The circle indicate the time we are discussing in this section
During the 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 swordsmiths moved to Kamakura and forged Soshu Den style swords. Other schools and provinces also made Soshu Den style swords in their own places.
Shape (Sugata 姿)—-Originally the length of the swords was 3, 4, 5, feet long, but shortened to approximately two and a half feet at a later time. The sword shortened a great length is called O-Suriage. Nanboku-Cho sword has a shallow Kyo-zori shape (also called Torii-zori, refer 6. Heian period) — the highest curvature comes around the center of the body. Widebody, high Shinogi, and narrow Shinogi-Ji (refer 4 Names of parts) and thin bodies are the characteristics of this time. High Gyo-no-Mune or Shin-no-Mune, sometimes Maru-Mune (round back).
Hi, Horimono (groove and engraving 樋, 彫刻)—– On Shinogi-Ji area (refer 4 Names of parts), often appears Bo-hi (one groove), double hi, Bonji (Sanscrit), spear, Dragon engraved
Hamon (Tempered line) —– Lower area of the body shows a narrow tempered line, a higher area of the body shows a wider showy tempered line. Course Nie. O- Midare (large irregular), Hitatsura, Notare-Midare (wavy irregular), Gunome-Midare (repeating pattern of half-circular and irregular mix) are the common Hamon. Inazuma, Kinsuji (refer 15 Late Kamakura Period sword) action appears
*From Sano Museum Catalogue ( Permission granted).
Jitetsu 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, deep turn back), 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 )
The characteristics of the Nanboku-Cho time sword on the photo above * The trace of Suken on Nakago indicates this sword was shortened a lot. * Long Kissaki