Copyright Robert Cole 2015 - No copying or distributing -
BIZEN




OSAFUNE KAGEMITSU School

KAGEMITSU brought the leaning KATAOCHI "Stooped Shoulders" GUNOME-CHOJI MIDARE BA.
Many were influenced, regardless of teacher, under the umbrella of the House of OSAFUNE

_________
NAGAMITSU SHO-O 1288
  |_______________ ___________ ______________________
__|______      ___|_____   ___|____                __|_______
KAGEMITSU(1)   NAGACHIKA   KAGEMASA BUN-PO 1317    SHIGEMITSU(1) 
  | - GEN-KYO 1321 -       ___|_____                 | O-CHO 1311
  |                        CHIKAKAGE(1) GEN-O 1319 __|______    
  |     ___________ __________|______________      NAGAMITSU(3)
  | ___|____   ____|____   ___|_____     ____|____               
  | HIDEKAGE   CHIKAMUNE   CHIKAKAGE(2)  YOSHIKAGE(1) KEM-MU 1334
  | ___|_____  - TEI-WA 1345 -               |_______________    
  | SHIGEHIDE                      __________|____      _____|___
  | MEI-TOKU 1390                  KOZORI IYESHIGE      YOSHIKANE
  |                                  KO-RYAKU 1379  MEI-TOKU 1390
  |
  |                  - 5 Sons -
  |_____________ _______________ ____________ __________ _______
__|______  _____|____     ______|____   _____|___  _____|___    |
KAGEMITSU  SHIGEMITSU(2)  O-KANEMITSU   TOMOMITSU  YOSHIKAGE(1) |
__|______                   See KANEMITSU SODEN                 |
KAGEMITSU(3) O-AN 1368                                          |
______________ _____________ ______________ ________|       _____|____     _____|____      ___|____       ___|____    YOSHIMITSU     SHIGEMITSU(1)   KAGENORI       KAGEZANE      KEM-MU 1334    O-CHO 1311      GEN-KO 1331    SHO-CHU 1324

OSAFUNE KAGEMITSU
_________ NAGAMITSU SHO-O 1288 ___|_____   KAGEMITSU(1) GEN-KYO 1321    |                  - 5 Sons -    |____________ _______________ ____________ __________ _______ ___|_____  _____|____     ______|____   _____|___  _____|___    | KAGEMITSU  SHIGEMITSU(2)  O-KANEMITSU   TOMOMITSU  YOSHIKAGE(1) | ___|_____                   See KANEMITSU SODEN                 | KAGEMITSU(3) O-AN 1368      _____________ ______________ _______| ___|________        _____|____      ___|____       ___|____ OEI YUKIHISA       SHIGEMITSU(1)   KAGENORI       KAGEZANE
The O-EI        O-CHO 1311      GEN-KO 1331    SHO-CHU 1324 ~NAGAMITSU SAN-SAKU~ KAGEMITSU(1) GEN-KYO (f: NAGAMITSU): Son of NAGAMITSU and father         of "The Great" O-KANEMITSU. SABEInoJO and SAEMONnoJO.         Dates are KA-GEN 1303 to SHO-HEI 1346. KAGEMITSU is known         for his "Stooped shoulders" GUNOME-MIDARE HA. He is one          of the main branch OSAFUNE masters, following MITSUTADA          and NAGAMITSU. His leaning GUNOME forms effected the          style-fabric of the NAMBOKUCHO, and marks the path of          many careers.         -SUGATA: KO-KISSAKI, strong KOSHIZORI, FUNBARI TACHI or          CHU-KISSAKI on powerful, broad blade. SAKI-ZORI enters          late-KAMAKURA SUGATA. TANTO: 9 SUN, HIRA-TSUKURI MU-SORI         or UCHIZORI TAKENOKO. KIRIHA-TSUKURI, NAGINATA and KEN.         Look for MITSU-MUNE. Long swords often BO-HI, one or two         medium HI on TANTO.        -Steel: KO-MOKUME HADA has CHIKEI and strongly standing          MIDARE-UTSURI and CHOJI-UTSURI.         -HAMON: Leaning KATAOCHI "Stooped shoulders" GUNOME may          have NOKO-BA Sawtooth and KIBA-HA Fang shapes. GUNOME-         CHOJI MIDARE, SAKA-CHOJI combinations. Figures may be          packed. YAKIBA is wide and seems evenly set, although          there is slight undulation. OSAFUNE MONOUCHI.        -BOSHI: CHU or HIRO width SAN-SAKU BOSHI on TACHI, dips          above YOKOTE and again near KO-MARU. KO-MARU on TANTO.          Note: KANEMITSU's BOSHI is often TOGARI.         -HORIMONO: KEN, KURIKARA and BONJI in the lower. KEN          special mark: SANKO TSUKA KEN - Vajra sword.      MEI: KAGEMITSU          BISHU OSAFUNE JU KAGEMITSU          BIZEN-no-KUNI OSAFUNE JU KAGEMITSU          BIZEN-no-KUNI OSAFUNE JU SABEInoJO KAGEMITSU     RECAP:  -KO-MOKUME with CHIKEI and MIDARE-UTSURI             -KATAOCHI "Stooped-shoulders" GUNOME-MIDARE             -OSAFUNE MONOUCHI (See MITSUTADA and NAGAMITSU)             -SAN-SAKU BOSHI (See NAGAMITSU)             -KEN HORIMONO: SANKO TSUKA See the following for
KUSUNOKI MASASHIGE and the Death of KAMAKURA

