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naoe shizu 37

Juyo Token Naoe Shizu Katana with Daimyo Koshirae


Jūyō-tōken at the 53rd jūyō shinsa held on October 24, 2007
 
katana, mumei: Naoe-Shizu (直シ江]志u津テ)
 
Ōsaka, Morimoto Toshihiro (森X本{利博￿)
 
Measurements nagasa 69.6 cm, sori 1.55 cm, motohaba 2.83 cm, sakihaba 2.39 cm, kissaki-nagasa 11.49 cm, nakago nagasa 13.0 cm, only very little nakago-sori
 
Description Keijō: shinogi-zukuri, iori-mune, relatively slender mihaba, only very little taper, wide shinogi-ji, high shinogi, relatively deep sori with the presence of some sakizori, noticeably elongated ō-kissaki Kitae: standing-out itame-nagare that tends overall to masame and that features chikei and plenty of ji-nie Hamon: ko-nie-laden notare with a wide nioiguchi that is mixed with gunome, togari-gunome, ashi, some small roundish tobiyaki, kinsuji, and fine sunagashi Bōshi: on the omote side a maru and on the ura side a nie-laden ko-maru-kaeri with yubashiri, on both sides running back in a long fashion Nakago: ō-suriage, kirijiri, katte-sagari yasurime, two mekugi-ana, mumei
 
Explanation Some time after Kaneuji (兼氏刀), one of the Ten Students of Masamune, had settled in Shizu (志u津テ) in Mino province and had established a thriving school there, some of his students, e.g., Kanetomo (兼友擢), Kanetsugu (兼次董), Kaneshige (兼渳電), and Kanenobu (兼信溺), moved to Naoe (直シ江]), also located within Mino, and these smiths are summarized under the term Naoe-Shizu. This katana is ō-suriage mumei. It has a relatively slender mihaba and an ō-kissaki whereupon we can identify it in terms of shape as a shortened ōdachi from the Nanbokuchō period. The kitae is a standing-out itame-nagare that tends overall to masame and that features chikei and plenty of ji-nie. The hamon bases on a gently undulating notare that is mixed with gunome, ko-gunome, togari-gunome, fine sunagashi, and ara-nie in places, and due to this interpretation of the jiba, which is also very healthy, the blade can be attributed to Naoe-Shizu.  

 

Token Bijutsu No.587

Nihon Koto Shi

(History of Koto)

By Dr. Honma Junji

(33)(P.33)7. 2nd Kaneuji, Naoe-Shizu and Other Mino Smiths
 

It is said that master smiths had lived in Mino Province since the age of the battle between the Minamoto and the Taira clans (at the end of the Heian Period, (the so-called Age of Genpei’). Smith names of Sensui, Tofuji, Nagamoto, Jumyo and Muneyoshi are listed in the Heian and the Kamakura Period of ‘Kokon Mei Zukushi’, though, none of their extant works has been confirmed. Sizu Saburo Kaneuji of the end of the Kamakura Period is the earliest smith who left extant works in Mino Province. He is early smith name is Kaneuji (‘Kane’ is a different character) and belongs to the Tegai school of Yamato Province. He then moved from Yamato province to a place called ‘Shizu’ in Mino Province as described in the chapter of ‘Masamune Juttetsu’. The smith name of Kaneuji had been succeeded through up to the Muromachi Period. Meanwhile, there are his students who lived in Naoe of Mino Province in the Nambokucho Period and they are called ‘Naoe-Shizu’. Naoe-Shizu includes Kanetomo, Kanetsugu and Kanetoshi. There are extant tanto of Kanetomo and Kanetsugu (there is an extant tanto by him with a production date of the Kan-o as described before).

The classification of 1st and 2nd Kaneuji is not certain yet, but it is said that a part of the character of ‘Kane’ by the first generation is squarish and one by the second generation is roundish. Early Kaneuji (before the Muromachi Period) tempers hamon in large pattern, occasionally the hamon is based on ko-gunome and his jigane is clear without shirake-utsuri and the nie of the ji and the ha is emphasised. Kanetsugu and Kanetomo of Naoe-Shizu temper the hamon in a small pattern and their jigane is a little whitish but Kanetsugu occasionally forges clear jigane. There are many mumei swords attributed to smiths of the Shizu school. Swordsmith directories list about ten smiths of the school in the Kenmu and the Meitoku Eras of the Nambokucho Period.

