Copyright Robert Cole 2015 - No copying or distributing
HORIKAWA KUNIHIRO HYUGA to KYOTO
HASHIMOTO TADAYOSHI1531 to 1614 SAGA HIZEN
TSUDA SUKEHIRO1572 to 1632 OSAKA
INOUYE SHINKAI - KUNISADA(2) 1635 to 1682 OSAKA
NAGASONE KOTETSU OKISATO 1682  EDO
UMETADA MYOJU SHIGEYOSHI  1599 to 1678 NISHIJIN, KYOTO
TSUDA SUKENAO 1558 to 1634 OSAKA
IKKANSHI AWATAGUCHI TADATSUNA 1639  OSAKA
NODA ZENSHIRO HANKEI EDO
MONDO no SHO MASAKIYO1646 SATSUMA
OTSUKI DAIYOGO KUNISHIGE1670 to 1730 BITCHU MIZUTA
NANKI SHIGEKUNI KII
NAGASONE OKIMASA EDO
TAMBA no KAMI YOSHIMICHI
SHUME no KAMI IPPEI YASUYO  1680 to 1728 SATSUMA




SHINTO - A Primer
Using  SUGATA  to find date and province,  an appraiser defines
the origin of KOTO. The same process reveals SHINTO.

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SIGN-POST
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                Hand with Card
         //////////SHINTO///////////


SHINTO 1600  * The Tokugawa Shogunate Brought Permanent Peace *


As peace followed the long period of strife called the "Hundred
Year Wars" (the O-NIN WARS  forward), a nation-wide revolution of spirit enveloped the country. Japan became a raging  creative storm. This dynamic social engine drove the new sword makers of SHINTO to produce supremely crafted works of the highest quality. These new swords were as different from KOTO as the times.

Peace brought an explosion of freedom and affluence. Iron was not held but traded, and a new kind of steel was imported from foreign sources.
As war no longer dictated sword style a wide variety of shapes and new HAMON patterns were produced.

EARLY - MOMOYAMA Translated
Early SHINTO swords were made in the shape of existing KOTO, many having  been altered to repair battle damage. Nicks or breakage in the deep SORI of the older weapons had been routinely removed by reducing the length. Many swords left to posterity had become relatively short and straight point sections of old blades.
The first SHINTO pieces emulated these. The MOMOYAMA, a time named for HIDEYOSHI's hill-top Castle and government, produced broad, large, strong swords, Proud SUGATA of a new and proud moment. SHINTO also produced reverent portrayals of the past, artistically married to the new.
Copies of old and famous swords or styles from history  in a bright new suit - with new steel, and new signatures.

MIDDLE
In the 1660s a particular style grew from early SHINTO and developed, supposedly around the requisites of sword fencing technique. The KAN-BUN sword is a weapon of little curve, which has been thought to have been for thrusting, or "TSUKI". Such styles, however, may start from martial demands, but are soon swept along by simple popularity.
This easily recognized shape became a banner style of the mid TOKUGAWA era.
When cutting, a sword with less curve will make contact with a target before one with deep curve, but the techniques of TSUKI, direct thrust and SUKI, finding a weakness or thrust to advance upon a weakness were, in part, the martial cause of the famous "KAN-BUN" shape.

APPRAISAL NOTE: There are two types of KAN-BUN - one has a wide feeling - the other, thick. Both have gentle tapering (FUNBARI). (Shallow SORI MU-MEI without FUNBARI should bring one to consider the possibility of SHIN-SHINTO.)






Considering the social and political atmosphere,  the strong, elegant,  conservative KAN-BUN shape was quite perfect for the
times.
        ///ARTWORK///show KAN-BUN SUGATA and MONOUCHI/////    
SHINTO  ///ARTWORK///Shinto Face Card/// Hand of Seven Cards


APPRAISAL: The Seven Provinces    * Deciphering Origin *


  Once a sword is understood to be SHINTO (see THUMB RULES  for
SHINTO page ##), one must decide if it was made within or outside the Seven Provinces.
  It must be remembered that the SHINTO times were a period of artistic renaissance,  and that while  an average style for each school can be read like a signature, the traditions an individual set  for his own work might differ significantly from those otherwise unique to his locale.  



