Chapter 60 is a Continued part of Chapter 26 |Over view of Shinto (新刀概要). Please read Chapter 26 before reading this section.
The circle above indicates the time we discuss in this section
The difficulty of Shin-to Kantei
During Ko-to time, one could tell the approximate period when the sword was made by looking at the style and the shape. Several conditions, like how the Hamon shows, how the Ji-gane appears, indicate which Gokaden (五ヶ伝) and what period in Ko-to time the particular sword was made. But with the swords in Shin-to time, that does not work.
Even though there are some differences among the Shin-to swords made in the early Edo period, which is around Keicho (慶長) era, the middle Edo period that is around Kanbun (寛文) era, and the later part Edo period that is Genroku era (元禄), differences are not much.
The same is true with Gokaden (五ヶ伝) during the shin-to time. In the Ko-to time, Bizen sword smiths forged swords with Bizen characteristic, Yamato sword smiths usually shows Yamato Den characteristic. But in Shin-to time, a swordsmith of one particular Den also forged the style of other Den’s features. As a result, it is hard to determine who forged the particular sword. For Shin-to, we study the characteristics of seven main locations. The following chapters will go over them.
In and after the Genroku era (1688 – 1704), some picturesque Hamon became a trendy style. Some swordsmiths made picturesque Hamon on Wakizashi or short swords. Since it became very popular, especially among foreigners, most of them were exported outside of Japan around the Meiji restoration time. Very few are left in Japan today.
The swordsmiths those who made picturesque Hamon
Yamashiro area ——————————————-Iga-no-kami Kinmichi (伊賀守金道), Omi-no-kami Hisamichi (近江守久道)
Settsu (摂津) area ———————————Tanba-no-Kami Yoshimichi (丹波守吉道) Yamato-no-Kami Yoshimichi (大和守吉道)
Below are examples. Fuji is the Mount fuji design. Kikusui is chrysanthemum in the water.