MASASHIGE's "Little Dragon" KAGEMITSU HAITO follows

Kagemitsu - 64.6cm

KUSUNOKI MASASHIGE Aids GODAIGO  -  The Death of KAMAKURA
See Gotoba & the ICHIMONJIorGotoba & KAMAKURA Power Player Acrobat
version: GOTOBApdf for a history of the HOJO/KAMAKURA struggles.
 
GODAIGO's Dream 
                                             View Lay-out Version pdf


After 150 years of absolute HOJO rule stationed comfortably at KAMAKURA, a capitol of over one million, - with its shinning palaces, state houses, villas and noble's estates; and the full financial engine of Japan's wealth and elite, - Emperor GODAIGO awoke, in far-a-way KYOTO, with a dream...

He dreamt a KUSUNOKI "Camphor Tree" had provided shelter.



This story begins with the 500 warriors that rallied under the vision of one SAMURAI, a vision only seen through squinting eyes. 

Godaigo-Sama
That they few might prevail - against the vast architecture of HOJO power;
      - by running in the delighted laughter of the Seven Gods
          ...with an Emperor's dream

KUSUNOKI MASASHIGE accepted the appeal for assistance from GODAIGO, who had fled KYOTO to Mt. KASAGI on the YAMATO border.

The HOJO BAKUFU, chasing GODAIGO, had attacked the wrong Temple, which then helped clarify sides. It was the warrior-monks, scattered Imperialists and their Emperor running amok in the mountains.

MASASHIGE stretched his gambit with creative warfare. He built AKASAKA in KAWACHI and defended it with hidden flank attacks, huge rolling logs and the liberal use of boiling pitch and water. On the last night, sneaking off small groups, he buffaloed the entire HOJO force by leaving a gigantic and dramatically set funeral pyre with one sobbing attendant claiming the great KUSUNOKI Clan had found their destiny with mass suicide. Earning the empathy of all, the aghast HOJO army - let the sobber go.

The HOJO settled up by taking Mt. KASAGI and GODAIGO with it. He was exiled to GOTOBA's OKI Island - but escaped in the year on a fishing boat, secreted under seaweed.

MASASHIGE had by then built the unconquerable CHIHAYA Castle, and his vision now stood out for the imagination of all. With great resources tied up at CHIHAYA, the BAKUFU sent their general, ASHIKAGA TAKAUJI to attack GODAIGO directly. TAKAUJI, with MINAMOTO blood, saw a greedy chance. If he reversed sides and supported the Emperor, he might then finagle himself a new SHOGUNATE.


Nitta Yoshisada
- So he switched sides. With TAKAUJI's army gone over, and the engaged forces at CHIHAYA, a new player from KOZUKE, NITTA YOSHISADA, takes the field for the South against the suddenly vulnerable KAMAKURA capitol itself. 

A BAKUFU veteran of AKASAKA, YOSHISADA had been convinced of the Imperial cause by GODAIGOs' son, Prince MORINAGA.

After impregnable resistance in the hills, YOSHISADA threw his TACHI into the sea in a crazed appeal to "The Divine Goddess of the Sun," AMATERASU, who withdrew the tide allowing his successful approach from the beach.

