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 Nanboku-Cho Period Sword. Please compare this drawing to the photo on the right. It shows the similarity of the shape. Keep in mind this illustration is the shape of a once very long sword that was shortened at a later time. During the Nanboku-cho time, swordsmiths created 3, 4, or even 5 feet long blades, but later, they shortened them to approximately 2 to 2.5 feet or so.
” Sa”* from Sano Museum Catalogue “Reborn” (Permission granted)
* “Sa” is pronounced the first sound of “sabotage.”
Chogi* from Sano Museum Catalogue (Permission granted)
Chogi* is pronounced: Chocho-san’s “cho” and giggle “gi.”
Chogi’s style is categorized as one of the Soden 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, in short, called So-den Bizen. Bizen swordsmith forged Soshu Den.
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 stroke- like) appears. Notare (wavy) mixed with Gunome. Sometimes Chogi’s created the double Gunome-style hamon (connected two half-circles). This shape resembles a pair of earlobes, therefore, it is called Chogi’s Mimigata–midare (irregular hamon mixed with earlobe-like shape). Boshi ——— Irregular Midare and sharp turn back. Ji-hada ——- Itame (a wood grain)
Aoe from Sano Museum Catalogue (Permission granted)
Aoe (青江) is pronounced “A” as apple, “o” as original, and “e” like an egg. Aoe is a swordsmith from Bittchu province, that is next to Bizen. Therefore the characteristic of the sword, Ko-Aoe (old Aoe), and Ko-Bizen (old Aoe) are similar.
Characteristic of Aoe (青江)
From the middle Kamakura period to the Nanboku-cho period was the height of the Aoe group.
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 even though their main characteristic was Nioi. However, the Bittchu group stayed with Nioi.
The tempered area tends to be wide. Sakasa-choji, which 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 from either the Aoe group or Katayama Ichimonji group. Sumitetu (澄鉄: black core metal shows through), is also Aoe’s characteristic.