Chapter 50 is a continued part of 16| Late Kamakura period Tanto (Early Soshu-Den 鎌倉末短刀). Please read Chapter 16 before reading this section.
The red circle above indicates the time we discuss in this section.
In 16| Late Kamakura period: Tanto (Early Soshu-Den 鎌倉末短刀) , the general characteristics of the late Kamakura period Tanto style (early Soshu Den) was described. The next two photos fit in with the typical features of early Soshu Den Tanto.
Goro Nyudo Masamune (五郎入道正宗) was born in Kamakura as a son of Tosaburo Yukimitu (藤三郎行光). Today, Masamune is a very well-known swordsmith, even among those who are not very familiar with the Japanese sword. His father, Tosaburo Yukimitsu was also one of the top swordsmiths among the early Soshu Den. Masamune’s tomb is in Honkaku-JI (本覚寺) Temple, approximately a 6 minutes’ walk from Kamakura station.
Masamune photo (above) —– Hira-zukuri (flat). Very slightly Sakizori (tip area curves slightly outward). Bo-hi and Tsure-hi (parallel thin grooves). Komaru-boshi. Itame-hada (wood grain pattern). Hamon is Notare (wavy). The illustration above shows Sunagashi and Niju-ba (double Hamon). This type of Nakago is called Tanago-bara. Masamune Tanto is often Mu-mei (no signature). This particular tanto is called Komatsu Masamune (小松政宗). The Sano Museum Catalog’s description stated that connoisseurs in the past had difficulty determining whether Masamune had made this sword. It wasbecause the wide Mihaba with sori and hamon was a little different from other Masamune’s. Judging from the clear Nie, Chikei, and Kinsuji, they determined it was a Masamune Tanto.
Enju Photo below
Enju (延寿) group lived in Higo (肥後) Province in Kyushu. The characteristics of the Enju group is very similar to that of the Yamashiro Den’s. It is because Enju Kunimura was related to Rai Kuniyuki of Yamashiro-Den.
Enju (Photo above) —-Hamon is Hoso-suguha (straight temper line). Boshi is Komaru. The front engraving is Suken (left photo left side), and the engraving on the back is Gomabashi (left photo right side). Ji-hada is a tight Itame. It is confusing to Kantei (determining who made the sword) a sword like this because even though this sword is from the late Kamakura period, it does not have the typical early Soshu Den look.
Masamune’s Tomb in Honkaku-ji Temple
Masamune’s (正宗) tomb is in the Honkakuj-Ji Temple (本覚寺) in Kamakura. Here is a map of the Honkaku-Ji Temple and Masamune Kogei store in Kamakura. This store is owned by Tsunahiro Yamamura, the 24th generation of Masamune. Honkaku-Ji Temple is circled in red, and Masamune Kogei store is the red circle with X. Both are approximately a 6 to 7 minutes walking distance from Kamakura station.
To get to Honkaku-Ji Temple from Tokyo
Take the Yokosuka line train from Tokyo station (approx. one hour) → Get off at Kamakura Station (one stop after Kita-Kamakura) → Exit from the East Exit (front exit) → Go straight and cross the road → Turn right and go up to the post office → Turn left at the post office (Honkaku-ji Temple sign is at the corner of the post office) →The temple is at a short distance from the post office.
Honkakuji Temple (本覚寺) and Masamune Tomb (正宗墓 ) My trip in 2019