20 | Nanboku-Cho Tanto

18 Nanbokucho time line

The circle indicates the time we are discussing in this section

The type of Tanto during Nanboku-Cho Period was called  Hirazukuri-Kowakizashi-Sunnobi- Tanto.   Hirazukuri means flat sword without Yokote line and without Shinogi. Ko-Wakizashi means shorter sword. Sunnnobi Tanto means longer Tanto. This is called Enbun Jyoji Kowakizashi Tanto.  Because the majority of this type of shape was made around Enbun, Jyoji Imperial era.  Each time the Emperor changed, Japan changed the names of the era.  Enbun was from 1356 to 1361, Jyoji was from 1362 to 1368.

20 Enbun Jyoji Kowakizashi Tanto


Shape (Sugata 姿) ——-Usually approximately 1 foot 1 or 1 foot 2 inches long.  Sakizori (curved at the top.  Look at the illustration above).  Wide width and thin body.  Fukura Kareru (No Fukura). Shin-no-Mune.


20 Fukura20 Shin-no-Mune

Hi, Horimono (Goove and engraving 樋, 彫刻) —– Groove on Mune side.  Bonji (sanscrit, refer 17 Bonji Suken), Koshi-bi (Short goove) and Tokko- tsuki Ken, or Tumetuki Ken (see below). Ken (spear) was curved wide and deep at the upper part, lower part was curved shallow and narrower.  This is called Soshu-bori.

20 Tokko, tume Ken

Hamon (Tempered line) —– Narrow tempered area at the lower part, it gradually grows wider as it goes up higher then it becomes Bodhi design.  Hamon in Kissaki area is Kaeri Fukashi (turn back deep) as illustration below.  Coarse Nie. O-Midare (large irregular pattern).

20 Hitatsura
From Sano Museum Catalogue (permission granted)

Jitetsu or Jihada —– Loose wood grain pattern called Itame.  Yubashiri (refer 17 Yubashiri, Chikei.jpg), Tobiyaki (Irregular patches of tempered metal) appears.  Crowded Tobiyaki is called Hitatsura (illustration above).

Nakago (Tang) —- Short Tanago-bara.

20 Tanago Bara

Sword-smiths during Nanboku-Cho Period Soshu Den(school)

Soshu Den ———————————————————-Hiromitu( 広光) Akihiro (秋広) Yamashiro Den ————————————————–Hasebe Kunishige (長谷部国重) Bizen Den ——————————————————— Kanemitu (兼光) Chogi (長義 ) Arima Province ——————————————————Hojoji Kunimitsu (法城寺国光 )


20 Hiromitu (Sano Museum)

19|Nanboku-Cho (North and South dynasty) Period Sword

18 Nanbokucho time line

                           The circle indicate the time we are discussing in this section

During Nanboku-Cho period, Samurai demanded large, elaborate and practical swords. Soshu Den style — elaborate, large, and impressive  —became the most popular style. Nanboku-Cho period was the height of the Soshu Den.  Many sword smiths moved to Kamakura and forged Soshu Den style swords.  Other schools and provinces also made Soshu Den style swords in their own places.

19 Nanboku-Cho Period Sword shape

Shape (Sugata 姿)—-Originally the length of the swords were 3, 4, 5, feet long, but shortened to approximately two and a half feet in the later time. Shortening a sword greatly is called O-Suriage.  Nanboku-Cho sword has a shallow Kyo-zori (also called Torii-zori) shape (refer 6. Heian period)highest curvature comes around the center of the body.  Wide body, high Shinogi, and narrow Shinogi-Ji (refer 4 Names of parts) and thin body.  High Gyo-no-Mune or Shin-no-Mune, sometimes Maru-Mune (round back).