The 9th and last KAMAKURA SHIKKEN, HOJO TAKATOKI with all his stable committed SEPPUKU, MAY 22, 1333.


      ...And KAMAKURA burned
        - under the impassive gaze of its great DAIBUTSU Buddha


The Imperial Restoration was complete. A new era was dawning. MASASHIGE was awarded KAWACHI-no-KAMI, and the provinces of SETTSU, KAWACHI and IZUMI. YOSHISADA became HARIMA-no-KAMI with KOZUKE and HARIMA as fief.



TAKAUJI received MUSASHI, SHIMOSA and HITACHI. But, of course, the ex-HOJO General ASHIKAGA TAKAUJI, whose mother was HOJO, was there to be SHOGUN. He was HOJO blood but would never have held HOJO power. He had forsaken them in a gamble to attain the SHOGUNATE, but the position was now given GODAIGOs' son, Prince MORINAGA. 

TAKAUJI's SHOGUNAL design, however, would soon find its full expression. 

 
Ashikaga Takauji
See Takauji's sword

HOJO TAKATOKIs' son, TOKIYUKI, raised troops in SHINANO the following year and retook KAMAKURA under the HOJO banner.

GODAIGO sent his general, ASHIKAGA TAKAUJI who destroyed this last HOJO, but once in KAMAKURA pronounced himself SHOGUN and distributed land to his generals. Branded a traitor, NITTA YOSHISADA was sent against him.

After two wins, YOSHISADA's forces were routed on HAKONE Road and TAKAUJI marched on KYOTO, defeating MASASHIGE on the ancient battle ground at UJI. - GODAIGO was forced to flee to the YAMATO hills, once again.

Young KITABATAKE AKIIYE whose family held DEWA and MUTSU for the Southern cause, joined the monks of ENRYAKU-JI and defeated the ASHIKAGA in OMI and, uniting with YOSHISADA and MASASHIGE, expelled TAKAUJI from KYOTO allowing Emperor GODAIGO a triumphant return.

Driven south, TAKAUJI then assembled a new army in KYUSHU and advanced north for a final show down with Imperial forces.

YOSHISADA's army withdrew northward along the ASHIKAGA advance. At council, MASASHIGE's plan to trap TAKAUJI in an evacuated KYOTO was rejected by the Emperor.

YOSHISADA and MASASHIGE were then bound to meet TAKAUJI on the HYOGO plain just inside SETTSU 

at the MINATO-GAWA River.

MASASHIGE knew the plan was lost 
             and resolved to die; 
                       telling his 10 year old son,



                                                  his dying for this just cause was a just death.


It was summer
The river at his back, MASASHIGE's men held the field facing three armies, the SHIBA to his right, ASHIKAGA TADAYOSHI at left, and SHONI at the sea to the far left. NITTA YOSHISADA was behind, across river to his left, standing its mouth against the SHONI to his right and the sea-borne armies of ASHIKAGA TAKAUJI and the HOSOKAWA.

The HOSOKAWA attacked from the sea but were driven back. While the SHONI engaged YOSHISADA at the river, the HOSOKAWA made a landing at IKUTA, 4 miles up and advanced on his rear, - forcing retreat.


Kusunoki Masashige
MASASHIGE stood off the SHIBA and TADAYOSHI, but soon received pressure on the left from TAKAUJI, and the HOSOKAWA coming across the river on his back. 

KUSUNOKI MASASHIGE received eleven wounds before taking his SEPPUKU, in that afternoon heat, July 5, 1336. He is honored as one of the greatest heroes in all of Japanese history for his noble and selfless support of the Imperial cause. 

The NANKO-SAN Temple was erected for him where he died. 


1348:KUSUNOKI and the Imperial Cause

MASASHIGEs' son, KUSUNOKI MASATSURA rose to take the leadership of his clan and fought the ASHIKAGA, driving the HOSOKAWA and their re-enforcements from KAWACHI.

In response, TAKAUJI sent the KO brothers, MORONAO (who had destroyed KITABATAKE AKIIYE ten years before in 1338) and MOROYASU, with 60,000 men.

MASATSURA withdrew from the first encounter to YOSHINO. There, he was received by the 21 year old new Emperor, GOMURAKAMI-SAMA, who impressed his protector with the supreme gratitude for the KUSUNOKI family's Imperial bargain and the Emperor's great personal confidence.

