This chapter is a continued part of chapter 19. Please read 19 |Nanboku-Cho Tanto（南北朝短刀), before reading this section.
The circle above indicates the time we discuss in this section
The drawing above is a typical shape of the Nanboku-cho time Tanto. This drawing was in chapter 19. This drawing exaggerates the form of the Enbun Joji Kowakizashi Tanto. At the end of chapter 19, Nanboku-Cho Tanto, there is a list of swordsmiths’ names in the period. Hiromitsu and Akihiro represent the most common characteristics of Nanboku-cho tanto.
Hiromitsu From Sano Museum Catalogue (permission granted)
Enbun Joji Ko-wakizashi Tanto is also called Sun-nobi Tanto (>10 inches) because the length is longer than standard size (approx. 10 inches) Tanto. The top part of the Tanto bends outward slightly. This type of shape is called Sakizori.
Characteristic of Hiromitu and Akihiro
Shape———————- Usually, one foot and one to two inches long (Sun-nobi). Wide width. Thin in body thickness. Sakizori. Hamon ———————Wide Hamon and narrow Hamon are mixed. Hamon around Yakidashi (right above Machi) area is narrow, but it gets wider gradually as it goes up. Hamon around the Fukura area is the showiest. Mainly Nie. Sunagashi, Kinsuji, Gunome, Umanoha-midare (horse teeth shape Hamon), or Hitatsura appears (above drawing). Boshi———–Irregular, unevenly tempered. Hamon covers almost entire boshi. Deep turn back. Jihada ——————-Wood-grained Nakago ——-Tanago-bara shape. Refer to 19 Nanboku-cho Period Tanto.
Nobukuni (Below is my sword)
Shodai Nobukuni (the first generation Nobukuni) was a student of Sadamune. He was one of the Sadamune San Tetsu (貞宗三哲, Sadamune’s top three students). Nobukuni’s characteristics were similar to those of Hiromitsu’s and Akihiro’s described above. Nobukuni also created Sun-nobi tanto. The sword below has a Hoso-suguha, Ko-mokume (small burl), Ko-maru Boshi (small round).
This is my sword. Shodai Nobukuni (初代信國). Juyo Token (重要刀剣)
number Juyo 3220, Certification Juyo-Token
Wakizashi : Nobukuni (信国), 31.4cm length, 0.3cm curvature, Hirazukuri, Mitsumune (three-sided mune), Sun-nobi, Ji-hada is wood grain and Ji-nie (nie on the surface between shinogi and hamon), Hamon is Chu-suguha (medium straight), Front carving shows Bonji (sanscrit), Sanko-ken, back engraving is Bonji and Hoko (pike). Original nakago. The examination by the Nihon Bijutu Token Hozon Kyokai, it is certified as Juyo Token. The Chairman Moritatu Hosokawa. Showa 45 June 1 (1970 June 1)