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BIZEN




BIZEN SABURO KUNIMUNE - SAGAMI-SABURO 

Deeply curved in MOKUME. Early are tall KAWAZU from KO-CHOJI and 
later is more conservative: GUNOME/CHOJI mix. SUGUHA or KO-MIDARE 
with YO. MONOUCHI may be held quiet and then expanded to pattern. 

_____________________
BIZEN SABURO KUNIMUNE(1) JO-EI 1232
      |________________________ ____________ ___________ _______
   ___|____                 ___|_____    ___|____    ___|____   |
   KUNIMUNE(2) SHO-O 1288   KUNISHIGE    KUNISADA    SADAZANE   |
      |                     BUN-EI 1264  SHO-O 1288  KO-AN 1278 |
      |_____________ ____________ ____________                  |
   ___|_____     ___|____     ___|__       ___|_____            |
   KUNIYOSHI     MASAZANE     NAOIYE       KUNIMITSU            |
   KEN-GEN 1302  KA-GEN 1303  EN-KEI 1308  GEN-O 1319           |
               _______________ __________________________ ______|
     _________|___   _________|___   ____________________|___   |
     HOKI MASAMUNE   HOKI KUNIMUNE   MIKAWA NAKAHARA KUNIMUNE   |
       BUN-EI 1264     EI-NIN 1293                KA-GEN 1303   |
        ________________________ ___________ ___________________|
     __|______               ___|_____    __|______ 
     KUNITSUNA BUN-EI 1264   SADATSUNA    KUNITSUGU SHO-GEN 1259
     __|______               BUN-O 1260   __|_______             
     KUNITSUNE TOKU-JI 1306               YOSHITSUNA SHO-GEN 1259


Traditional theory had KUNIMUNE a student to SHINTOGO, however 
comparisons have disagreed. Present understanding sets his 
line:
      _______
      NAOMUNE KA-O 1169 (see School)
      ____|___
      KUNIZANE SHO-AN 1171
          |_______________ _________________ _______________
 _________|___   _________|___   ___________|___   _________|____
 TARO KUNIZANE   JIRO KUNISADA   SABURO KUNIMUNE   SHIRO KUNIYASU
   1st brother     2nd brother       3rd brother      4th brother

KUNIMUNE(1) JO-EI (f: KUNIZANE 1): SABURO KUNIMUNE. 3rd son of 
        KUNIZANE of KO-BIZEN NAOMUNE School was born: JI-SHO 1, 
        1177 and died: BUN-EI 7, 1270. Residing in NITTA-SHO 
        WAKI, this long lived BIZEN patriarch was a contemporary
        of OSAFUNE MITSUTADA and HATAKEDA MORIIYE. It has been 
        taught that MORIIYE and KUNIMUNE have similar YAKIBA 
        patterns, but KUNIMUNE will lack MORIIYE's HA-HADA. 
        KUNIMUNE swords should be expected from JO-EI 1232 to 
        SHO-GEN 1259, although logic tells us his career probably
        began much earlier. See KO-BIZEN NAOMUNE

KAMAKURA drew many artisans to SAGAMI to work and teach in the 
exploding energy of the HOJO capitol. Three invited swordsmiths 
became the genesis of the newly evolving SOSHU-DEN roots:

                  BIZEN ICHIMONJI SUKEZANE
                     BIZEN SABURO KUNIMUNE
                       AWATAGUCHI KUNITSUNA




KOKUHO SABURO KUNIMUNE
         National Treasure returned by Walter Compton

KOKUHO KUNIMUNE                      National Treasure
  NAGASA: 2 SHAKU 6.9 SUN             MOTO-HABA: 1.1 SUN
    SORI: 8.8 BU                      SAKI-HABA: 7.2 BU
  NAKAGO: 7.6 SUN

