Copyright Robert Cole 2015 - No copying or distributing
The Eight DO
TOKAIDO - The Eight Roads of KOTO




ISE  -  SENGO MURAMASA School    The BUN-GI Triad

MURAMASA                            Buddhist Spirit Name: MYODAI

 MURAMASA: This is the famous nemesis-smith of the TOKUGAWA.  
           It has been legend that he was student of MASAMUNE.  
           Many old books have dates that support this probable 
           fantasy. MASAMUNE and MURAMASA - God and his Lucifer.

ITAME with MASAME SHINOGI laminate. Deep clear blue. JI-NIE. Some
HIRO-SUGU, but repeating theme is GUNOME-MIDARE with HAKO-MIDARE.
HAKO GUNOME-TOGARI with valleys that roll, MIMIGATA-like NOTARE
-MIDARE and O-NOTARE TOGARI. KOSHIBA. Deep ASHI that reaches the
HA. KO-NIE on deep NIOI. YAKIBA is "Frosty" on dark blue HADA.
Headmasters
 MURMASA(1)
  MURAMASA(2)
   MASASHIGE(2)
  -TORIIZORI 
  -Elongated KISSAKI 
  -Raised SHINOGI 
  -MASAME in the SHINOGI-JI 
  -Well-knit, ITAME/MASAME run together 
  -GUNOME mounds separated by wide, lazy valleys where NIOI
        spills to the HA 
  -ARA-NIE appears sprinkled strongly across the HAMON 
  -HAMON on both sides to be uniform and similar 
  -High-reaching, Two and Three-grouped GUNOME mounds, drop 
        low to HOSO width line that shows a slight NOTARE roll
  -Bays or valleys disappear to a JIZO BOSHI
  -High rising mounds crest at different heights
        _________________     
        SEKI KANEHARU DEN                    From KUWANA to SENGO
        _________|____
        SENGO MURAMASA(1) O-NIN 1467 to BUN-GI 1501     
    _____________|_________________________ ____________________
___|____      ___|_____                ____|____                |
SUKEMASA      MURAMASA(2) TAI-EI 1521  MASASHIGE(1) BUN-GI 1501 |
BUN-MEI 1469     |_____________        ____|____                |
              ___|_____    ____|____   MASASHIGE(2)             |
              MURAMASA(3)  MURASHIGE     TEN-MON 1532           |
                 - TEN-MON 1532 -                               |
                          ______________________ _______________|
                      ___|____               ___|____
                      FUJIMASA EI-SHO 1504   MASAZANE BUN-GI 1501
                         |_________          ___|_____  
                      ___|____  ___|____     MASATOSHI
                      FUJIFUSA  SUKETADA     TEN-MON 1532
                       - TEN-MON 1532 -           
_______________                           _______
KUWANA MURAMASA BUN-GI 1501               MASAIYE TEN-MON 1532
__________|____                           ___|___
KUWANA MURAMASA TEN-SHO 1573              MASAIYE TEN-SHO 1573
               
                 _______________  ________________
                 KUWANA HIROMURA  KUWANA HIROCHIKA
                 (SENGO)  - TEN-MON 1532 -        
           _________  _________      _________________
           MUNESHIGE  HIROTSUGU      FUJIWARA MURAMASA
             - TEN-MON 1532 -             TEN-MON 1532

Myoho Rengekyo Muramasa

NAGASA: 66.7cm    SORI: 2.1cm


SHINOGI-TSUKURI, MITSU-MUNE SENGOKU SAKIZORI. Elongated CHU-KISSAKI. The  OMOTE has SO-no-KURIKARA "Dragon" HORIMONO. URA: An abbreviated  SO-no-KURIKARA.

SHIRAKE, complex KO-ITAME HADA has JI-NIE.

Deep NIOI-GUCHI has MURA KO-NIE. The upper is SUGU with gentle NOTARE BA.  The lower is ASAKI-NOTARE having TOGARI in GUNOME-MIDARE BA.