With his men, he visited the tomb of GODAIGO-TENNO before taking leave to battle. 

He cut his farewell poem into the door of the NYOIRIN-JI Temple - with the point of an arrow: 

      "I could not return - I presume
        So I will keep my name...
          with those of departed archers" 
 
Last poem at NYOIRIN-JI
KUSUNOKI MASATSURA, his brother MASATOKI and cousin WADA TAKAHIDE died with all their partisans at SHIJO-NAWATE defending the Imperial cause.

He was 22.

The SHIJO-NAWATE JINJA, at the foot of nearby Mt. IIMORI, commemorates him.


Sword of Kusunoki Masashige
OSAFUNE KAGEMITSU KO-RYU "The Little Dragon"









































KOKUHO KO-RYU "Little Dragon" KAGEMITSU      Kokuho       
NAGASA: 2 SHAKU 4.3 SUN
SORI: 1 SUN             
MOTO-HABA: 1 SUN
SAKI-HABA: 6.6 BU
NAKAGO: 5.8 SUN


A special history to a special sword made this piece a coveted favorite of Emperor MEIJI. This was the HAITO or personal sword, made in 1322, of KUSUNOKI MASASHIGE, the epitome of resolute commitment for the legitimate Imperial line. See Emperor GO-DAIGO and KUSUNOKI MASASHIGE - The Death of KAMAKURA, preceding.

SHINOGI-TSUKURI, IHORI-MUNE, IKUBI CHU-KISSAKI, strong late-KAMAKURA TACHI. A small, 3.2 SUN SANKO-TSUKA KEN KURIKARA and KEN, Dragon HORIMONO in the OMOTE-side HABAKI-MOTO, MARU-DOME BO-HI inspired the fond reference of "Little Dragon" for this sword. A BONJI resides on the URA.

KO-MOKUME HADA has standing MIDARE-UTSURI.
Wide, gently undulating HIRO-width YAKIBA occupies most of the JI. Its continually leaning, complex and compact KO-GUNOME KO-CHOJI BA seems to pile upon itself. ASHI and swelling YO intermingle as NIOI-FUKASHI forces inner-patterns of crushed and crowded OBUSA to crumble in the lower and run together. The pattern becomes less severe in the MONOUCHI and walks widely into the KISSAKI. A few KO-ASHI sieve from the line before KO-MARU head.

The three MEKUGI-ANA SURIAGE NAKAGO has been shortened approximately 2 SUN.

TACHI-MEI:
BIZEN-no-KUNI OSAFUNE JU KAGEMITSU
            URA: GEN-KYO JI-NEN GO GATSU

 Or View Lay-out pdf 


Kagemitsu Tachi - Kokuho

Kagemitsu Tachi - Kokuho
Nagasa: 77.3cm
Moto-haba: 3.1cm


Shinogi-Tsukuri, Ihori-Mune, Koshizori Funbari Tachi.
Bo-Hi both sides to Maru-Dome.
Ko-Itame Hada has standing Midare-Utsuri.
Nioi-Deki Sugu holds Ko-Gunome Choji-Midare Ba with Ashi-iri. Sungashi and Kinsuji reach between figures.
Tight Nioi Notare-Komi Boshi.
Ubu Kurijiri Nakago has one Mekugi-ana.

Ura-Mei: Bizen-no-Kuni Osafune Ju Kagemitsu
            Nambu Yakushi Ruri Ko Nyorai


KOKUHO KAGEMITSU





Kokuho Kagemitsu
NAGASA: 28.3cm   Slight SORI


HIRA-TSUKURI, IHORI-MUNE TANTO.

KO-ITAME HADA has strongly standing MIDARE-UTSURI.

His main theme is a KO-MIDARE of KATAOCHI "Stooped-shoulders" GUNOME HA  with ASHI and YO in tight NIOI-GUCHI. However tops in the lower depart to  a reaching claw-like form precursing the famous KANI-TSUME of the later  BIZEN stylists.

MIDARE-KOMI BOSHI finds a small KO-MARU at the head.

OMOTE HORI: CHICHIBU DAI-BOSATSU   URA BONJI: AMIDA

HA-AGARI KURI-JIRI, swept NAKAGO has two MEKUGI-ANA.

 
OMOTE:
   BISHU OSAFUNE JU KAGEMITSU
URA:
   GENKYO SAN-NEN GATSU-HI


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