This chapter is a detailed part of Chapter 9. Please read 9 | Middle Kamakura Period (Bizen Den) 鎌倉中期備前伝 before reading this chapter.
The red circle indicates the time we discuss in this section
The middle Kamakura period was the height of the Bizen Den. In different regions other than Bizen, swords styles often reflected people’s preferences and politics in the particular areas. But the Bizen sword had its own style and was not affected much by those elements throughout the time. The clients of Bizen swords came from all over the country. Therefore, the Bizen swordsmiths created the swords liked by everybody.
The general style of Bizen Den
- In general, their style is likable by everybody.
- The shape, the width of the blade, the thickness of the body, and the tempered line are a standard size or usual design, seldom out of the ordinary.
- Nioi base
- Soft feeling Ji-gane (steel)
- Utsuri (cloud-like shadow) appears.
- The tempered line tends to have the same width, not too wide, not too narrow.
Fukuoka Ichimonji group
Names of swordsmiths among Fukuoka Ichimonji group
Fukuoka Ichimonji Norimune (福岡一文字則宗), Fukuoka Ichimonji Sukemune ( 福岡一文字助宗 ). Those two were the main swordsmiths among the Fukuoka Ichomonji group (福岡一文字 ). From this group, six swordsmiths including Norimune and Sukemune, received the honor as the “Gobankaji” from Emperor Gotoba (後鳥羽上皇 ). I saw Fukuoka Ichimonji Muneyoshi (福岡一文字宗吉) at Mori Sensei’s class on June 25, 1972. My note pointed out a lot of Utsuri (shadow) on the blade.
Sugata (shape) ————– Graceful and classy shape. Generally, well- proportioned shape. The difference between the top width and bottom width is not much. Sometimes stout-looking Kissaki like Ikubi-kissak (refer 11| Ikubi Kissaki (猪首切先) appears.
Hi and Engraving ———-The tip of Hi may follow the Ko-shinogi line. See below. The end of Hi goes under Machi ending with square, or Kakinagashi (refer to 41| Part 2 of —– 8 Middle Kamakura Period (Yamashiro Den) 鎌倉中期山城伝 )
Hamon ———- Wide Ichimonji-choji tempered line. It means the same width tempered line from the bottom to the top. The same Hamon front and back. O-choji-midare (large clove-like pattern), Juka-choji (overwrapped-looking Choji). Nie base. Inazuma and/or Kinsuji appear.
Boshi ————– Same Hamon continues into the Boshi area and ends with Yakizume or turn slightly. Sometimes O-maru.
Jihada ———– Fine and a soft look. Itame (Woodgrain pattern). Lots of Utsuri (cloud-like shadow or reflection)
Ichimonji Sano Museum Catalogue (佐野美術館) Permission granted ＊Above sword is O-suriage. The end of Hi is lower than Mekugi-ana inside Nakago.