This chapter is a detailed part of chapter 14| Late Kamakura Period Sword. Please read chapter 15 before reading this section.
The circle indicates the time we discuss in this section.
In Chapter 14| Late Kamakura Period Sword (鎌倉後期), the Ikubi-kissaki sword was explained. The above illustration shows a flaw 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 after the repair, hi does not go higher than Yokote-line
The above photo is a sword by Goro Nyudo Masamune( 五郎入道正宗 ). Please look at the size and shape of Kissaki. This is definitely different from 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 the 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). In the drawing above, Kinsuji, Inazuma is shown inside the hamon. The clear 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 a sword by a swordsmith of Yoshioka Ichimonji group (吉岡一文字). Kissaki is also like the one of Masamune. It is longer than the previous Ikubi-kissaki or Ko-gissaki. This is Chu-gissaki. Kissaki like this one is one of the important points to determine what period the sword was made. Hamon has Choji, Gunome, Togariba (pointed-tip), very tight Nie.
The above photo is a sword by Ukai Unsho (鵜飼雲生) of Bizen Den. This sword is also 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 indicates that the sword does not always have 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 is to look at the different characteristics of the sword one by one like hamon, Nie or Nioi, Jihada, etc, and determine what period, which Den, which province and then come up with the name. This process is called Kantei.
*Kantei — to determine the swordsmith name by analyzing the characteristic of the sword without seeing the Mei. Mei may have been gone if it was shortened or never inscribed.
All the photos above are from Sano Museum Catalogue. Permission to use is granted.