  SHINOGI-TSUKURI, IHORI-MUNE, wide KOSHIZORI TACHI. The
  forward reach of the KO-SHINOGI creates an overt 
  elongation of the KISSAKI. YAKIBA is very much in the
  KO-OSAFUNE style: OBUSA and KAWAZU, resembling 
MITSUTADA, rise in tall stands from a KO-CHOJI ground.   Round and oblong TOBI suspend through the upper but   fade into JI-BA before the searching misdemeanor of a   DAIBO mid. Long KINSUJI runs a soft line under the    alternating stands that march to the lower.
Undulating HOSO-width MIDARE-BOSHI has two TOBI   laying forgotten while a small KO-MARU turns at the
SAKI. Urizane and a single Ana, mark two   MEKUGI-ANA in the midst of a KIRI-JIRI NAKAGO. Two-   character MEI high in the SHINOGI-JI:
                  KUNIMUNE


BIZEN SABURO KUNIMUNE
Although KUNITSUNA had been an OKI GOBAN, BIZEN SUKEZANEs' SAGAMI
sword school has become known as the KAMAKURA ICHIMONJI. The true
SOSHU School masters, which include the famous MASAMUNE, fall
from SHINTOGO KUNIMITSU and are considered descendants of the
AWATAGUCHI KUNITSUNA Group. See SAGAMI for a SOSHU example of 
KUNIMUNE Note: The earliest members of all three groups have been
loosely called KAMAKURA ICHIMONJI, but the term properly refers to
the SUKEZANE group. The few existing swords tell us SABURO KUNIMUNE must have been a temporary KAMAKURA resident. His KAMAKURA endeavor allows a  style change to be recognized. Normally, these pieces would be  assigned as the work of a 2nd or 3rd generation, however his long life and the rarity of examples has left scholarship to place two style periods for KUNIMUNE(1):                             Early - Before SOSHU                             Later - After SOSHU SABURO KUNIMUNE made TANTO and TACHI. Always in BIZEN style of the highest degree of development, his TACHI have an elongated IKUBI-KISSAKI that may appear somewhat stout after KEN-CHO 1249. KUNIMUNE SUGATA will show a healthy NIKU. Note: 1st generation special mark: NIOI-FUKASHI. - A tightly defined line labels  KUNIMUNE(2). Also: SHIRAKE Steel is his noted special color. SUGATA  Early: Narrow blade - thick KASANE         Later: Wide blade - thin KASANE Steel   Early: Tight KO-MOKUME with CHIKEI appearing.         Later: KO-MOKUME has O-HADA and MIDARE-UTSURI. HAMON - Like MITSUTADA, his YAKIBA undulates in height. Early       work shows tall KAWAZU reaching from jumbled KO-CHOJI while      round TOBI-YAKI of different size dot along the HABUCHI.       Conservatism follows with time: Undulations are less dynamic      in later work and the MONOUCHI may seem deserted, or       restrained of pattern. GUNOME pushes into uneven mountain       ranges that support an easily followed horizon. All work in      KO-NIE and particularly notable NIOI-FUKASHI. YAKIBA Recap - Early: KAWAZU from KO-CHOJI with TOBI-YAKI dotting. Later: GUNOME joins together in an uneven, mountainous CHU-width. BOSHI - MIDARE-KOMI BOSHI to small KO-MARU.             Early might be complex HOSO-width MIDARE with TOBI or             JI-BA to small KO-MARU near the MUNE. Later swords may            show CHU-SUGU with KO-MARU. MEI: Two-character MEI is balanced and open. Thick strokes lay       straight-standing horizontal and vertical lines. KUNI center      pole separates three diagonal interior strokes on the left       from two on the right, all five slant parallel like falling       rain. All five have sharp ends that point to the pole.



