0-timeline - size 24 Nanboku-cho

                           The circle indicate the time we are discussing in this section

During the Nanboku-Cho period, Samurais demanded large, elaborate, and impressive, yet practical sword.  The Soshu-Den style sword in Nanbochi-Cho time was just that.  This type was the most popular style then.  The Nanboku-Cho period was the height of the Soshu Den.  Many swordsmiths moved from other provinces to the Kamakura area and forged the Soshu-Den style swords.   Other schools and regions outside the Kamakura area also made the SoshuDen style swords in their own places.

19 Nanboku-cho Sword style

Sugata (姿: Shape)———-The original length of swords was 3, 4, or 5 feet long, but shortened to approximately two and a half feet long at a later time.  A significantly shortened blade is called O-Suriage.

The Nanboku-Cho style sword has a shallow Kyo-zori (also called Torii-zori).  Refer Chapter 5 Heian Period Sword.  The highest curvature comes around the middle of the body: a wide-body, high Shinogi, narrow Shinogi-Ji.  Refer to Chapter 3, Names of parts.   The thin Kasane (Kasane is the body) is a distinctive feature for the Nanboku-cho style.  High Gyo-no-mune or Shin-no-mune, sometimes Maru-Mune (round back).

19 Nanboku-cho 3 kinds Mune

Hi (樋: groove) and Horimono (彫刻: engraving) —  Often, a single hi (Bo-hi), double hi, Suken (dagger), Bonji (Sanscrit), Dragon are engraved on the Shinogi-Ji area.  Refer to Chapter 3 Names of  parts

9 Hi, Suken, Bonji

Hamon (刃: Tempered line) —- The lower part of the body shows a narrow tempered line; gradually, the tempered line becomes a wider and showy.  Course Nie.                              O-midare (large irregular hamon), Notare-midare (wavy irregular hamon), Gunome-midare (a mix of repeated half-circular and irregular hamon).  Inazuma, Kinsuji (refer to Chapter 14 Late Kamakura Period Sword) also sometimes appears.

19 Hamon Notare 319 Mamon choji gunome19 Hitatsura Hamon Hiromitsu

*From Sano Museum Catalogue ( Permission granted).

Jihada (地肌: Area between shinogi and tempered line)  Refer to Chapter 3 Names of parts——Woodgrain pattern (Itame 板目). Sometimes Tobiyaki (a patchy tempered spots) appears on jihada.

 

Kissaki (切っ先) and Boshi (Tempered line at Kissaki area) —– O-Kissaki (long and large kissaki). Fukura kareru (less arc).  Midare-komi (body and boshi have a similar tempered line), with kaeri fukashi (hamon deeply turns back), sometimes Hitatsura (entirely tempered).  See the above illustration.

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

From Soshu———————————————————Hiromitsu (広光)  Akihiro (秋広)  From Yamashiro ————————————————–Hasebe Kunishige (長谷部国重)  From Bizen (called So-den Bizen)————-Chogi (長儀 )group  Kanemitsu (兼光 ) group  From Chikuzen —————————————————————-Samoji (左文字 ) group

19 Chogi photo from Sano book

The distinctive characteristics of the Nanboku-Cho period sword on the photo above      

  • The engraving trace of Suken on the nakago indicates this area was once a part of the main body.
  • Large and Long kissak

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