This chapter is a continued part of Chapter 3, Names of the Parts. Please read Chapter 3 |Names of Parts, before reading this section.
This chapter is about how to find the Koshi-zori or Chukani-zori. Chukan-zori is also called Torii-zori or Kyo-zori. Chukan-zori means the most curved part of the sword body comes around the middle, and for Koshi-zori, the most curved part comes lower than the center of the blade, approximately 1/3 of the lower body. Every sword looks to have its curvature around the middle part, especially when you look at photos of a sword in books. It is because those swords are placed to fit nicely in a given rectangle photo space.
The correct way to look for the curvature is to stand the Nakago (茎) vertically. In this way, you can see the location of the curvature more precisely. If the Nakago is not vertical, the curvature looks to be in every sword’s middle area. When you look at a sword, the first thing to do is to hold a sword and make sure that the Nakago stands vertically. When you look at a sword in a book, rotate (shift or slide) the book slightly so that the Nakago is perpendicular. You can see the precise location of the curvature in this way. Keep in mind; sometimes it is subtle.
Published by Yurie Endo 遠藤由利江
I was born and raised in Minato-ku, Tokyo Japan then moved to Kamakura. Now I live in Los Angeles.
Graduated from Meiji University and received a degree in literature and curatorship. I hold a curatorship license. Also, I graduated from the California State University of Northridge and received a degree in Economics.
My father owned a manufacturing company related to metal. As his hobby, he had been collecting Japanese swords and other types of Japanese art objects. He was one of the administrators of Nihon Bijutu Token Hozon Kyokai(日本美術刀剣保存協会), that is a sword museum located in Tokyo. One of his friends (Mori Sensei) who was also the main administrator, used to hold a Japanese sword study group in his house. I joined his study group.
Mori sensei’s group was a very rare and valuable kind because he could bring top-quality swords as our study materials because of his position in the museum. The kind of swords we could study were top-quality museum swords. Those are the kind of swords people could only see through the glass display cases. Also, I studied swords with my father since he kept many swords in our house.
This is how I started to get into Japanese sword study.
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