19 Nanboku-cho 3 kinds Mune

Hi, Horimono (groove and engraving 樋, 彫刻)—– On Shinogi-Ji (refer 4 Names of parts) area, often appears Bo-hi (one groove), double hi, Bonji (Sanscrit), spear, Dragon engraved

9 Hi, Suken, Bonji

Hamon (Tempered line) —– Lower area of the body shows narrow tempered line, higher area of the body shows wider showy tempered line.  Course Nie.  O- Midare (large irregular), Notare-Midare (wavy irregular), Gunome-Midare (repeating pattern of half circular and irregular mix).  Inazuma, Kinsuji (refer 15 Late Kamakura Period sword) action appears


19 Hamon Notare 319 Mamon choji gunome

*From Sano Museum Catalogue ( Permission granted).


Jitetu or Jihada (between tempered line and Shinogi) (4 Names of parts)——Wood grain pattern (Itame 板目). Tobiyaki (patchy tempered spot in jihada) appears.

Boshi, Kissaki —– O-Kissaki (Stretched long Kissaki). Fukura kareru (no Fukura). Midare-Komi (tempered line continues into Boshi), with kaeri fukashi (look at the illustration above),  sometimes Ichimai (tempered entire Boshi).  Look at the above illustration.

Sword-smiths during Nanboku-Cho Period Soshu Den (school)

From Soshu————————————————————Hiromitu (広光) Akihiro (秋広  ) From Yamashiro ————————————————–Hasebe Kunishige (長谷部国重)  From Bizen (called So-den Bizen)————-Chogi (長儀 )group, Kanemitu (兼光 ) group From Chikuzen —————————————————————Samoji (左文字 ) 19 Chogi photo from Sano book

18|Nanboku(Yoshino) Cho Period —— North and South Dynasty (1333-1393)


18 Nanbokucho time line

The circle indicates the time we are discussing in this section.

After Jokyu-no-Ran (11|Jokyu-no-ran ), the power of the Imperial court declined significantly. The Hojo clan who were the main power during the Kamakura period began to have the financial difficulty and started to lose the control over the local lords. One of the reasons was that the cost incurred by the Mongolian invasion. The Kamakura Bakufu (government) could not reward the local lords who worked hard at this war. The local lords became very dissatisfied with the Kamakura Bakufu. Seeing this as a chance, the Emperor Go-Daigo twice attempted to attack Kamakura Bakufu but failed both times and he was exiled to Oki island. Meantime, Ashikaga Takauji (足利尊氏) and several other groups of Samurai who were opposing the Kamakura Bakufu, gathered their power and succeeded in destroying the Kamakura Bakufu (1333). This ends the Kamakura period. The Emperor Go-Daigo, who had been exiled to Oki island returned to Kyoto and attempted established political reforms. This is called Kenmu-no-Chuko (建武の中興).  This new policy failed to satisfy the most of the ruling class.  Taking advantage of this situation, Ashikaga Takauji attacked Imperial court in Kyoto, deposed the Emperor Go-Daigo and placed the other branch of the Royal family on the imperial throne.  But the Emperor Go-Daigo insisted upon his legitimacy, moved to Yoshino (located the South of Kyoto) and established a rival Imperial court.  Thus began the North and the South dynasty.  Much strife between the North and the South and also, both side had their own problems within themselves.  Eventually more Samurai group went under the control of North dynasty.  About 60 years later, Southern dynasty was compelled and accepted the Ashikaga clan’s proposal. Thus, established the North Dynasty as the legitimate imperial court.  This 60 years is the time called Nanboku-Cho or Yoshino-Cho period.  During Nanboku-Cho period, Samurai demanded larger and showy, and practical swords.  Soshu Den was its height of their prominence.  That does not mean only Soshu group made all the swords.  Other schools and other provinces also made Soshu Den style swords.

Early Soshu den time (that is late Kamakura period), Yukimitu (行光), Masamune (正宗) and Sadamune (貞宗) were representative swordsmiths.   Middle Soshu den time (that is North and South dynasty time), Hiromitu (広光), Akihiro (秋広) were representative swordsmiths.  Late Soshu den time (that is Muromachi period), Hiromasa (広正), Masahiro (正広) was the representative swordsmiths.


