This chapter is a continued part of chapter 27| Shinto Main 7 Regions (Part A). Please read chapter 27 before reading this section.
The circle above indicates the time we discuss in this section
In Chapter 27, Shinto Main 7 Regions (part A 主要7刀匠地) and Chapter 28, Shinto Sword Main 7 Regions (part B 主要７刀匠地) described an overview of the seven main regions. This chapter and next chapter shows the photos of the representative swordsmiths from those regions. They are Yamashiro (山城 in Kyoto), Settsu (摂津 today’s Osaka), Musashi (武蔵 Edo), Satsuma (薩摩). But Echizen (越前) and Kaga (加賀), Hizen (肥前) are skipped.
During the Ko-to time, a sword shape, hamon condition, Kissaki size, and the length and the shape of the nakago, etc., indicates when the sword was forged. Also, Bizen swordsmith forged Bizen Den sword, Yamashiro swordsmith forged Yamashiro Den sword, Yamato swordsmith forged Yamato Den sword. But during the Shinto time, that is not the case. Den and the location of the swordsmith do not match. For Shin-to sword, we study the swordsmiths of the seven central regions and their characteristic.
During Ko-to time, usually, if a sword has a wide hamon line with nie, Ji-hada shows large wood grain or large burl grain. Also, when you see a narrow hamon line, it usually shows with fine Ji-hada during Ko-to time. But on Shin-to, wide Hamon with nie with small wood grain or small burl grain on Ji-hada. And narrow Hamon line with a large wood grain Ji-hada. This is the Shin-to characteristic. Yet some of the early Soshu Den sword during the late Kamakura period shows wide hamon with nie with small burl on Ji-hada. Because of that, whether it is Ko-to or Shin-to is confusing. But other features like Ji-tetsu or other parts should indicate the Shin-to or Ko-to.
- Yamashiro (山城: Kyoto)
Horikawa Kunihiro From Sano Museum Catalogue
Horikawa Kunihiro (堀川国広) was considered as a great master swordsmith among Shin-to swordsmiths. He forged his swords in different styles and different characteristics. The types of hamon are O-notare, O-gunome, Togari-ba (pointed hamon), Chu-suguha with hotsure (frayed look), Hiro-suguha, with Sunagashi effect, Inazuma, Kinsuji appears. Kunihiro liked to make his sword shape look like O-suriage (shortened Nanboku-Cho style long sword). Kunihiro’s blade gives you a massive feeling. Kunihiro’s swords often have beautiful carvings on it; designs are such as a dragon, Sanskrit letter, etc. Since he did many different styles, there is no general characteristic on his sword other than hamon is mainly nie. Very finely forged Ji-hada
Iga-no-Kami Kinnmichi (伊賀守金道) Dewa Daijyo Kunimichi (出羽大掾国路) Both Juyo Token (重要刀剣), once my family owned swords, photos were taken by my father.
Characteristics of Iga-no-Kami Kinmichi ( 伊賀守金道)
Kinmichi family is called Mishina group. Refer 27 Shinto Main 7 Regions A. Iga-no-Kami Kinmichi received the Japanese Imperial Chrysanthemum crest. The characteristic of his sword; wide sword, shallow curvature, Kissaki extended, sakizori (curvature at 1/3 top), wide tempered line, Kyo Yakidashi (refer 27 Shinto Main 7 Regions A ), hiro suguha (wide straight hamon), O-notare (large wavy), Yahazu-midare, Hako-midare (refer 25 Sengoku Period Tanto). Boshi is Mishina boshi, refer 27 Shinto Main 7 Regions A. Fine wood burl, Masame appears on Shinogi area.
Dewa Daijo Kunimichi (出羽大掾国路)
Dewa Daijo Kunimichi was the best student of Horikawa Kunihiro. The 1st photo above. Like Kunihiro, the shape of the sword looks like a shortened Nanboku-cho sword. Shallow curvature, widebody, somewhat stretched kissaki, and Fukura kareru (less arch in fukura). Wide tempered line, large Gunome, nie, with Sunagashi, Inazuma shows. Among large Gunome, double Gunome (two gunome side by side) appears. Fine Ji-tetsu.