KOKUHO SABURO

KOKUHO SABURO                National Treasure 
NAGASA: 81.8cm 
SORI: 3.3cm 
Large SHINOGI-TSUKURI, IHORI-MUNE, CHU-IKUBI KOSHIZORI TACHI. 
BO-HI extends from the KO-SHINOGI filling SHINOGI-JI and falls
into the NAKAGO.
Strong KO-ITAME KITAE stands with flowery MIDARE-UTSURI. 
Solid CHU-width KO-NIE CHOJI KO-MIDARE BA mountains with ASHI 
and YO stand like a wall. KINSUJI carves definition in the
tight NIOI-GUCHI. 
SUGU KO-MARU BOSHI. 
Three MEKUGI-ANA NAKAGO is signed TACHI-MEI in the center: 
KUNIMUNE



Saburo Kunimune - Kokuho

Saburo Kunimune Tachi - Kokuho
Nagasa: 79cm
Moto-Habe: 2.9cm


Shinogi-Tsukuri, Ihori-Mune, Ikubi-Kissaki.
Typical late work exhibiting Ko-Mokume Hada with Ji-Nie and Midare-Utsuri.
Chu-Sugu ko-Choji-Midare Ba that undulates in height. Of Nioi-Fukashi and Ashi and Yo.
Figures are a little Shirozomo whitish here and there.
O-Maru Boshi.
Suriage Nakago has one Mekugi-ana.

   Kunimune



Kunimune - Kokuho

Kunimune - Kokuho
Nagasa: 75.8cm
Moto-Haba: 3cm


Shinogi-Tsukuri, Ihori-Mune, deeply curved Koshizori to Ikubi-Kissaki.
Bo-Hi both sides.
Itame Hada has Mokume in the mid with Ji-Nie and Midare-Utsuri.
Choji-Midare Ba of Nioi-Fukashi, Ashi and Yo, seats generally wide. Sunagashi and Hotsure create Tobi in the Habuchi. The Monouchi restrains to Chu-width with Sunagashi and Shimaba dotting above. Shirozomo is seen.
Midare Boshi with Hakikake.
Suriage Nakago has two Mekugi-ana. The Jiri cuts across a lower Ana.

    Kunimune





































Saburo Kunimune
Nagasa: 2 Shaku 4 Sun 7 Bu 5 Rin (75cm)
Moto=Haba: 1 Sun (3.02cm)
Sori: 8 Bu 3 Rin (2.5cm)
Nakago: 5 Sun 8 Bu 7 Rin (17.83)


Shinogi-Tsukuri, Ihori-Mune, wide Ji, deeply curved to Chu-Kissaki. Strong example of early Kunimune.
Ko-Mokume has Ji-Nie and Chikei. Midare-Utsuri through the mid.
Gunome Choji-Midare of Ashi and Yo where Sunagashi streams through figures.
Notare-Komi with Hakikake and KoMaru Kaeri.
O-Suriage Mumei Nakago has four Mekugi-ana, three are filled.




BIZEN SABURO KUNIMUNE School
KUNIMUNE(2) SHO-O (f: SABURO KUNIMUNE): Said to have studied 
        under OSAFUNE NAGAMITSU. Work from SHO-O 1288 to SHO-WA
        1312. His NIOI will be defined. If NIOI is deep and rich,
        look to his father. Made in the style of BIZEN CHIKAKAGE
        and SANENAGA. OSAFUNE attracted the KUNIMUNE School as it
        did most other schools when their founding light was 
        gone. CHU-KISSAKI, late KAMAKURA TACHI SUGATA. MOKUME 
        after his father but lacks the robust life. Tightly 
        defined NIOI KO-CHOJI with KO-ASHI. Slight HA-HADA. 
        Supposedly signed MASAMUNE as well. Signature appears 
        slurred as compared with KUNIMUNE(1), and may be long.
     KUNIMUNE
     BIZEN-no-KUNI OSAFUNE KUNIMUNE
     BIZEN-no-KUNI OSAFUNE JUNIN KUNIMUNE SAKU
     KUNIMUNE BIZEN-no-KUNI JU OSAFUNE SHO-WA