17 | Late Kamakura period Tanto ——- Early Soshu Tanto


The circle indicate the time we are discussing in this section

17 Soshu Tanto

Sugata (Style 姿)

1. Slightly longer than Takenoko-zori (usually 10 inches long). Hirazukuri shape.  The width became a little wider than middle Kamakura period tanto.   ( Those are all described in 13 Tanto Middle Kamakura period).

2. Chukanzori (back of the sword is straight), Hirazukuri wide Mihaba (width) with the meaty surface, Fukura kareru.

3. Saki-zori (top part bend to back), Hirazukuri Fukura Kareru. (refer 9 Middle Kamakura – Yamashiro school)

17 Three Tanto9 Boshi Fukura

Hi (樋)and engravings(彫刻)————-Often Hi (groove) is on Mune side, sometimes Ken (spear) and Bonji (Sanskrit) are curved inside wide Hi. (Refer 13 Tanto Middle Kamakura period for Hi, refer 9 Middle Kamakura- Yamashiro school).

17 Bonji Suken          17 Gomabashi Hi

Hamon (tempered line 刃文) ————- Hamon is almost same as the Late Kamakura period sword.   (refer 15 Late Kamakura Period (2)  Some Tanto may have wide Hamon and others may have narrow Hamon. Often see the Tanto with the narrow Hamon at the bottom,  wider Homon at the top, widest and most showy around Fukura area.

15 Late Kamakura Soshu Hamon17 Masamune Hamon

Jitetu (the area between Hamon and Shinogi 地鉄) ——-Jitetu is superior.  Lot of Ji-nie (Nia work on Jitetu ) and Yubashiri and Chikei

17 Yubashiri, Chikei

Late Kamakura Period Early Soshu Den (style) Sword Smiths

Soshu den (school) ——————–Yukimitsu (行光), Masamune (正宗), Sadamune (貞宗) Yamashiro Den (school)———————–Rai Kunitsugu (来国次), Rai Kunimitsu (来国光) Yamato Den (shool) —————————————————- -Taema Kuniyuki (当麻国行) Ettchu Province ———————————————————-   Ettsu Norishige (越中則重) Chikuzen province————————————————-    Chikuzen Samoji (筑前左文字)


17 Enju Kuniyoshi
Enju Kuniyoshi – was family sword
17 Masamune Tanto
Masamune Tanto- Sano Museum Catalogu

16|The Revival of Yamato School

15TimelineThe circle represents the time we are discussing in this section

Yamato province (it is Nara prefecture presently) is the area where sword making started originally.  In early days, they forged swords with their primitive skills.  A large number of swordsmiths lived in this area.  Their style is similar to that of Yamashiro school. At the end of the Kamakura period, Kamakura government started to have financial problems.  Armed monks from Kofuku-Ji temple called Nanto Sohei (Armed monks who lived south side of  Kyoto)* demanded more and more swords to arm themselves.  This demand of the swords revitalized the Yamato School that led to increasing the number of the swordsmith.   As a result, Yamato School became prosperous.

*Nanto Sohei(南都僧兵)———Around the 11th century, Buddhist temples became powerful under the protection of JoKo(former Emperor).  Those temples had a large number of Sohei  (low-level monks who also acted as soldiers) under them.  For the power struggles between the temples, Sohei went to battles fields. Nanto Sohei were monk soldiers of Kofukuji temple.  The aristocrats were afraid of the dignity of God and Buddha, and also did not have enough spirit to suppress them, they had to depend on samurai.  That gave samurai a chance to be a powerful group among the center of the ruling class.

Shape(Sugata姿) —————-1. Graceful Yamashiro style retained. 2. Shinogi is high.  3. Mune is thin.  4. Some group of Yamato school has shallow Sori (curvature).