SUGU BOSHI reaches a small KO-MARU to a quickly falling KAERI.

An UBU, gently swept, one MEKUGI-ANA "Triad" NAKAGO falls to a small  KURI-JIRI, SENGO MURAMASA style.

OMOTE:
MURAMASA     MYOHO RENGE-KYO "Lotus Sutra"


URA:  EI-SHO JU TEN MIZU-no-TO TORI JU-GATSU JU-SAN NICHI    
10th year of EI-SHO, 1513

Year of the Tiger / Water-brother  10th Month, 30th Day

Myoho Rengekyo Muramasa
Juyo Bijutsu-Hin



ISE SENGO MURAMASA School
 
MURAMASA(1) BUN-GI (f: AKASAKA KANEMURA, t: SEKI KANEHARU): 
SENGO Founder. UEMONnoJO. Spirit name: MYODAI. Work from O-NIN 1467 to BUN-GI 1501.
There is a theory that HEIANJO NAGAYOSHI was his student. This is debatable, but the strongest influence on sword styles at the time was MURAMASA, NAGAYOSHI and SHIMADA YOSHISUKE. These three, the BUN-GI Triad, stand together as a style-block competing for position and shaping the direction of style progress with these other MUROMACHI influences on the rising SENGOKU: 
BUNGI Triad
On Katateuchi
 Compare Muramasa Sugata
SENGOKU Influences
MUNEMITSU/KATSUMITSU
~The BUN-GI Triad~
and the SUE-BIZEN
- SENGO MURAMASA

- HEIANJO NAGAYOSHI

- SHIMADA YOSHISUKE
MURAMASA: Made 2.2 to 2.3 SHAKU SAKI-ZORI KATANA, 1.3 to 1.4 
      SHAKU HIRA-TSUKURI, SAKI-ZORI KO-WAKIZASHI and 9 SUN 
      TANTO. Even, shallow NIKU. ITAME with MINO influenced 
      MASA SHINOGI. JI-NIE. Very fine KO-NIE DEKI and NIOI 
      HITATSURA BA and NIOI-DEKI SUGU-KOSHIBA. He is famous 
      for his large mounding, NOTARE-like patterns. There are
      many variations to a similar theme. NOTARE-HAKO GUNOME 
      mix, HAKO-MIDARE. TOGARI MITSU-GUNOME "Three-grouped" 
      MIDARE BA. Wide, unevenly spaced valleys push against 
      large mounding, two and three grouped GUNOME. The 
valley floor should incline to a small NOTARE roll or        unevenness. NIOI may reach from the valleys for the HA.       Profuse MURA KO-NIE and ARA-NIE sprinkled like KAZUTATSU.    MURAMASA: Pattern should be fairly equal on both sides of       the blade.        MIDARE-KOMI BOSHI appears JIZO with long falling,        MIDARE-KAERI.  MEI: The characters in the SHO-DAI signature have a certain        symmetry over NI-DAI and SAN-DAI. The poles of the MURA        are almost vertical and almost parallel, - and of almost       even length. His MASA is more legible and does not        appear as fragmented as the later.   Note: There are book-dates that have the 1st MURAMASA in
TEI-JI. Another line has MURAMASA(1) in O-NIN, the 2nd in
EI-SHO and the 3rd in TEN-MON.   MURAMASA   KUWANA JU MURAMASA   UEMONnoJO MURAMASA SAKU   SEISHU KUWANA JU MURAMASA

