This chapter is the detailed part of chapter 15| Late Kamakura Period Sword. Please read chapter 15 before this section.
As I explained in chapter 14 Late Kamakura Period History (鎌倉後期), Ikubi Kissaki sword shows a flaw (above illustration) when the damaged area was repaired. To compensate for this flaw, in Late Kamakura Period, swords smiths started to forge swords with longer Kissaki and a tip of Hi ends lower than Yokote-line. So that in case the Yokote-line was lowered after the repair, Hi does not go higher than Yokote-line
Above photo is Goro Nyudo Masamune( 五郎入道正宗 ). Please look at the size and shape of Kissaki. This is definitely different than previous Ikubi Kissaki, or Ko-Gissaki. This is a typical late Kamakura period Kissaki style. This is O-Suriage (largely shortened). Under Kamakura Bakufu, many swordsmiths moved to Kamakura. They were Toroku Sakon Kunituna (藤六左近国綱 ) of Yamashiro Awataguchi group(山城粟田口), Fukuoka Ichimonji Sukezane (福岡一文字助真) and Kunimune (国宗 )of Bizen area. They are the origin of Soshu-Den (相州伝). Eventually, Tosaburo Yukimitsu (藤三郎行光) appeared and his son is the famous Masamune (正宗). On the illustration above, Kinsuji, Inazuma is shown inside the Hamon. The clear line inside the Hamon is Inazuma and Kinsuji. Kinsuji, Inazuma are the collection of Nie looks like a line. Masamune is famous for Inazuma, Kinsuji. Masamune lived in Kamakura, his Hamon looks like an ocean wave when it is viewed sideways.
The above picture is Yoshioka Ichimonji (吉岡一文字). Kissaki is also like the one of Masamune. It is longer than previous Ikubi Kissaki or Ko-Gissaki. This is Chu-Gissaki. Kissaki like this is the important point to determine what period the sword was made. Hamon has Choji, Gunome, Togariba (pointed tip), very tight Nie.
Above photo is Ukai Unsho (鵜飼雲生). This is also the sword from the late Kamakura period. But it has Ko-Gissaki. This sword does not have the late Kamakura period Chu-Gissaki style. Narrow Hoso-Suguha is somewhat like earlier time than the late Kamakura period. I chose this sword here to show that the sword does not always have the style of that period. To Kantei*, first, look at the style and shape and give yourself some idea of the period of the time you think it was made. But in this case, Kissaki does not indicate late Kamakura period. Next thing to do is to look at the different characteristic of the sword one by one like Hamon, Nie or Nioi, Jihada, etc, and determine what period, which Den, which province and finally come up with a swordsmith’s name. This process is called Kantei.
*Kantei – – – – – – to determine the name of the swordsmith by looking at the characteristic of the sword without looking at the Mei (inscription). Mei is not always there either because it is shortened or some other reasons.
All the photos above are from Sano Museum Catalogue. Permission to use is granted.