4|Names of the Parts «part 2»

This chapter is the continued part of a chapter  “4| Names of the Part”.  Please read the chapter “4| Names of the Parts” before reading the part 2.

Let’s discuss how to look for the location of the highest curvature area.  Any sword in a sword book looks like a curvature comes around the middle area.  That is because a photographer places a sword to fit in a certain rectangle space.
The correct way to look for a curvature is to stand the Nakago ( 茎 ) perpendicularly.  That way you can see the curvature more precisely.  Any sword looks like the curvature comes around the middle if the Nakago is not vertical.  Rotate (move or shift) the book slightly so that the Nakago shows as perpendicular.  That way you can see the real curvature of the sword.


4 Heian Bize sori rotated with line

Table of Content

By clicking the links below, you can navigate to those chapters.

1 | Preface  

1|Preface «part 2»

2 | Time line

2| Timeline «part 2»

3 | Joko-to(上古刀)

3| Jyoko-To «part 2»

4 |Names of Parts

4|Names of the Parts «part 2»

5 | Heian period History(平安時代) 794 – 1192

5| Heian Period History (平安時代)  794-1192  « part 2»

6 |Heian Period Swords

7| Kamakura Period History (1192 – 1334)

8| Kamakura Period Swords

9| Middle Kamakura Period —Yamashiro School(鎌倉中期山城伝

10| Middle Kamakura Period — Bizen School(鎌倉中期備前伝)

11| Jokyu-no-ran (承久の乱) 1221

12| Ikubi Kissaki (猪首切先)

13|Tanto(dagger 短刀) Middle Kamakura Period

14| Late Kamakura Period History (鎌倉後期)

15|Late Kamakura Period Sword

16|The Revival of Yamato School (山城伝復活)

17| Late Kamakura period Tanto ——- Early Soshu Tanto

18| Nanboku(Yoshino) Cho Period History—— North and South Dynasty History(1333-1393)

19| Nanboku-Cho (North and South dynasty) Period Sword

20| Nanboku-Cho Tanto(南北朝短刀)

21| Muromachi Period History (室町時代)

22| Muromachi Period Sword

23| Sengoku Period History (戦国時代)

24|Sengoku Period Sword(戦国時代)

25|Sengoku Period Tanto (戦国時代)

26| Edo Period History (江戸時代)1603 – 1867

27| Shinto (新刀)

28| Seven Main Areas of Shin-to Sword (Part A)

29| Seven Main Areas of Sin-To Sword (partB)

30| Bakumatsu Period History (幕末)1781 – 1867

31| Shin Shin-To (Bakumatsu Period Sword 新々刀)1781-1867

32| The Process of Making a Sword

33| References

34| Background 

 

 

3| Jyoko-To «part 2»

Around 4 to 6 century, Kofun (古墳) culture appeared.  Kofun is a huge burial place for the powerful people at the time.  They are often Zenpo-Koen-Fun (前方後円墳) that is the front is square and the back is round shape.  If you look at it from the sly, it shapes like a keyhole.  The largest one is Ninntoku Tenno Ryo (仁徳天皇陵) in Osaka, the tomb for the Emperor Nintoku.  The length is 480M X 305M.  The height is 35M.  Inside, we found swords, armors, bronze mirror, jewelry, iron, metal tools.  Sometimes, iron itself, since iron was considered very precious, they are only for the ruling class.  The outside of the Kofun, a large number of Haniwa *¹ were placed.  It is said they are for the retaining wall purpose.  Originally they were just simple tube shape, eventually became very elaborate figurines.  Smiling people, Smiling soldier, a dog with a bell around the neck, a female with hat, farmers, house, monkey, ship, bird, etc.  Some of them are really elaborately made and very cute.  you can see people in those days wore elaborate clothes.  Haniwa is very popular among children in Japan.  We have a children’s TV program “Haniwa-kun”, Haniwa is the main character.  Those Haniwa somewhat suggests us what was their life like.  Their facial expression is all happy and smiling.   According to the old Japanese history book Nihon Shoki (日本書紀), it said Haniwa is the replacement of martyrdom, but it is not proved.  Like I described in chapter 3|Joko-to, from Ogonzuka Kofun (黄金塚古墳), another huge Kofun in Osaka, they found a sword.  The hilt was made in Japan and the blade is made in China.  This sword has round hilt and on the hilt, it has some character.  It said 中 平 ⌈   ⌋ 年.   We can not see the third letter.  But we know 中平 is from 184 to 189 AD, and 年 indicate the year, therefore it was made between 184 to 189.  And this sword came out from the 4th Century tomb.    I took archaeology at Meiji University.  I found it most fascinating subject.  The professor explained to us how to determine when a particular bronze mirror was made by reading the half disappearing character on the back of it.  Or he explained to us that a large number of Doutaku*² has excavated from one particular place, fit inside one another.  Doutaku is a musical instrument for the ritual.  Therefore scholars think people then were being attacked by their enemy so they hid Doutaku in a hurry and escaped.  On and on.  In many countries, excavation is a time-consuming tedious work and often it takes a long time to find anything.  But in Japan, it is not as hard as other countries.   We often find things, it may not what you are looking for, but we excavate items quite often.

398px-群馬県大泉町古海出土_埴輪_腰かける巫女

*¹ 腰かける巫女(群馬県大泉町古海出土)国立博物館蔵                                             Sitting Shrine Maiden (Excavated from Gunma Prefecture)  Owned by National Museum

滋賀県野洲市小篠原字大岩山出土_突線紐5式銅鐸    *² 滋賀県野洲市小篠原字大岩屋出土突線紐5式銅鐸  東京国立博物館展示              Doutaku     Excavated from Shiga Prefecture   Displayed at Tokyo National Museum

 

2| Timeline «part 2»

Original Timeline 0

 

In the chapter 2 Timeline, I mentioned Gendai-to ( 現代刀 ) is the swords made after the Meiji Revolution (明治維新1868 ) until now. It has been about 150 years.  Even though I simply categorized all swords made during this time into one group as Gendai-to, there is quite a difference in quality and variety.   The big difference is Gunto (軍刀).  Those are military swords that were made to take to the World War I and World War II.  Some of them have a saber like a handle.  Those were not made for artistic purpose nor to appreciate the beauty of the surface of the blade.  Compare to the swords made today, Gunto is usually considered much less valuable.  It often has a brown color scabbard.  The color is similar to the Japanese military uniform.  Those Gunto are usually not part of the study of the Japanese sword.  Also, at the time of the Meiji Revolution (明治維新), Meiji-Ishin-to (明治維新等刀  ) or Kin-nou-to ( 勤王刀 ) were made.  They are a long sword and some of them are almost 3 feet long and have no curvature.  The representative ones are like the one owned by Saigo Takamori ( 西郷隆盛  ) and Sakamoto Ryoma (坂本龍馬).

*Refer to ” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunt%C5%8D”  for Japanese military sword.