The Legend of Ganjiang and Moye
The couple of Ganjiang and Moye, masters of sword casting, tempered double-edged swords in blazing fire day and night_CraftChina

During the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States, the iron abounding in the Yue State was the best in quality and sword-making masters emerged in large numbers, of whom Ganjiang was a man of great reputation. Afterwards, Ganjiang went to the Wu State and was tied in wedlock with Moye. As He Lv, the king of the Wu State, was fond of double-edged sword, the two of them were appointed to an official position. For casting an excellent sword, the king of the Wu State sent someone to acquire the best iron from the Yue State and ordered Ganjiang to work out a unique sword within three months or he would be beheaded for disobeying the order. Ganjiang and Moye went on working hard night and day for two months, but the iron was still not melted in the furnace. The deadline for the sword was due soon but they were at their wits’ end. Ganjiang brought up the story about how his master worker and his wife jumped into the furnace so that the iron was melted and a good sword was worked out within the deadline set by the king of the Yue State. After hearing the story, Moye decide to sacrifice her life for the sword. After turning the issue over in his mind for a long time, Ganjiang said as hair and nails of human beings were parents’ essence, maybe they could melt the iron. So Moye cut off her long hair and nails and threw them into the blazing fire. Simultaneously, three hundred young boys and girls did all they could to air-blast the furnace with more carbon added in the balzing fire. In an instant the iron melted and a couple of unique “male and female swords” in the world was finally wrought. The male sword, covering with lines in tortoise-shell pattern on the surface, was named Ganjiang while the female sword, covering with lines in water-wave pattern on the surface, was named Moye.

 

However, the legend had several different versions. In the Wu Di Ji (A Record of the Wu State), the swords were not wrought until Moye jumped into the furnace. The Lie Yi Zhuan (Stories of Supernatural Beings) and the Shou Shen Ji (Stories of Searching for Deities) even arranged an offspring for Ganjiang and Moye to show artisans’ strength through complicated plot of vengeance. Ganjiang offered the king of the Wu State only the female sword and concealed the male sword for himself. When finding the truth, the king of the Wu State put Ganjiang to death. When growing up, Ganjiang and Moye’s son Mei Jian Chi tried to avenge his parents but the king of the Wu State was on strict guard of assassination. Thanks to the help of a swordsman and then committed suicide by cutting his own throat. Under the plea of offering the male sword and Mei Jian Chi’s head, the swordsman succeeded to access the king and finally perished together with the king of the Wu State.

 

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