Kinju has been counted amongst ten students of Masamune or Masamune Juttetsu since old days as well as Kaneuji. It is said that Kinju was born in Tsuruga of Echizen province and his monk name was Doami. He later moved to Seki in Mino Province and became the founder of Seki smiths. There is no extant work of Kinju before the Nambokucho Period. Old book lists an oshigata of his tanto with a production date of the Joji 2 and the book says that the tanto is a work of the second generation. I have seen many fakes of Kinju with mei in thick characters. I have seen only a few works of Kinju with genuine mei. All of them are tanto that have wide mi-haba and sori. He tempers midare-ba based on ko-gunome in ko-nie-deki or gentle o-notare in thick nie-deki. It is said that the latter is the work of the first generation and the former is the one of the second generation(P.34).

‘Kiya Oshigata’ lists a tachi with a production date of the Oan period by Kaneyuki who is said to have been a son of Kinju and the hamon is gentle ko-notare. ‘Seki Kaji Shichiryu Ryakuki’ says that Kanenaga was a son-in-low of Kinju and he is the same smith as Tegai Kanenaga of Yamato province and his son, Kanemitsu is the founder of ‘Seki Shichiryu’ or the major seven Seki schools. This theory needs more consideration but there is no doubt that smiths of the Tegai school had a close relationship with Shizu and Seki smiths also smiths of the Senjuin school with those of the Mino-Senjuin school.

It is said that Tametsugu, who was a son of Go Yoshihiro of Etchu Province and a student of Norishige, moved to Fuwa-gun in Mino Province. There are a few extant works of Tametsugu with mei including a wakizashi with the mei of ‘Noshu Ju Fujiwara no Tametsugu’ and a production date of the Oan Era. After a close look at the extant works, I am very negative of the above theory from the point of view of his active age and workmanship. Tametsugu tempers midare-ba based on o-notare and ko-gunome-midare with subdued nioi-guchi and forges standing-out jihada and black jigane which shows a local characteristic of his native province.

‘Heiji Monogatari’ (Story of the Eiji Era) says that a smith called ‘Sensui’ from Mino Province made a copy of a tachi nicknamed ‘Higekiri-maru’ and it became an heirloom of the Minamoto family. Books written after the Muromachi Period say that Tofuji of Mino Province made the copy. ‘Kokon Mei Zukushi’ says, “Sensui and Tofuji are the smiths of Yamato Province. Tofuji is the ancestor of Jumyo and Sensui is a smith of the Senjuin school. Sensui is the founder of the Akasaka-Senjuin school of Mino Province.” It says that swords by Jumyo of the Kamakura period exist but no extant work of Jumyo of the Kamakura Period has been confirmed. I have seen a tachi of Tofuji attributed to the late Nambokucho Period and his katana attributed to the Muromachi Period.

‘Kokon Mei Zukushi’ says, “A smith called Kuninaga existed after Sensui. He was active around the Bunryaku Era and the smith name had been succeeded for generations.” Though, I have never seen extant work of 1st Kuninaga. ‘Kozan oshigata’ lists a tachi with the mei of ‘Noshu Ju Fujiwara no Kuninaga’ and a production date of the Eitoku period. Also there is a sword with the mei of Kuniyuki in the same chiselling style as that of Kuninaga and with a production date of the Oan Era, though,I have not seen these swords yet. It is said that Kuninaga was the ancestor of Echizen-Shimosaka smiths of shinto times.

 

Token Bijutsu No.601

Nihon Koto Shi

(History of Koto)

By Dr. Honma Junji

(45)(P.26) 10. Mino-mono, (Mino Swords)

Mino smiths of the Muromachi Period thrived following Bizen smiths. The centre of the sword production was Seki Hachiya, Akasaka, Nishigori and Shimizu were also inhabited by Mino smiths. It is speculated that the descendants of Shizu Kaneuji and Naoe-Shizu lived there also. When we talk about Seki-mi or Seki-mono, the term represents all of Mino smiths today. The correlation of Mino smiths is very complicated and it is almost impossible to pigeonhole the lineage of each smith. Therefore I will only talk about famous and skilful smiths of Mino Province here.

Before I start talking about Seki smiths, let me refer to a book concerning the history of the seven major Seki schools called ‘Seki Kaji Shichi Ryu Isetsu’. It states that Kinju was the founder of Seki smiths and then his son Kaneyuki, adopted Tegai Kanenaga who married his daughter. This Tegai Kanenaga changed the first character of his smith name to other ‘Kane’ used by most of Seki smiths. Kanemitsu was the son of Kanenaga and his descendants branched off and formed the seven major Seki schools, that is to say, Zenjo Kaneyoshi, San-ami Kanetaka, Tokuin Kanehisa, Ryoken Kanefune, and Muroya Kaneari.