MURAMASA(2) TAI-EI (f: MURAMASA): Work appears from EI-SHO
1504 to TEN-MON 1532. Very much in the  style of the
1st.        ITAME with MASAME. HAKO-MIDARE where open valleys push        TOGARI-GUNOME. Valleys hold NOTARE and GUNOME-MIDARE        separate. 2nd: Grouped TOGARI and MITSU-GUNOME are        unevenly spaced - a mark. The MASA character of NI-DAI
is stylistically more exaggerated. The right pole of
the MURA (the vertical stroke of the SUN radical) is
longer and therefore higher than the left.   MURAMASA    SEISHU KUWANA FUJIWARA ASON MURAMASA SAKU    SEISHU KUWANA GORI MASUDA-SHO FUJIWARA ASON MURAMASA SAKU MURAMASA(3) TEN-MON: ITAME HADA. NOTARE-GUNOME HAKO-MIDARE
with valleys. O-NOTARE BA. His signature is quite
different from forebears'. The MASA and MURA seem
pointed - and disjointed. Casual reference of published
OSHIGATA will dispel any mysteries a piece might pose.

Muramasa Katana

Muramasa Katana
NAGASA: 70.9cm  
SORI: 2.4cm 
NAKAGO: 14.5cm


SHINOGI-TSUKURI, IHORI-MUNE, SENGOKU SAKIZORI KATANA. OMOTE has  SO-no-KURIKARA "Dragon" HORIMONO and URA has BONJI, below which  MARU-DOME BO-HI falls through the NAKAGO.

SHIRAKE running ITAME HADA has JI-NIE.

Large rising NOTARE of ASHI and YO grouped GUNOME-MIDARE BA reach  toward to SHINOGI. TOBI-YAKI gather here and there as JI-NIE swirls  densely.

MIDARE-KOMI BOSHI is KUZURE.

UBU, one MEKUGI-ANA NAKAGO falls to his small HA-AGARI KURI-JIRI.


SEISHU KUWANA JU UEMON-no-JO FUJIWARA MURAMASA

BUN-GI GEN-NEN JU-GATSU HI



ISE SENGO MURAMASA School
Muramasa Katana

Tokyo National Museum

Muramasa Katana
66.8cm
Seishu Kuwana Ju Muramasa



Shodai Muramasa Katateuchi


Gunsari Myoo Marishiten 
Guardian of the South 
~Chases away Devils and Enemies~




Shodai Muramasa Katateuchi

Nagasa: 1 shaku, 8 sun, 9 bu (57.0cm or 22.5")
 
- Seishu Kuwana Ju Muramasa -

Although Ubu Nakago Mumei, it displays all the characteristics of the first generation Muramasa outstandingly.

This smith is called Uemon-no-Jo and the period is Bun-Gi 1501
 
      Tanzan  - April of the year of the Goat, Heisei 15,  2003


Running Itame Hada
with Ji-nie and arcing Chikei
Profuse Soshu Nie O-MidareBa that becomes full in the upper. Muneyaki falls down the back.
Ubu, two Mekugi-ana Nakago.






Nidai Muramasa
























Nidai Muramasa
Nagasa: 26.8cm
Slightly Uchizori
Moto-haba: 2.05cm
Nakago: 9.8cm


Hira-tsukuri, Ihori-mune, narrow Tanto with thick Kasane.
Running Itame Hada has JiNie.
HitatsuraBa with leaning and stretched Ko-Gunome Togari and much Tobi-yaki loosed into the Ji. This has the Deer-antler look to it. A rare Nidai Hamon.
Ubu Nakago decends to a small KengyoJiri. One Mekugi-ana and signed:

        Muramasa






Sengo Muramasa Yari
Nagasa: 12.2cm

Signature of Nidai. Billowing Nie and streaming Sunagashi runs through his Notare Midare
and paints a beard on the Boshi.
Ubu, two Mekugi-ana and his two character Mei.