1st son TARO 
KUNIZANE(2) SHO-GEN (br: KUNIMUNE, f: KUNIZANE 1): BIZEN TARO.
        Title GONnoKAMI. Wide spread to reported dates. May have
        lived and worked in KYOTO signing KUNINAO. KO-MOKUME with
        JI-NIE. NIE follows an undulating line with valleys and 
        ASHI. Family origins are thought NAOMUNE School, 
        see KO-BIZEN NAOMUNE.
     KUNIZANE

2nd son JIRO 
KUNISADA SHO-KYU (br: KUNIMUNE, KUNIZANE): KO-MOKUME HADA has 
        JI-NIE. Patterns of CHOJI-MIDARE KO-MIDARE BA. 
        See KO-BIZEN NAOMUNE for KUNIMUNE family origins.
     KUNISADA

4th son SHIRO 
KUNIYASU RYAKU-NIN (:br KUNIMUNE, f:KUNIZANE): SHIRO. Transferred
        to SAGAMI. NIE KO-MIDARE TOGARI BA runs smoothy.
     KUNIYASU

KUNITSUNA BUN-EI (f: KUNIMUNE): BUN-EI to SHO-AN 1299. NAOMUNE
        Group. 
     BISHU OSAFUNE JU KUNITSUNA

KUNITSUNE TOKU-JI (f: KUNITSUNA): Work from SHO-GEN 1259. MOKUME.
        KO-CHOJI BA. NAOMUNE Group. 
     BIZEN-no-KUNI KUNITSUNE

MASAMUNE BUN-EI (t: KUNIMUNE): From JO-EI 1232 to SHO-O 1288.
        Moved to HOKI, see HOKI. In his old age he took the 
        priesthood and signed KUNIMUNE NYUDO. Standing ITAME runs
        under JI-NIE. Uneven NIE KO-GUNOME with ASHI and YO 
        pushes an undulation to the line. Thick strokes seem 
        fairly centered. See KO-BIZEN NAOMUNE and HOKI
     BIZEN-no-KUNI JU MASAMUNE

YOSHITSUNA SHO-GEN (t: KUNITSUGU): MOKUME shows NIE JI-BA.          KO-MIDARE of KO-CHOJI BA.       YOSHITSUNA      YOSHITSUNA SAKU KUNIYOSHI KEN-GEN (f: KUNIMUNE): MOKUME. KO-MIDARE CHOJI BA.      BIZEN-no-KUNI OSAFUNE JU KUNIYOSHI KUNISHIGE BUN-EI (t: KUNIMUNE): CHOJI-MIDARE BA.      KUNISHIGE      KUNISHIGE SAKU      BISHU OSAFUNE KUNISHIGE      BIZEN-no-KUNI OSAFUNE JU KUNISHIGE MASAZANE KA-GEN (t: KUNIMUNE): CHOJI-MIDARE BA.      MASAZANE
Sho-O Kunimune(2)

Goto Museum
The Second Kunimune
Nagasa:62.2cm

Shinogi-tsukuri, Ihori-mune, Narrow Tachi Sugata with raised Shinogi-taka. Shinogi-Ji is narrow.
Said the student of Nagamitsu, it has an unrushed maturity. A running and knit Mokume Hada has JiNie.
Evenly set Sugu hamon line holds Coji and Ko-Choji-Midare Ba.
Suriage Nakago has three Ana, the lower a key-way.
Signed in the Ji:

     Kunimune




Kunimune 2nd - Kokuho

Kunimune 2nd - Kokuho
Nagasa: 69.9cm
Moto-Haba: 2.7cm


Old style Shinogi-Tsukuri, Ihori-Mune, deeply curve to Ikubi-Kissaki.
Mokume Hada with Ji-Nie and standing Midare-Utsuri.
Asaki-Notare Chu-Sugu of Ko-Midare Ba has leaning Saka KoAshi.

Hoso-Sugu Boshi in tight Nioi.
Ubu Haagari Kurijiri Nakago has one Mekugi-ana. Signed in the upper Ji.

    Kunimune


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