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YAMASHIRO
YAMASHIRO NOBUKUNI School





NOBUKUNI: KO-MOKUME or O-MOKUME with MASAME that shows 
JI-NIE and CHIKEI. YAMASHIRO style tight HADA and
SUGUHA was combined with the SOSHU influenced O-HADA
and GUNOME-MIDARE of KO-NIE. HOSO-SUGU KUZURE BA or
HOTSURE BA, GUNOME-MIDARE BA with valleys, O-MIDARE
with TOBI-YAKI and ASHI, and YA-HAZU "arrow" forms.
SUNAGASHI.
KO-MARU possibly falls thin, possibly not. HORIMONO.



_____________                         
RAI KUNITOSHI SHO-O 1288 - See Rai Kunitoshi
__|___
RYOKAI EI-NIN 1293 - See Ryokai
  |___________________________________
__|_____       - brothers -        ___|____
HISANOBU (RYOKAI 2) TOKU-JI 1306   KUNIHISA SHO-KEI 1331
__|____________________________________
NOBUHISA Changed name becoming NOBUKUNI(1) KEM-MU 1334
__|_____                        
NOBUKUNI(2) EN-BUN 1356    "Three Students"
  |                          SADAMUNE      
  |___________________ ________ __________ _________________
__|_____           ___|____ ___|____  ____|____  ___________|____
NOBUKUNI(3)        SADAKUNI MASANOBU  SADATOSHI  SANJO YOSHITSUGU
  | SHI-TOKU 1384    -TEI-JI 1362-     O-AN 1368    MEI-TOKU 1390
  |____________________________________                
__|__________________              ____|____ 
NOBUMITSU (NOBUKUNI 4) O-EI 1394   SADAMITSU KO-O 1389
__|_________________                             
NOBUSADA (NOBUKUNI 5) O-EI 1394 to EI-KYO 1429   
  |___________________________ ______________________
__|_____                   ___|____               ___|____    
NOBUKUNI(6) KAN-SHO 1460   KIYOHISA BUN-AN 1444   SADAKUNI    
__|_____                   _________ _________      EI-KYO 1429
NOBUKUNI BUN-MEI 1469      YOSHIHISA SADASHIGE
__|_____                     - EI-KYO 1429 -
NOBUKUNI TEN-MON 1532      _________ ________ _________ 
_________                  SHIGEKUNI SANEMUNE YOSHIKUMO 
YOSHIYASU TEN-MON 1532           - BUN-MEI 1469 -       
  To BUZEN                            
                                      O-NIN 1467:                
                                      YAMASHIRO Swordmaking Fades

NOBUHISA KEM-MU: Became NOBUKUNI(1). A son of either HISANOBU or
        KUNIHISA. Inscribed pieces have fixed EN-KEI 1308 to 
        HISANOBU which then testifies KEM-MU 1334 for NOBUHISA.
        An EN-BUN ZAI-MEI TANTO has set for him a work period 
        ceiling of 1356 and also tilts theory in favor of 
        HISANOBU, as father. NOBUKUNI(1) or NOBUHISA made swords
        in RYOKAI style, SUGUHA or active MIDARE as passed from
        RAI KUNITOSHI to RYOKAI to HISANOBU. His son, NOBUKUNI(2)
        is said to have been student to SOSHU SADAMUNE which 
        evokes, therefore, the looked for SOSHU style as definer.
        RYOKAI style for NOBUKUNI(1) is KO-ITAME with JI-NIE. 
        Defined SUGUHA with ASHI or small CHOJI-like patterns 
        emerging from MIDARE BA.

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Shodai Nobukuni
Nagasa: 66.8cm

Shinogi-tsukuri Ihori-mune Tachi with Bonji and Suken Hori and Bo-Hi on Ura.
Mokume Hada with JiNie and Chikei.
 