16 Yamato sword cross section

Hamon (Tempered line)——-Narrow tempered line. Nie base (沸). Chu-suguha-hotsure(frayed medium straight 中直刃ほつれ), Ko-choji-midare (small clove-like pattern and irregular mixture 子丁子乱), Ko-midare ( fine irregular子乱), Ko-gunome-komidare (small  irregular continuous half circle 小五の目小乱). Yamato school forged sword mainly straight grain, therefore, the tempered line often shows double straight line called Nijyu-ha, Hakikake ( Dirt trace left by the broom) and Uchinoke (Crescent-shape line).

16 Hamon Yamato

Boshi (鋩子)———-Inside the Boshi area, straight grain pattern also appears. Yakizume, Kaen(refer 13 Tanto Middle Kamakura period), O-maru, Ko-maru, Nie-kuzure (refer 15 Late Kamakura Period)

13 Hamon and Hi15 O-maru Ko-maru Niekuzure



Jihada or Jitetsu (the area between shinogi and hamon )——Mostly Masame hada (straight grain pattern 柾目肌). Fine ji-nie, Chikei, and Yubashiri shows.(refer 15 Late Kamakura Period).

16 Masame Hada

Nakago (Hilt)——————Often shows the finishing file design as shown below which is called Higaki yasuri (檜垣)


16 Higaki Yasuri

Names of the Yamato School Sword-smiths

Taima(当麻) Group————–Taima Kuniyuki(当麻国行) Taima Tomokiyo(当麻友清) Shikkake (尻懸) Group———————————————–Shikkake Norinaga (尻懸則長) Tegai (手掻) group —————–Tegai Kanenaga (手掻包永) Tegai Kanekiyo(手掻包清) Hoshou (保昌) group——Hosho Sadamune (保昌貞宗)Hosho Sadayoshi ( 保昌貞吉)

16 Shaya Ensou

15|Late Kamakura Period Sword

15TimelineThe circle represents the time we are discussing in this section

Beginning of Soshu style

After the Mongolian invasion, that is the later part of Kamakura period, a new style started to emerge.  Kamakura area became prosperous under the rule of Hojo(北条).  Many swords smiths moved to Kamakura. Fukuoka Ichimonji (福岡一文字)Sukezane, Kunimune group moved from Bizen. Kunituna and his group moved from Yamashiro.  They are the origin of Soshu school (相州).  A star sword smith, Goro-Nyudo-Masamune (五郎入道正宗) appeared during this time.

15 Soshu sword with explanation

Shape (Sugata 姿)——-long Kissaki (O-kissaki 大切先).  Top of Hi ends lower.                 Hamaguri- ha was eliminated (became thinner).  Original length was 3 feet or but mostly shortened later time to 2 feet and 3 or  4 inches.  This is called O-Suriage(大磨上)

15 Kissak shape of 4

15 Hi ends lower

Hamon——————–You see narrow Hamon and wide Hamon.     

Narrow Hamon ——-Suguha (straight) mixed with Ko-choji (small clove) and Ko-gumome (continuous half circle like).  Small Nie base. (First drawing)

Wide Hamon———–Notare (wavy) midare, O-gunome. Nie base.  Ashi-iri (short line goes inwar Inazuma (lightning-  like line), Kinsuji (gold line like)  appears on tempered line.  But Inazuma and Kinsuji requires trained eyes to detect.  It is hard to see for beginners.(Second drawing)

15 Late Kamakura Soshu Hamon

Boshi —————The Hamon from the lower part of the body of the sword continues into Boshi area then turn back a little or Yakizume. You may also see O-maru  (large round), Ko-maru (small round), Kaen (flame like) and Nie-kuzure. Refer Chapter 13 for Yakizume and Kaen.

