This chapter is a continued part of 18| Nanboku-Cho Period Sword (North and South Dynasty Sword.  Please read Chapter 18 before reading this section.


    0-timeline - size 24 Nanboku-cho                     
                                   The circle above indicates the time we discuss in this section

The drawing below is the illustration from chapter 18.  Please compare this illustration to the photo on the right.  It shows the similarity of the shape.  Keep in mind this illustration is the shape of a very long sword that was shortened at a later time.   At the Nanboku-cho time, swordsmiths created   3, 4, 5 feet long swords.  Later shortened to 2 to 2.5 feet or so length.

19 Nanboku-cho Sword style                55 Sa photo                                                                             From Sano Museum Catalogue “Reborn”                                                                                                              (Permission granted)

55 Chogi

55 Chogi drawing

                     Chogi from Sano Museum Catalogue (Permission granted)

Chogi’s style is categorized as one of the So-den Bizen.  See, 18| Nanboku-Cho Period Sword (North and South Dynasty Sword).  Chogi (長義) was a swordsmith from Bizen Den school who created swords with a characteristic of Soshu Den.  Therefore called So-den Bizen.

 Chogi characteristic

Shape ——— Originally very long.  Shortened to approximately around 2 to 2.5 feet.        Hamon ——–Wide showy tempered line.  Mostly Nioi, but Nie shows also.  Sunagashi (砂流 brush mark like) appears.  Notare (wavy) mixed with Gunome.  Sometimes Chogi’s created one pair of ear robe shape hamon called Chogi’s earlobe shape midare.      Boshi ——— Irregular Midare and sharp turn back.                                                              Ji-hada ——- Itame (a wood grain)

55 Aoe55 Aoe ilustlation

Aoe from Sano Museum Catalogue (Permission granted)

Aoe is pronounced “A” as apple, “o” as original, and “e” like an egg.  Aoe is a swordsmith from Bittchu province which is next to Bizen.  Therefore the characteristic of the sword, Ko-Aoe (old Aoe), and Ko-Bizen (old Aoe) are similar.

55 Bizen Bittchu map

For the Aoe group, from the middle Kamakura period to the Nanboku-Cho period was the height of their time.

Characteristic of Aoe (青江)

One of the characteristics of the Aoe sword is their Aoe-zori shape.  That is to curve a lot at the lower part.  During the Nanboku-cho time, because the Soshu Den was the trendy style, even Bizen swordsmiths did nie where their main characteristic was nioi.   Yet, the Bittchu group stayed with nioi.  The tempered area tends to be wide.  Sakasa-choji (means inverted or backward, see the illustration above) is the Aoe’s most notable characteristic.  Also, boshi often has pointed hamon.  It is often said that if you see Sakasa-choji, the sword has a good chance of being either the Aoe group or Katayama Ichimonji group.  Sumitetu (澄鉄:  black core metal shows through) is also Aoe’s characteristic.


2 thoughts on “54| Part 2 of — 18 Nanboku-Cho Period Swords (南北朝刀)

  1. Thank you so much for your wonderfull job!!! The best writing on swords and general history of Japan ever!

    You are doing one of the most valuable job in Japan historical study as the role and importance of the sword is clearly obvious. You have namaged to show and prove that NIHON TO was THE KEY ELEMENT IN shaping Yamato DAMASHI !!

    Kindest regards and thanks

    Sasha Sydney, Australia ( originally from Russia)

    On Tue, 4 Jun 2019 at 3:15 am Study of Japanese Sword wrote:

    > Yurie Endo 遠藤由利江 posted: “This chapter is more detailed part of Chapter > 19. Please read Chapter 19 before this chapter. The drawing below is the > illustration from chapter 19. Compare this illustration and the photos > underneath of it. It shows the similarity of the shape. Keep” >


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