      The story is on my blog for posterity; hopefully no one nicks it and ‘Mune and Mura: The Movie’ appears without my knowledge haha

      Thanks for the Amazon.com pointer. One of Australia’s book companies, Dymocks, run a self-publishing service. Need to investigate the finer points of their service. I would need a good illustrated cover before I could put it up though =\

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