15 three boshi name

Jihada or Jitetu (between Shinogi and tempered line)—— Strong Ji-nie (地沸), that is a sand-like small dots appears other than the tempered line. Yubashiri (cluster of Ji-nie),  Kinsuji (lined Nie looks like golden line), Inazuma  (lightning like irregular line) and Chikei (similar to Kinsuji appears on Ji-hada).

15 Yubashiri, Chikei, Inazuma

Late Kamakura Period Soshu School Sword Smiths

From Bizen—————— Fukuoka Ichimonji Sukezane, Kunimune moved to Kamakura From Yamashiro —————————     Touroku- Sakon- Kunituna moved to Kamakura

Those above three are the beginning of Kamakura swordsmiths.                 Later,Tosaburo-Yukimitu and his son, famous Goro-Nyudo-Masamune appeared.

Masamune Juttetsu  

Those who made Soshu Style in the other province

From Yamashiro (山城)———–Rai Kunitsugu (来国次), Hasebe Kunishige (長谷部国重)From Ettshu (越中) province ——————-Gou- no-Yoshihiro (郷義弘), Norishige (則重)From Mino (美濃) province ——————————————–Kaneuji (兼氏), Kinjyu (金重)From Chikuzen (筑前) province ————————————————–Samoji (左文字)

15 Masamune (Sano) 15 Masamune hamon (Sano)     Goro-Nyudo-Masamune(正宗)                           Sano Museum Catalogue (佐野美術館図録) Permission granted                                   *Because Masamune lived in Kamakura which is a beach town, he was inspired by ocean wave.  Therefore his Hamon sometimes looks like wave design.

15 Masamune, Yoshioka Ichimonji

14|Late Kamakura Period (history)


14 Timeline The circle represents the time we are discussing in this section


GENKO 元寇  (1274 and 1281)

The grandson of Genghis Kahn, Khubilai Kahn attempted to invade Japan two times in 1274 and 1281.  Both times, a strong typhoon hit Japan.  Mongol sent a large number of soldiers with all kinds of supplies on their huge numbers of ships.  Those ships had to dock side by side and front and back very closely at the limited area of shore.   When the strong wind came, ships were swayed, hit each other and capsized.  Many people were drowned and lost supplies in the water.  Even though they landed and attacked Japan, because of the typhoon and ships wrecking, they left Japan.  As a result Japan won.   Actually, Mongol had much superior weapons than Japanese.  They had guns, Japanese did not.  Their group fighting method was much more superior and effective than Japanese individual  fighting method.  This is the time the word “Kamikaze” (God wind)  was created.

After the Mongolian invasion, the need for the changing the style of the Ikubi Kissaki became obvious.  When swords were used in a war, the most frequently damaged area was a Kissaki area.  Japanese soldiers used mostly Ikubi Kissaki swords in this war.  The Ikubi Kissaki Tachi has a short Kissaki, therefore, when the damaged area of the Kissaki was polished down for repairing, the top part of the Yakiba (tempered area) disappeared and the Hi (groove) goes up too high in the Boshi area (top triangle-like area).  Functionally, short Ikubi Kissaki becomes even shorter, and Hi goes up too high into a Boshi area became a flaw.  To compensate for this flaw, a new style began to appear in later part of Kamakura period

14 Ikubi kissaki Damadge


During later part of Kamakura period, the swordsmiths began to create a new style of swords to compensate for this fault.  Also, people’s enthusiasm (that was raised by driving back Mongolian) reflected on the surface of swords.  Generally speaking, Hamon and a shape of the body became showy and stronger looking.

Kamakura became a very prosperous place under the power of Hojo family.  A large number of swordsmiths moved to Kamakura from Bizen, Kyoto and other places during this time and created a new style.  This is the beginning of Soshu school (presently Kanagawa area).  Many famous top swordsmiths appeared during this time.  One of the famous swordsmiths is Masamune.  Masamune’s tomb is in Honkaku-Ji temple that is about 5 minutes walk from the Kamakura train station.  When I was attending the sword study group of Mori Sensei(teacher), one of the students I studied with was the 23rd generation of direct descendants of Masamune.  He still makes swords in Kamakura.  He also makes wonderful kitchen knives.


