The circle above indicates the time we discuss in this section
The discussion of this chapter is about the famous Muramasa (村正). Usually, many well-known swordsmiths were from one of the Goka Den (五家伝：primary five schools: Yamashiro Den, Bizen Den, Soshu Den, Yamato Den, and Mino Den). However, Muramasa was not from the Goka Den but Ise Province. The first generation Muramasa was known as a student of He’ian-jo Nagayoshi (平安城長吉) of Yamashiro Den who lived the mid Muromachi period. Muramasa has three generations from the mid Muromachi period to the Sengoku period.
Here is one of Muramasa’s tanto that was made during the Sengoku period. Since this is the Sengoku period tanto, the blade shows the Sengoku period sword style. It shows Mino Den Characteristics, with the Soshu Den Characteristics added.
Muramasa (村正) from Sano Museum Catalogue (permission granted)
Mino-Den Characteristic of the Sengoku period that shows on this Tanto
Muramasa’s tantos are often 10 inches ± half inches or so. Hirazukuri (平作り). Thin blade with a sharp look. Nioi base with small Nie and Sunagashi (brushed sand-like, the illustration below) appears. Boshi (the top part of hamon) is Jizo (a side view of a human’s head). The tempered line has wide areas and narrow areas. Some areas are so narrow, close to the edge of the blade, while others are broad. Hako midare (box-like shape) and Gunome (lined-up beads pattern). O-notare (large gentle waviness) is a Muramasa’s signature characteristic. The pointed tempered line is a typical Mino Den characteristic (Sanbon-sugi). Refer 24Sengoku period sword.
Sunagashi (Brushed sand-like trace. My drawing is exaggerated)