24 Sengoku period Time Line

The circle indicate the time we are discussing in this section

After the Onin-no-Ran, Kyoto was in a devastating condition.  Distinguished swordsmiths in Kyoto area were almost all gone.  Sengoku Daimyo (warlord or feudal lord) demanded a large number of swords from nearby.  Mino and Bizen area were the active sword making places during the Sengoku time.  It was because the Mino province was located in a convenient place from the area of many feudal lords.  Also, the Shizu Group from Yamato Den (school) moved to the Mino province.  Tegai Kaneyoshi from Yamato Den moved to Mino and many swordsmiths from Yamashiro and Yamato area moved to Mino.  Thus, Mino could supply the high demand for a large number of swords.  During this wartime, Samurai demanded a practical sword that do not bend, break and cut well, a very practical sword.  Together with swordsmiths of Mino area, Bizen Osafune swordsmiths fulfilled the huge demand.

Chumon-Uchi and Kazu-Uchi-Mono.

Kazu-Uchi-Mono was a sword made just good enough for one battle. They were not made for permanent preservation.  Whereas Chumon-Uchi was an order made swords.  Sound shape, good forging, often engraved the swordsmith’s name and the name of a person who ordered it.

24 Sword shape (Sengoku period )

Mino-Den characteristics

Sugata (姿:shape) —– Shallow curvature, Low Gyo-no-mune, Chu-kissaki with Fukura. The width and the thickness are not too wide not too thick.  Engraving is rare in Mino Den.  In Bizen Den, the bottom of the Bo-hi (single groove) shows round end (see the last photo) just above the machi area (for machi, see the diagram in  4 Names of parts).

13 Mune drawing

Hamon (Tempered line 刃文)

Mino-Den ——–Mostly nioi.  Pointed gunome (Sanbon-sugi), O-notare, Yahazu-midare, Hako-midare (box shape), Chu-suguha with Katai-ha.  See the illustration below.  Also, Mino Koshi-ba.  That is Sugu-ha about 1 inch at the bottom, followed by irregular, then the top becomes Chu-suguha).

Bizen-Den ———-Mostly nioi. Wide tempered line. Koshi-hiraita-midare.  See the illustration below.

Mino-Den Hamon

24 Sannbon sugi,hako, yahazu, O-midare)24 Suguha katai-ha


Bizen-Den Hamon

22Hamon (Koshi Hiraita midare)
from Sano Museum Catalogue

Boshi —————————Turn back deep.  Jizo-boshi (side view of a head), Ko-maru (small round), kaeri-yoru (lean)

24 jizo-boshi Keri-yoru

Ji-hada ( 地肌: Area between shinogi and tempered area)————-Mokume (wood burl) mixed with masame (straght grain).  often shows masame on shinogi area.  Sometimes, Mokume stands out.

Swordsmiths during Sengoku Period

Mino-Den————Magoroku Kanemoto (孫六兼元) Izuminokami Knesada (和泉守兼定) Bizen-Den—-Yosozaemon Sukesada (興三左衛門祐定) Norimitu (則光) Tadamitu(忠光)

24 Sukesada
Yosozaemon Sukesada ( Sano Museum)   与三左衛門尉祐定(佐野美術館蔵)

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