13|Tanto(dagger) Middle Kamakura Period


It is very rare to see a tanto (dagger) made during the Heian period.                            Middle Kamakura period, a large number of wonderful tanto were made.  They were called takenoko-zori shape.  Takenoko means bamboo shoot.  The back of the dagger curves inward slightly.

13 Middle Kamakura Period Tanto

Sugata (shape)———-Hirazukuri , it means no shinogi, no yokote line, as you see above illustration.  Standard tanto size is about 10 inches.  The width is not too wide not too narrow.  The Body is slightly thick.  High Gyo-no-mune (行の棟) and Shin-no-mune (真の棟)


13 Mune drawing


Hamon (刃文) —————- Tempered area is narrow.  Nioi base.  Irregular straight line(suguha midare) or straight line with small choji (suguha-choji).  Tempered edge line may show a frayed look.

Boshi(tempered line at Kissaki area) ———Yakizume.   Kaen.   Niekuzure

13 Hamon and Hi


Engravings (彫刻 ) ———- Often different kinds of engravings are done at the lower part of the body of Tanto.  They are groove (double or single), Sanskrit, spear(Suken), dragon, etc,.  For Sanskrit and spear, look at the illustration inside Chapter 9.

13 Hamon and Hi

Tanto Swords Smiths during Middle Kamakura Period

Awataguchi group(粟田口)———————————–Awataguchi Yoshimitu (粟田口吉光 )Rai group (来) ——————————————————————–Rai Kunitoshi(来国俊)Soushu Group (相州) ——————————————-Shintougo Kunimitu (新藤五国光)Bizen group (備前) ———————————————————Bien Kagemitu (備前景光)Bungo no Kuni Group (豊後の国) ———————-Bungo-no-kuni Yukihira (豊後の国行平)===============

12|Ikubi Kissaki (猪首切先)

12 time line

After the live experience of the war of Jokyu-no-ran, people started to move toward sturdier, grander, wider swords.  The swords made around this time is called Ikubi Kissaki (猪首切先).  Ikubi means wild boar.  Ikubi Kissaki style sword has a style of stout look like a wild boar.  This is the era of the height of sword making.  Many top swords smiths created wonderful swords during this time.  It is said that there is no mediocre sword among Ikubi Kissai.

12 Ikubi Kissaki sword style

SUGATA(shape) —— Originally 3 feet or longer, therefore it is often shortened at the later time.  Wide width, thick Kasane (thick body) with Hamaguri-ha (蛤刃).  Hamaguri-ha means the thickness is shaped like a clam The width at the top and at the bottom is not much difference. Shinogi (鎬)is high, and shinogi width is narrow.  Illustration of Cross section  below.

12 蛤刃と鎬

KISSAKI  —— Ikubi kissaki. Ikubi means wild boar neck.  Wild boar looks like no neck, stout look shape.  Short Kissakii but wide at the yokote line.  The illustration below is exaggerated a little to show the idea.12 Ikubi Kissak drawing

Hamon (刃文) —— Kawazuko-choji(tadpole head shape). O- choji(clove like shape) and Ko-choji mixed.  Irregular waviness mixed with choji and straight, this is called suguha-choji.

12 Hamon Kawazuko-choji                     O-choji                          Ko-choji                  Suguha-choji     (tadpole head)                   (large clove)                (small clove)      (straight and clove)


Boshi(鋩子) ——— Yakizume as below.  Nagamitu(長光), Kagemitu( 景光), Sanenaga(真長) created Boshi called Sansaku Boshi(三作鋩子). Illustration below.

