The circle indicates the time we are discussing in this section
During the Nanboku-Cho Period, a type of Tanto called Hirazukuri-Kowakizashi-Sunnobi-Tanto was made. Hirazukuri means a flat sword without the Yokote line and without Shinogi. Ko-Wakizashi means a shorter sword. Sun-Nobi Tanto means longer than standard. This is also called Enbun Jyoji Kowakizashi Tanto. It is called this way because the majority of this type Tanto was forged around Enbun, Jyoji Imperial era. In Japan, a new imperial period starts when a new emperor ascends to the throne. The Enbun era was from 1356 to 1361, and the Jyoji period was from 1362 to 1368.
Shape (Sugata 姿) ——- The length of a standard size tanto is approx. one shaku. Shaku is an old Japanese measurement unit for length and, one shaku is very close to 1 foot.
8.5 sun (the sun is another old Japanese measurement unit for length) is approximately 10 inches. This is the standard size tanto called Josun Tanto. Anything longer than Josun Tanto is called Sun-nobi Tanto. Anything shorter than Josun is called Sun-zumari Tanto.
Most of the Nanboku-cho tantos are longer than Josun Tanto, approximately 1 foot 2 inches long. Therefore they are called Hirazukuri Ko-wakizashi Sun-nobi Tanto.
Saki-zori (curved outward at the top. See the illustration above). Wide width and thin body. Fukura Kareru (no Fukura means less arc). Shin-no-mune. See the drawing below.
Hi, Horimono (Goove and engraving 樋, 彫刻) —– A groove or grooves on the mune side. Bonji (Sanscrit, described in Chapter 16 Late Kamakura Period (Early Soshu-Den Tanto 鎌倉末短刀）. Koshi-bi (Short groove), Tumetuki Ken, Tokko-tsuki Ken (see below) appear. Ken (dagger) is curved widely and deeply in the upper part and shallower and narrower in the lower part. This is called Soshu-Bori (Soshu carving).
Hamon (Tempered line) —– The narrowly tempered at the lower part gradually becomes wider toward the top. Then a similar wide hamon goes into the Boshi area. Hamon in the kissaki area is Kaeri-fukashi (turn back deep). See the illustration below shows. Coarse Nie. O-midare (large irregular hamon pattern).
Jihada —– Loose wood grain pattern called Itame. Yubashiri (discussed in 17 Yubashiri, Chikei.jpg), Tobiyaki (Irregular patches of tempered metal) appears. Crowded (busy) Tobiyaki is called Hitatsura (illustration above).
Nakago (Tang) —-–—- Short Tanago-bara. Tanago-bara means the shape of the belly of a Japanese fish Tanago (bitterling).
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 )