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.
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.
From Sano Museum Catalogue “Reborn” (Permission granted)
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.
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)
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.
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.