The circle indicate the time we are discussing in this section
The Heian period is the time, the shape of the swords changed to the curved shape. Until this time, swords were straight.
The study of swords begins from the Heian period. The elegant and graceful taste of Fujiwara culture reflects on the swords that were made during the Heian period. The preference of their lifestyle reflected vividly on the swords. One of the active groups of swordsmiths in the Kyoto area was called Yamashiro school or Yamashiro Den. Den means school. Their style had a graceful shape. During the Heian period, Yamashiro Den (school) represents the Heian period sword style.
General Heian period sword style
Shape———-Lengths of the swords are approximately 30 inches ± a couple of inches. Elegant and graceful shape. The width of the blade is narrow. Small Kissaki(小切先), Kyo-zori (京反り) and deep curvature. Kyo-zori means the highest curvature comes around the halfway of the blade. The lower part of the sword has an A-line curve (flare out) that is called funbari (踏ん張り). It is like the lower part of the Eifel tower.
Hamon(刃文)———-Hamon means tempered line. The Heian period tempered area is narrow, and usually, suguha (直刃), means straight hamon. Nie (沸) base. Nie is a tiny granule like a particle on the border of the tempered line. Refer below. If you look closely, fine sand-like particles are visible.
Jitetu (地鉄) ———- fine wood-grained tone. Refer Jitetu, 4 |Names of Parts
Nakago (中心)———- Nakago is a hilt area. Sword makers inscribe his names here. The shape of the Nakago during the Heian period is often Kijimomo shape(雉腿), which means pheasant thigh shape.
Hi and engrave ———- Hi (樋) means an engraved straight line. Hi and engraved design is rare in Heian period. It became more common later time.
Kissaki (切先）———– Ko-kissaki (small kissaki). Boshi (Hamon around kissaki) is usually with komaru (小丸) means small round with a little return.
Names of the Heian period swordsmiths
- Yamashiro school——– Sanjo Munechika(三条宗近) Sanjo Yoshiie(三条吉家） Gojo Kanenaga(五条兼長) Gojo Kuninaga (五条国永)
- Yamato school ——–Senju-in (千手院)
- Bizen school ———– Bizen Tomonari(備前友成) Bizen Masatsune(備前正恒) Bizen Kanehira (備前包平)
- Hoki (伯耆) ———–Yasutsuna (安綱) Sanemori (真守)
- Buzen (豊前) ——— Cho-en (長円) Sinsoku (神息)
- Satsuma (薩摩) ——-Naminohira (波平)