This chapter is the detailed part of chapter 15| Late Kamakura Period Sword. Please read chapter 15 before this section.
The circle indicates the time we discuss in 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 the Late Kamakura Period, swordsmiths 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 for repairing, 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 were 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). In the illustration above, Kinsuji, Inazuma is shown inside the Hamon. The string-like line inside the Hamon is Inazuma and Kinsuji. Inazuma, kinsuji is the collection of nie. 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 longer than the previous Ikubi-kissaki or Ko-gissaki. This is Chu-gissaki. Kissaki like this one is the important point to determine what period the sword was made. Hamon has Choji, Gunome, Togariba (pointed-tip), very tight Nie.
Above sword 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 an earlier time than the late Kamakura Period. This sword shows that the sword does not always follow the style of that period. To Kantei*, first, look at the style and shape then give yourself some idea of the period of the time it was made. But in this case, Kissaki does not indicate the late Kamakura Period. The next thing to do is to look at the different characteristics of the sword one by one like Hamon, Nie or Nioi, Ji-hada, etc. and determine which period, which Den, which province and come up with the name. This process is called Kantei.
*Kantei – – – – – – to determine the name of the swordsmith by looking at the characteristic of the sword. The judge hides 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.