Muramasa


















Copyright Darcy Brockbank, used with permission.
- nihonto.ca/



MASASHIGE(1) BUN-GI (father in law: MURAMASA): JI-NIE on 
running O-ITAME. MURA-NIE and NIOI NOTARE-GUNOME,
HAKO-MIDARE GUNOME mix with low valleys separating.
School mark: Both sides have the same pattern, evenly
laid. MIDARE-BOSHI with TOGARI that crowds a JIZO head.    MEI: MASASHIGE         MASASHIGE SAKU MASASHIGE(2) TEN-MON (f: MASASHIGE 1): Long standing head of
the MURAMASA School. he into the Keicho. Also in KAWACHI.
Running MASAME HADA with JI-NIE. HAKO-NOTARE-GUNOME mix
with valleys. NIE-KUZURE on NIJUBA through GUNOME TOGARI
that shows TOBI-YAKI. MIDARE-KOMI BOSHI has NIE-KUZURE
at the head. The "right-shoulder" of MASA is strong.    MEI: MASASHIGE         MASASHIGE SAKU         KAWACHI-no-KUNI IBATA-GORI DEGUCHI MASASHIGE SAKU MURASHIGE TEN-MON (f: MURAMASA): From KYO-ROKU 1528 to EI-ROKU        1558. O-GUNOME with valleys, MURAMASA style.    MEI: SEISHU JU SENGO MURASHIGE


ISE SENGO MURAMASA School

FUJIMASA EI-SHO (br: MURAMASA): There is a theory that this
smith and MURAMASA are the same. Mostly MIDARE BA and
HAKO-MIDARE with valleys in MURAMASA style.    MEI: FUJIMASA         KUWANA JU FUJIMASA         SEISHU-TSU FUJIMASA SAKU SUKETADA TEN-MON (t: FUJIMASA): TEN-MON 1532 to EI-ROKU 1558.           ITAME HADA. MIDARE BA SENGO style.     MEI: SEISHU JU SENGO SUKETADA MASAZANE BUN-GI (f: MURAMASA): Many TANTO. ITAME with MASAME.       SUGUHA, NOTARE and GUNOME-MIDARE BA in the lower. A        slight curve of the NAKAGO has his firmly set, medium        stroked MEI. Clean KIRI-YASURI and small KURI-JIRI or        slight KENGYO.    MEI: MASAZANE         FUJIWARA MASAZANE         SEISHU KUWANA JU SENGO MASAZANE SUYENAGA EI-SHO: SEISHU MIE-GORI JU SUYENAGA MASAIYE TEN-MON: Work from BUN-GI 1501. ITAME HADA with
MASAME running.
HAKO-NOTARE MIDARE, GUNOME-MIDARE separated by valleys.       TOGARI pulls at the tops. Some drifting SUGU.    MEI: SEISHU JU MASAIYE


Masashige Katana
Nagasa: 2 Shaku 3 Sun 4 Bu (70.9cm)
Sori: 7 Bu (2.12cm)
Moto-haba: 9 Bu 8 Rin (2.97cm)
Saki-haba: 6 Bu (1.82cm)
Kissaki-naga: 9 Bu 8 Rin (2.97cm)
Moto-kasane: 2 Bu 4 Rin (0.72cm)
Saki-kasane: 1 Bu 6 Rin (0.48cm)
Nakago: 5 Sun 9 Bu (18.03cm)
Gentle Nakagozori

Shinogi-tsukuri, Ihori-mune, Strong Sakizori to Chu-Kissaki.
Strongly standing Itame Hada is running.
Low-lying troughs hold O-Gunome Midare peaks for dynamic balance. Ko-Ashi and Yo with Sunagashi becoming Niju in places. Hamon has the Muramasa Den mark of uniform pattern to both sides.
Ubu Nakago, one Mekugi-ana.
Signed:

        Masashige

Masashige Katana


Masashige "Falling Snow"

Yakiba


Hada




Masashige "Falling Snow" Sword
Nagasa: 53cm
Nakago: 13.5cm

The only dated example.
We see  from the statements of the Nakago
that this sword was part of a Dai-sho. Its name, Shinogi Ko-Setsu "Falling Snow..."
Very well-knit KO-MOKUME creates
harmonious patterns.
Grouped OBusa-Gunome reach through Snow Nie to the SHINOGI. 
Ko-Nie Hotsure and Sunagashi sweep across Dai-Bo heads on a wide, undulating HAMON.
Mune-yaki has Sunagashi-strewn Tobi-yaki and falling fingers stretching down the back.

