This chapter is the continued part of chapter 16|The Revival of Yamato Den （大和伝復活 . Please read chapter 16 before reading this chapter.
At the end of the Kamakura period, in the Yamato area, powerful temples expanded their territory. They had the political and military power to control the area. Especially a few powerful temples owned a large territory. They were called Shoen (荘園). The demand for the Sword increased by warrior monks called Sohei (僧兵). That started the revival of Yamato school. Some of the big temples had their own swordsmiths within their territory. Todaiji-temple (東大寺) backed Tegai (手掻 ) group. Senjuin (千手院 ) group lived near Senju-Do (千手堂 ) where Senju Kannon (千手観音 ) was enshrined. The name of the Taima group came from Taima-Ji temple (当麻寺). Shikkake group (尻懸 ) and Hosho group (保昌 ) as well. Those five groups are called Yamato Goha (Yamato five groups).
General Characteristic of Yamato Den
Yamato Den (大和伝) sword always shows Masame (柾目, straight grain like) on somewhere on Ji-Hada, Jigane or Hamon. Please refer to the 16 Revival of Yamato Den (大和伝復活) for its general characteristic. Masame is sometimes mixed with Mokume (burl like) or Itame (wood grain like). Either way, Yamato sword shows Masame somewhere. Some sword shows Masame entirely or some shows a lesser amount. Because of that, Hamon tends to show Sunagashi (brush stroke like) or a double line like Hamon called Nijyu-ha.
Taima or Taema group (当麻 )
- Shape —– Middle Kamakura period shape and Ikubi Kissaki style
- Hamon —–Mainly Medium Suguha. Double Hamon. Suguha mixed with Choji. Shows Inazuma, Kinsuji, especially under Yokote line Inazuma appears.
- Boshi —– Often Yakizume. Refer Yakizume on 16 Revival of Yamato Den (大和伝復活)
- Ji-Hada Ji-Tetsu —– Small wood grain and well knead surface. At the top part of the sword, wood grain pattern becomes Masame.
Shiikkake Group (尻懸 )
- Shape —– Late Kamakura period shape. Refer 15 Late Kamakura Period Sword
- Hamon —– Mainly Nie (we say Nie Honni). Medium suguha frayed, mixed with small irregular and Gunome (half circle). Double lined, brush stroke like pattern. Small Inazuma, Kinsuji
- Boshi —– Yakizume, Hakikake (swept trace by broom) and Ko-maru ( small round)
- Ji-Hada, Ji-Gane —– Small burl mixed with Masame. Shikkake group sometimes shows Shikkake Hada. That is, Ha side shows Masame and Mune side shows burl.
Tegai Group ( 手掻 )
- Shape —– Early Kamakura Thick Kasane (body). High Shinogi. Koshizori.
- Hamon —– Narrow tempered line with medium Suguha Hotsure (frayed Suguha). Mainly Nie. Double tempered line. Inazuma, Kinsuji shows.
- Boshi —– Yakizume (no turn back ), Kaen (flame like).
- Ji-Hada Ji-Gane —– Fine burl mixed with Masame.
Tegai Kanenaga of Yamato. From Sano Museum Catalogue (permission granted)
The illustration shows Notare (wave-like Hamon) and Suguha Hotsure (frayed Suguha) and Kinnsuji.
Example of Kantei process how to figure out the maker of the sword using the above photo
- To determine Jidai (time) by Sugata (shape) —-—-Heian (possible), Early Kamakura (possible), Middle Kamakura (possible), Late Kamakura (possible), Nanboku – Cho (unlikely), Muromachi (possibly No), Sengoku (possibly No), Shinto ( possibly No), Shinshin-To (No)
- To judge from Hamon (actual view shows Masame)——-Yamashiro-Den (possible), Yamato-Den (very possible), Bizen-Den (unlikely possible), Soshu-Den (unlikely possible), Mino- Den (No)
- Jihada (actual view shows Nie a lot) —–Yamashiro-Den (possible), Yamato-Den (very possible), Shoshu-Den (unlikely possible), Bizen-Den (unlikely ), Mino-Den (unlikely)
By looking at the bold letter above, analyzing the above information, you conclude and come up with the name of the swordsmith. In reality, to Kantei, bring more checkpoints and come up the name.