The following smiths represent each school. The Zenjo school includes Kanemitsu (Oei Era), Kanefusa and Ujifusa, the San-ami school : Kanenori, Kanekuni, Izumi no Kami Kanesada (No Sada), Kanesada, Kanemoto (different from Magoroku Kanemoto), Kanetsune and Magoroku Kanemoto (Eisho Era), the Nara school : Kanetsune, the Muroya school : Daido. Amongst them, Zenjo Kaneyoshi, Izumi no Kami Kanesada (No Sada) and Magoroku Kanemoto are the representative and most skilful smiths.

There are extant works by Kaneyoshi with the production dates of the Oei, Bunmei and Eisho Eras. Swordsmith directories list a smith ‘Mino Seki Zenjo Kaneyoshi’ who was active in the Koryaku Era. This smith is the first generation of Kaneyoshi. He tempers hoso-sugu-hamon, tanto and katana their workmanship has a resemblance to that of the Tegai school of Yamato Province. Izumi no Kami Kanesada was a son of 1st Kanesada and called ‘No Sada’, incidentally his nickname derives from the chiselling style of ‘Sada’ and there are extant works of No Sada with the production dates of the Eisho and Daiei. It is said that 1st Kanesada signed his mei in the square style. It seems that 2nd Kanesada did not sign his mei in No Sada style in his early years (around the Meio Era) therefore it is very difficult to differentiate between the first and second generations The 3rd Kanesada was active in the Tenbun and Koji Eras and is called ‘Hiki Sada’ because of the chiselling style of ‘Sada’. A theory says that the 3rd Kanesada used his smith name of Hirochika in his early years and there are two extant tanto in which he collaborated with the 2nd Kanesada. This is another Kanesada signing in No Sada style (‘Noshu Seki Ju Kanesada). He is said to have been a student of the 2nd Kanesada and was active around the Tenbun Era as well as another smith by the name of Toshitaka. There is a smith who signs ‘Noshu Shimizu Ju Izumi no Kami Kanesada’ who was active in the Genki and Tensho Eras. He was a student of the 3rd Kanesada and was retained later by Lord Ashina of the Aizu clan and became the founder of Aizu Kanesada line. Each Kanesada also signed in two character fashion on occasions. There were more Kanesada existing in this period, but it is very difficult to judge their generations from their mei. (Mei Zukushi’ says that 1st Kanesada was titled as Shinano no Kami also allowed to use the kiku-mon. I have seen a tachi by him with the mei of ‘Noshu Seki Ju Kanesada Saku’ with a kiku-mon. The hamon is sugu-ha mixed with small midare and the mei is done in the No Sada style. If this is a work of 1st Kanesada, the differentiation of 1st and 2nd Kanesada gets even more complicated. Anyway, No Sada or the 2nd Kanesada normally tempers gunome-midare, o-notare. Also he tempers sugu-ha on tanto that looks like Rai Kunitoshi. The 3rd Kanesada favoured tempering sugu-ha.

There seem to be more than three generations of Kanemoto in this period. Also their descendants and students used the smith name of Kanemoto. A theory says that the famous Magoroku Kanemoto (2nd generation) was a student of the 1stKanesada, but he adds his address of ‘Akasaka Ju’ to his mei and tempers so-called sanbon-sugi differing from Kanesada. Seki is quite a distance from Akasaka. There is an extant joint-work by Takatenjin Toraaki and 3rd Kanemoto, ‘Moto’ of 2nd Kanemoto is done in the square style but that of 3rd generation in the running style. Meanwhile, the second generation tempers irregular sanbon-sugi or togari-gunome and the third generation does regular sanbon-sugi. It is believed that 1stKanemoto tempered gunome in a small pattern which consists of nie and signs his mei in small characters and ‘Moto’ in the semicursive style. There is a katana with the mei of ‘Magoroku Kanemoto’ in the running style. This is the work of the second generation. It is speculated that the commonly known name of ‘Magoroku’ was also used after the second generation. There is another Kanemoto (‘Moto’ is a different character) and he demonstrates a workmanship that has a close resemblance to that of 2nd Kanemoto. ‘Seki Kaji Shichiryu Ryaku Ki’ says that this Kanemoto was a student of Izumi no Kami Kanesada, meanwhile swordsmith directories say that 1st Kanemoto and this Kanemoto are the sons of Kanemune. A theory says Magoroku Kanemoto is the same smith as the other Kanemoto. There is an extant katana, owned by Yuasa Gosuke, of which the hamon is unusually o-midare mixed with gunome and notare. The 2nd Kanemoto occasionally tempers hoso-sugu-ha on tanto.