Omote:
   HON-SAKU KASHU (KAWACHI) 
       IBARADA-GUN I-DEGUCHI MASASHIGE 

        DAISHO                     SHINO KOSETSU
                                              
"Falling Snow"
Ura:
    BUN-ROKU NI-NEN 
                                         NOSHIRO BEI-JO


Masashige

SENGO MASASHIGE WAKIZASHI
NAGASA: 32.9cm
SORI: 0.6cm
MOTO-HABA: 3.2cm
SAKI-HABA: 2.2cm
MOTO-KASANE: 0.7cm

Son-in-law of MURAMASA.
The SENGO School falls from SEKI KANEHARU DEN and, along with HEIANJO and SHIMADA, is one of the most powerful BUN-GI era style infuences to the SENGOKU.

Strongly standing O-ITAME HADA finds MASAME mixed.
SENGO style NOTARE and O-NOTARE swing on an uneven path where swept MURA-NIE collects in the valleys.
NIOI is FUKASHI and HOTSURE pulls sparsely from the line.
The JIZO-like KO-MARU BOSHI is HAKIKAKE and the KAERI dives smoothly.
TANAGO NAKAGO marks SOSHU/MINO style characteristic. UBU with one ANA.

   Masashige




Tombo-giri Dragonfly Slicer Masazane Yari
Yari of Honda Heihachiro Tadakatsu









Honda Tadakatsu
One of the Four Great Generals of Iyeyasu
Ii Naomasa
Sakakibara Yasumasa
Sakai Tadatsugu
Honda Tadakatsu
         
Tombo-giri Dragonfly Cutter
Masazane O-Yari
One of the Three Great Yari. It was the weapon of Honda Tadakatsu,
always ally & forever support for Iyeyasu.
See the Fukushima Kanabo

Iris-leaf Yari
Bonji - Mato Amida Yoru  - Suken and Vajra

Itame with Masame and a wide Soshu Nie Midare Blizzard. Sunagashi creates Nijuba.
Signed:
Fujiwara Masazane Saku

See Tadakatsu's Masamune



ISE UNRININ Group
\\ARTWORK light-bulb
UNRININ ? - Think TEGAI
_____________________________________
ISE UNRININ BUN-GI: TEGAI KANENAGA(6) - Work from EI-SHO 1504 to
        (URIIN) TEN-MON 1532. MOKUME with MASAME - standing HADA.
        KO-NIE DEKI GUNOME-MIDARE and HITATSURA BA.
    MEI: SEISHU UNRININ JU KANENAGA TSUKURU

KANENAGA(7) TEN-SHO: GUNOME-MIDARE HA.
    MEI: SEISHU UNRININ KANENAGA

________________
UNRININ MASAMORI BUN-MEI 1469: From YAMATO. 
___________|____
UNRININ MASAMORI BUN-GI 1501

UJII BUN-GI: UNRININ. ITAME with MOKUME and MASA on the HA. SUGU
        GUNOME-MIDARE HA and HITATSURA BA.
________________
UNRININ MASAMORI(1) BUN-GI 1501
___________|____
UNRININ MASAMORI(2) TEN-MON 1532
___________|____
UNRININ MASAMORI(3) TEN-SHO 1573

MASAMORI(1) BUN-GI: ANO-GORI. Descendants of TEGAI. SUGUHA and
        GUNOME patterns where the HABUCHI is HOTSURE-swept, a 
        TEGAI mark. Note: SHINTO JI-DAI to MUSASHI.
_____________
MINO KANESADA(2) EI-SHO 1504
________|___
ISE HIROMURA TEN-MON 1532

HIROMURA TEN-MON (t: IZUMI-no-KAMI KANESADA 2): UNRININ. NOTARE 
        and O-GUNOME MIDARE HA.

KANEKORE EI-SHO 1504 - UNRININ in YAMATO
     WASHU UNRININ JU KANEKORE
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