Chapter 64 is a detailed chapter of 30｜Bakumatsu Period, Shin Shin-to. Please read chapter 30 before reading this chapter.
The circle Above indicates the time we discuss in this chapter.
Swords made between the Tennmei era (天明 1781) and the end of Keio era (慶應) are called Shin Shin-to. Please see the timeline above. It was the time Japan was moving toward the Meiji Restoration. It was the Bakumatsu time. During the time, sword making was active again. Below are the well-known swordsmiths in the main areas.
Musashi no Kuni (武蔵の国: Tokyo today)
Suishinshi Masahide (水心子正秀) ———— When Suishinshi Masahide made Yamashiro Den style swords, the shape was similar to one of the Ko-to time swords; Funbari, elegant shape, Chu-suguha (medium straight), Komaru-boshi, fine wood grain. When he forged the Bizen style, he made a Koshizori shape, just like a Ko-to by Bizen Osafune. Nioi with Ko-choji, and Katai-ha (Refer to 30| Bakumatsu Period Sword 新々刀). I put a note in my sword textbook that I saw Suishinshi in November 1970 and October 1971.
Taikei Naotane (大慶直胤) ————-Although Taikei Naotane was within the Suishinshi group, he was among the top swordsmiths. He had an amazing ability to forge all kinds of different styles of swords wonderfully. When he made a Bizen Den style, it looked like Nagamitsu from the Ko-to time with Nioi. Also, he did Sakasa-choji as Katayama Ichimonji had done. Katai-ha appears. My note on the textbook says that I saw Naotane in August 1971.
Taikei Naotane (大慶直胤) Photo is from “Token no Mikata (The way to look at swords)” written by Koichi Hiroi, Published 1971
Minamoto no Kiyomaro (源清麿) —————— Kiyomaro desired to join the Meiji Restoration movement as a Samurai; still, his guardian realized Kiyomaro’s ability as a great swordsmith and helped him become one. It is said that because Kiyomaro had a drinking problem, he was not so eager to forge swords. At age 42, he committed Seppuku. Kiyomaro, who lived in Yotsuya (a part of Shinjuku, Tokyo, today), was called Yotsuya Masamune because he was as good as Masamune. His swords were wide width, shallow Sori, stretched Kissaki, and Fukura–kareru. Boshi has Komaru-boshi. Fine wood grain Ji-gane.
Minamoto no Kiyomaro (源清麿) Photo is from “Token no Mikata ( The way to look at swords)”, written by Koichi Hiroi, published 1971
Settsu no Kuni 摂津の国 (Osaka today )
Gassan Sadakazu (月山貞一) ———- Gassan was good at Soshu Den style and Bizen Den style, but he could make any kinds of style. He was as genius as Taikei Naotane. When you see his Ko-to style swords, it is hard to distinguish his sword from a real Ko-to sword because of his superb ability. One needs to be careful not to mistake a sword made by Gassan from a real Ko-to. He also had an amazing ability in carving. His hirazukuri-kowakizashi forged in Soshu Den style looks just like a Masamune or a Yukimitsu. He forged the Yamashiro Den style with Takenoko-zori with Hoso-suguha or Chu-suguha in Nie. He also forged the Yamato Den style with Masame-hada.
Gassan Sadakazu (月山貞一) Photo is from “Token no Mikata (How to look at swords)” written by Koichi Hiroi, Published in 1971