O-Suriage with five Mekugi-ana, the lower is "Key-way" shaped. A slight angle of the Nakago shows the remains of a signature toward the bottom.
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Shodai Nobukuni



Forcine Collection
Shodai Nobukuni Dambira

Nearly indistinguishable from Sadamune, these men made Soshu Dambira. Bo-hi on both sides display carved Hori of Kurikara on Ura and Arrow forms of Omote.
Swirling Mokume that runs, with wet JiNie.
Asaki-Notare of Ko-Nie Midare that is swept with Hotsure, Sunagashi and Kinsuji.
Ubu Tanago Nakago to Kengyo Jiri. Two Meguki-ana.





YAMASHIRO NOBUKUNI School

"The Three Students" of SOSHU SADAMUNE

NOBUKUNI(2) EN-BUN (f: NOBUHISA, grf: HISANOBU): SHINANO-no-KOJI
        JU at GOJO BOMON. Particularly noted for the quality and
        "health" of his steel, he endowed his name and school 
        with SOSHU style and is often referred as NOBUKUNI(1). 
        The 2nd NOBUKUNI will show the wide, thin SOSHU DAMBIRA 
        NAMBOKUCHO SUGATA typical of EN-BUN 1356 to TEI-JI 1362.
        The work of NOBUKUNI is very close to that of his teacher,
        SADAMUNE and is often confused. NOBUKUNI pursued the 
        SADAMUNE CHIKEI and might show an even greater profusion.
        SADAMUNEs' SUNAGASHI will seem to pull from the surfaces 
        of form, following the line of HAMON. NOBUKUNI SUNAGASHI
        is similar but will also tend to run through forms, 
        lazily paralleling the HA. CHIKEI twists in standing 
        O-MOKUME HADA with MASAME under a JI-NIE veil. 
        YAKIBA: KO-NIE pattern where undulating NOTARE holds an 
        ordered, KAKU-like KO-GUNOME MIDARE defined of straight 
        falling ASHI. SHIMA-BA dots the air. Swept SUNAGASHI 
        brushes HAKIKAKE to the BOSHI. Deep KAERI. Famous for the
        highest skill of HORIMONO. Resembles SHINTOGO student, 
        SAGAMI DAISHINBO. His two-character MEI is found below 
        the ANA. The sometimes left-tilted NOBU is small and boxy.
        The KUNI pole falls from left of center to right of 
        center. Note: MU-MEI NAKAGO are differentiated from 
        SADAMUNEs' swept SOSHU style, often mildly pointed 
        KENGYO-like JIRI, by the NOBUKUNI rounded KURIJIRI NAKAGO.
 Tokubetsu Juyo Nobukuni 





Nobukuni Dambira - Juyo Bunkazai

Nobukuni Dambira
Nagasa: 1 Shaku 2 Bu 6 Rin (38.1cm)
Sori: 2 Bu (0.61cm)
Moto-haba: 1 Sun 1 Bu (3.48cm)
Moto-kasane: 2 Bu 2 Rin (0.67cm)
Nakago: 3 Sun 5 Bu (10.76cm)


Hira-tsukuri, Mitsu-mune, wide Mihaba and even curve. Tengai Priest's Hood, Bonji, Rendai with Kuwagata "Helmet Antlers" and SuKen. Ura: Bo-Hi frames carved Bonji, Vajra and Ken.
Tightly knit Itame Hada has Ji-Nie and Chikei.
Undulations hold Ko-Gunome Ko-Midare Ba in Ko-Nie, deep Nioi and strafing, Nobukuni-style Sunagashi which pulls Niju in mid.
O-Maru Boshi with Hakikake.
O-Suriage Mumei, Kurijiri Nakago has two Mekugi-ana and Shu-Mei lacquer attribution.


BUNKAZAI NOBUKUNI DAMBIRA

NAGASA: 1 SHAKU 2.1 SUN
SORI: 2 BU 
NAKAGO: 3.3 SUN
MOTO-HABA: 1.1 SUN
MOTO-KASANE: 2 BU

This piece was passed as a presentation among the 9th and 10th TOKUGAWA SHOGUNs.

The long, thin-bodied HIRA-TSUKURI NAMBOKU DAMBIRA has grooves that convey the notion of SHINOGIs. 
KEN HORIMONO stands in half the length of a BO-HI on the URA where a thin KOSHI-HI stands guard. Two thin grooves run the OMOTE. 

