This is the time, the shape of the swords changed to curved shape.  Until this time, swords were straight.

The study of swords is the swords made from Heian period on.  Elegant and graceful taste of Fujiwara culture reflects on the swords made during the Heian period.  Their preference of their life style appeared vividly on the swords.  A group of the sword smiths in Kyoto area was called Yamashiro school.  Their style of the swords had a graceful shape.  During the Heian period, Yamashiro school represents the Heian period sword style.

6aHeian 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.  A line shape that is called——funbari,踏ん張り style.  Deep curvature.

6 A line bottom

  • 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.  Sand like particles is not so visible. 6 Straigh tempered line(Suguha)
  • Jitetu (地鉄) ———- fine wood grained tone.
  • Nakago (中心)———- Nakago is a hilt area.  Sword makers inscribe their names here.  The shape of the nakago during the Heian period is often Kijimomo shape(雉腿), that means pheasant thigh shape.6 Kijimomo-nakago
  • 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.6c Boshi Hamon

Names of the Heian period sword smiths

  • 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)

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