Yakizume                                                                      Sansaku-Boshi   12 Sansaku Boshi(三作

12 Yakizume


Ikubi Kissaki Sword Smiths

Fukuoka Ichimonji Group (福岡一文字) ———  Fukuoka Ichimonji Norimune (則宗)Kamakura Ichimonji Group(鎌倉一文字) ———- Kamakura Ichimonji Sukezane (助真)Soshu Bizen Kunimune Group(相州備前国宗)—- Soshu Bizen Kunimune (国宗)Bizen Osafune Group(長船)——————Bizen Osafune Mitutada(長船光忠) Nagamitsu(長光)   Ugai Group—————————————————– Ugai Unji (鵜飼雲次)


Sano Museum Catalogue (permitted)                                                                                   Osafune Nagamitsu(長船長光 )



Osafune Mitsutada(長船光忠)                          Osafune Mitsutada(長船光忠)                        *was family sword


11|Jokyu-no-ran  (1221 承久の乱)

11 time line --- Jokyu-no-ran

After MinamotonoYoritomo (源頼朝) died, his son, Yoriie(頼家)became second Shogun.  But his mother, Hojo Masako(北条政子)--Yoritomo’s wife--thought her son was too incompetent.She was afraid that the Kamakura Bakufu (Kamakura government) may be taken over by other force.  To prevent this to happen, she started the council system consisting of 13 people including herself, her father Hojo Tokimasa(北条時政) and her brother Hojo Yoshitoki(北条義時).  Soon the second Shogun Yoriie’s wife’s family became powerful.  During Heian and Kamakura period, wife’s family were considered very important.  In order to suppress them,  Hojo Masako and her father Tokimasa plotted against second Shogun Yoriie and killed him.  After Yoriie’s death,  Masako’s  younger son Sanetomo(実朝) became next Shogun. Now, Hojo- Tokimasa’s  young wife wanted her son-in-law to be a next Shogun.  Hojo-Tokimasa attempted to kill Sanetomo, bud failed.  Hojo Masako confined Tokimasa.  Although third Shogun Sanetomo was Hojo Masako’son,  she was very  disappointed in him.  He was also very incompetent.  The third Shogun Sanetomo was killed by Kugyo who was the son of second Shogun.  Now Hojo Yoshitoki took control over the Kamakura Bakufu and brought a figurehead from Fujiwara family ( aristocratic family in Kyoto). After all those turmoil, Hojo family took control over the Kamakura Bakufu(government).

Meanwhile, in Kyoto, the Emperor Gotoba had been planning to attack the Kamakura Bakufu.  He had built up the military power.  When Sanetomo was killed, he saw the chance to attack, the Emperor Gotoba ordered local feudal lords to attack Kamakura Bakufu but very few followed the Emperor.  Instead Hojo family captured the Emperor Gotoba and he was exiled to Oki island. This is called Jokyo-no-Ran, at 1221.

The Emperor Gotoba was the one who really encouraged sword making and treated sword smiths highly.  After the Jokyu-no-ran, the power of Royal family decreased and the Kamakura Bakufu became powerful and stable regime.  Hojo Masako was called “Ama (nun) Shogun”. After her husband, Minamoto-no-Yoritomo died until the end of Jokyu-no-ran, it was the period when the Kamakura Bakufu was still unstable.  Hojo Masako was the one who carried the Kamakura Bakufu to the stable regime.  She was one of the mean, tough, sharp politician.

Kamakura people (I am one of them) really like Hojo Masako .  Minamoto-no-Yoritomo and Hojo-Masako are both buried in Kamakura City.  Minamoto-no-Yoritomo is at Shirahata Shrine, Hojo Masako is at Jufukuji temple.  Shirahata shrine for Minamoto-no-Yoritomo is a very humble shrine, it is just a tombstone, no building surrounding it.  Whereas Jufukuji for Hojo Masako is a very elaborate temple.  Kamakura was a land of the Hojo family, is still now.

Kamakura is about one hour from Tokyo by a train.  Both Jufukuji temple and Shirahata shrine are walking distance from the Kamakura station.