His SOSHU teachers are famous for a swirling O-MOKUME that is passed to this blade. JI-NIE wets as CHIKEI twists. 

Rising GUNOME corrupts NOTARE waves where lazy SUNAGASHI straps falling ASHI. KINSUJI plies under dotting SHIMA-BA. Falling NIOI-ASHI sneaks to the HA. 

KINSUJI and SUNAGASHI clasp across a broom-swept Hakikake KO-MARU. The deep-falling KAERI disappears to the MUNE. 

Past mountings competed for the same ANA on the otherwise UBU NAKAGO. 
                                                                 Signed: NOBUKUNI


YAMASHIRO NOBUKUNI School

NOBUKUNI(3) SHI-TOKU: Work to MEI-TOKU 1390. Made TACHI, SHOBU-         TSUKURI WAKIZASHI and TANTO. CHIKEI surfaces in MOKUME         with MASAME that has a thin JI-NIE veil and strong BO-         UTSURI. KINSUJI and SUNAGASHI strafe figures of GUNOME         with ASHI that prop a KO-NOTARE line. TOGARI head pulls         MIDARE BOSHI - or a KO-MARU turn. Many HORIMONO.          Two-character MEI below the ANA. NOBUMITSU (NOBUKUNI 4) O-EI (f: NOBUKUNI 3): Begins in SHI-TOKU.         GENZAEMONnoJO changed name to SAEMONnoJO NOBUKUNI for the         O-EI. His famous unique signature characteristic is the          mirror-reversed interior strokes of the KUNI. He made          TACHI, TANTO and both HIRA-TSUKURI and SHINOGI-TSUKURI          WAKIZASHI. HADA is swirling MOKUME with MASAME that          stands out, having strong BO-UTSURI. KO-NIE CHOJI pushes         through GUNOME or GUNOME TOBI-YAKI with HOTSURE. His          CHOJI patterns have been mistaken for BIZEN works. BIZEN         NIOI-DEKI marks the difference.         4th NOBUKUNI: YAKIBA interacts with HADA to form a          YUBASHIRI washed SUGUHA to KO-MARU BOSHI. MIDARE BA or          GUNOME figures may appear deformed or altered from          YUBASHIRI to form MIMIGATA or YAHAZU arrow patterns - an         O-EI NOBUKUNI sign-post. YUBASHIRI challenges a MIDARE          BOSHI. KO-MARU or TOGARI KAERI is HAKIKAKE brushed.          HORIMONO: BONJI, "Framed" KURIKARA.


















Genzaemon Nobukuni
Nagasa: 61.5cm
Sori: 2.3cm


Shinogi-tsukuri Tachi with Koshi Horimono of Kurikara Dragon and Ken in the frame, and Bonji and Carved Hoshu Jewel on Ura.
Standing Mokume is running with Masame.
High-reaching Gunome-Choji Midare Ba has his looping and drooping Yahazu heads.
Ubu Kurijiri Nakago has three Mekugi-ana.

  Genzaemon-no-Jo Nobukuni
  O-ei San FutaFutatsu-nen Ni Gatsu Hi - 1427

Genzaemon Nobukuni

Genzaemon Nobukuni - Tokyo National Museum Exhibition



Nobukuni

Shikibu-no-Jo Nobukuni
Nagasa: 27cm

Hira-tsukuri Dambira has been shortened somewhat in the upper. Bonji and Tsume claw Suken Hori and Sanskrit Amida, Suken & Lotus on Ura
Strongly standing Mokume Hada has Chikei and Jinie.
Soshu O-Gunome Midare Ba and Mimigata forms flower exuberantly in a billowing Notare. Sunagashi and Kinsuji seek the Hada while Nioi-Fukashi and Ko-Nie flare out into the Ji.
Ubu, one Mekugi-ana directly through his Nobu.
Signed: Nobukuni






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






 