Amongst many Seki smiths, there is much-talk-of No Sada and Magoroku Kanemoto who left many masterpieces. They were followed by Kanenori, Kanekuni and Kanetsune in skill and their smith names were succeeded to for many generations. Swordsmith directories list Kanenori and Kanekuni around the Oan Era, but no extant work by them before the Muromachi Period, has been confirmed. Kanenori and Kanetsune skilfully temper sugu-ha in nie-deki and their nioi-guchi is not as tight as Kaneyoshi’s. Kanekuni favoured tempering midare-ba based on notare accompanied by a subdued nioi-guchi. Kanefusa tempers unique gunome-choji with very round yaki-gashira, so-called ‘Kenpo-midare’. There were four generations of Kanefusa. The first generation was active around the Kakitsu Era and lived in Akasaka and the 2ndKanefusa moved to Seki where the later generations also lived. A smith called Wakasa no Kami Ujifusa lived in the Bunki Era and his second generation moved to Gifu then added ‘Saemon no Jo Fujiwara no Ujifusa’ or ‘Sakon E Gon Taisho Ujifusa’ to his mei. Izumo no Kami Ujisada was a younger brother of 2nd Ujifusa and added ‘Sakon no Shosho’ or ‘Gon Shosho’ to his mei. He tempered sugu-ha with ashi and ko-notare and the jigane of his masterpiece is not inferior to Kanesada’s in quality. Kanemichi and Mutsu no Kami Daido, who were active at the end of the Muromachi Period or in the same age as Ujifusa, are fairly skilful smiths. Kanemichi moved to Kyoto then his three sons of Iga no Kami Kinmichi, Etchu no Kami Masatoshi and Tanba no Kami Yoshimichi, so-called ‘the three Mishina brothers’ held an established position at the beginning of shinto times.

Most of the swordsmiths mentioned above lived in Seki. A smith called Kanesada (the character of ‘Sada’ is different from that of No Sada) who was related to Daruma Masamitsu of Yamashiro Province, lived in Hachiya located in the southeast of Seki. The first generation was active in the Oei era then there were three generations following. They demonstrate a workmanship similar to other Seki smiths. Masatoshi of the Sakakura Seki school lived in Sakakura located in the south of Hachiya. Inferring from the style of his mei, I believe that he has a certain relation with Muramasa or the Sengo school of Ise Province.

Akasaka was inhabited by smiths of the Akasaka-Senjuin school, of which founder was Kuninaga. There were three generations of Kuninaga from the Oei Era. Smiths who just sign ‘Senjuin’ also exist. ‘Mei Zukushi’ says that there was a school that included Nagahiro, Hironaga and Shimosaka after Kunimitsu who was a younger brother of Kuninaga. A theory says that they are the founders of the Echizen-Shimosaka school of shinto times. Swordsmith directories say that there are two generations of Yasumichi from the Meio Era then a smith called Yasutsugu appears in the school around the Tenbun Era. There are extant tanto of 2nd Kuninaga with sugu-ha mixed with notare and hitatsura in ko-nie-deki. There are few extant works of the Akasaka-Senjuin school. They tempered midare-ba in an irregular pattern in nie-deki. It is said that a smith called Jumyo and his later generations lived in Nishigori, located in the north of Akasaka since the Kamakura Period, but there is no extant work of Jumyo before the end of Muromachi Period. The smith name of Jumyo was succeeded through the Edo Period up to the Bakumatsu Period and we can often see their works in shinto and shinshinto times.

Shizu Saburo Kaneuji was the founder of Mino smiths and the descendants of his students called Naoe-Shizu were active in the Muromachi Period. Many smiths called Kaneuji, who had lived in Seki since the middle of the Muromachi Period, add the address of Seki to their mei. There are extant tachi and katana of Kaneuji and Kanetomo which are attributed to the works of the beginning of the Muromachi Period and they maintain the workmanship of their predecessors of the Nambokucho Period. Though, their later generations after the beginning of the Muromachi Period, came to temper gunome-choji, sanbon-sugi, gunome and midare-ba mixed with o-notare.

 

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