YAMASHIRO NOBUKUNI School

NOBUSADA (NOBUKUNI 5) O-EI (f: NOBUKUNI 3): SHIKIBUnoJO. Possibly
        the son of the 4th NOBUKUNI. NOBUSADA changed his name to
        NOBUKUNI in O-EI. A NOBUSADA signature is seen in KO-EI 
        1342. As NOBUKUNI(5) worked the O-EI up to his death in 
        EI-KYO, SHIKIBUJO and KO-EI NOBUSADA are thought to be 
        different men. Again, his work period of some 30 years to
        EI-KYO would set his relationship to SAEMONnoJO 
        NOBUKUNI(4) (aka: NOBUMITSU), whose early MEI starts in
        SHI-TOKU 1384, as the likely parent. 
        MOKUME with MASAME shows CHIKEI and JI-NIE in the style
        of the 4th. As with the 4th, there are CHOJI, GUNOME 
        with TOBI and YUBASHIRI-flared MIMIGATA and YAHAZU forms.
        Remember, with NOBUKUNI: YUBASHIRI rings O-EI bells. A 
        repeating TOGARI in the theme should focus one's 
        attention on NOBUKUNI(5). 

NOBUKUNI(6) KAN-SHO: SABUROZAEMON. From BUN-AN 1444 to BUN-SHO
        1466. The O-NIN War crushes the city and arts of KYOTO.
        The great YAMASHIRO KOTO sword tradition permanently 
        wanes. Standing ITAME without  variation. YAKIBA is 
        generally KO-NIE GUNOME-MIDARE HA. NOBUKUNI follows in
        BUN-MEI 1469 and TEN-MON 1532.




Shikibu-no-Jo Nobukuni - Bunkazai

Shikibu-no-jo Nobukuni
Nagasa: 1 Shaku 4 Bu 4 Rin (43.6cm)
Sori: 3 Bu (0.91cm)
Moto-haba: 1 Sun 5 Rin (3.18cm)
Moto-kasane: 2 Bu 6 Rin (0.79cm)
Nakago: 4 Sun 5 Rin (12.27cm)


Hira-tsukuri, Mitsu-mune, wide bladed. Wide Bo-Hi provides the frame for the standing carved Kanji.
Ko-Itame in standing Hada has dappled Ji-Nie across the surface.
Midare and Gunome are mixed in an undulating line of deep Nioi-Fukashi and Ara-Nie. Kinsuji strikes within while Tobi-yaki dots above.
Midare-Komi Boshi is Hakikake at the turn.
Ubu, one Mekugi-ana. Straight fall to Kurijiri.

Signed
:

Ho Fuji-Hongu Minamoto Shikibu-no-Jo Nobukuni
Ikki Ichikoshi O-ei Sanju Yonen N-Gatsu Hi - 1427


Hori: Fuji Sengen DaiBosatsu
         Ise Amaterasu KoTaigin


YAMASHIRO NOBUKUNI School
SADAKUNI TEI-JI: GENGORO. Moved to ECHIGO to study under YAMAMURA
        MASANOBU. Changed his name to NOBUKUNI in EI-TOKU 1381.
        Buddhist name: RYOICHI. Made TACHI and TANTO. MOKUME with
        MASAME. SUGUHA and KO-MIDARE BA. GENGORO said to have 
        signed his KUNI with a sword (TO) under a roof (YANE), 
        enclosed in a frame.

MASANOBU TEI-JI (t: NOBUKUNI): Summoned to ECHIGO by the Lord of
        YAMAMURA. Changed his name in later years to NOBUKUNI.
        Made HIRA-TSUKURI TANTO of normal width. Running ITAME
        HADA has JI-NIE. Dark steel. KO-NIE SUGUHA or ARA-NIE on
        GUNOME-MIDARE of defined NIOI.

YOSHITSUGU(1) MEI-TOKU (t: NOBUKUNI, f: YOSHIHIRO): SANJO JU. His
        work period begins in O-AN 1368. HEIANJO smith of the
        late SANJO YOSHINORI line working near the KURAMA-DERA
        Temple in KYOTO. KO-MIDARE BA with ASHI. 
        See HEIANJO - from YOSHINORI and KURAMA SEKI.

YOSHITSUGU(2) EI-KYO: HEIANJO. SANJO JU. See HEIANJO YOSHINORI.

YOSHITSUGU(3) MEI-O: See KURAMA SEKI. 
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