Therefore judging SHINTO is the
careful weighing of generalities. One must know the rules and be insightful.


  The Seven Provinces of SHINTO:

            Town     -     Province   _______________
           KYOTO - YAMASHIRO
           OSAKA -  SETTSU          Big Three
           EDO      -  MUSASHI   _______________

           FUKUI  -            ECHIZEN

           KANAZAWA   - KAGA
           SAGA               - HIZEN
          KAGOSHIMA - SATSUMA


Swords from the town centers  of the  big three are usually called by town name, where this is unusual  for the other four. One hears of an "OSAKA blade" or a "KYOTO sword."






The initial exercise is to place the sword in a category of one
of two style groups, OSAKA - KYOTO or ECHIZEN - MUSASHI (EDO).

          ///ARTWORK///
       Dealers Hands Pointing Onto Table
    - On left -         |                  - On right -

      Two Cards Right Index  - Two & Three Cards Left Index


OSAKA - KYOTO
Fine grain
(YAKIDASHI)

OSAKA and KYOTO have similar    
YAKIDASHI  and JI-HADA,  and     
each town had its particular   
BOSHI style.                    
ECHIZEN - MUSASHI
Pronounced grain
(no YAKIDASHI)

BOSHI from the ECHIZEN - MUSASHI
are  a mix of styles, while the
associated JI-HADA is specific,
and the YAKIDASHI (with some
exceptions) will lack the distinctive shape found with
 the
OSAKA - KYOTO pieces.

Note:  In appraising SHINTO, the term YAKIDASHI is used colloquially to describe the presence of OSAKA or KYO SUGU in the lower (see glossary).





  The appraisal text for SHINTO will cover the considerations for OSAKA - KYOTO first, followed by the ECHIZEN - MUSASHI.

OSAKA - KYOTO: Technical

YAKIDASHI
  OSAKA and KYOTO have similar YAKIDASHI.

OSAKA  (SETTSU Province)
  OSAKA YAKIDASHI can be a SUGU but starting out close to the  HA then graduating to the width of the YAKIBA with only a few and usually subtle NOTARE seen.

KYOTO  (YAMASHIRO Province)
  KYOTO YAKIDASHI appear as a SUGUHA of some width in which a MIDARE is seen. This MIDARE can be subtle or fairly pronounced, but always segregated within the YAKIDASHI.
 

   ////ARTWORK///// Compare KYOTO with OSAKA YAKIDASHI
 

BOSHI

OSAKA  (SETTSU Province)

  The BOSHI of OSAKA and KYOTO differ. Generally, at the time of manufacture, an OSAKA BOSHI had a greater width of YAKIBA in the KISSAKI or a greater width of YAKIBA from the point. Seeing  MARU in a BOSHI reminds one to ask, "OSAKA?"

 /////ARTWORK/////OSAKA BOSHI

KYOTO  (YAMASHIRO Province)
  Many examples of KYOTO BOSHI display MIDARE.  JIZO-like  shapes are often  encountered, with KO-MARU. Some KYOTO blades  have a MIDARE figure saddling the YOKOTE. One expects less YAKIBA  above the KYOTO BOSHI than that of OSAKA.
  APPRAISAL NOTE: MISHINA School had distinctive BOSHI.

 ////ARTWORK//// KYOTO and MISHINA BOSHI   MIDARE at YOKOTE
 

STEEL
  When comparing OSAKA with KYOTO, KYOTO should have  stronger JI-HADA. A reverence for the tradition of YAMASHIRO surface steel was carried in the KYOTO products, "KYOTO Steel."

  OSAKA smiths, however, prided their work as the finest worked steel  of the period. Often the surface of an OSAKA blade will have a wet, glistening appearance and little discernible grain from the finely worked HADA.

  BOTH OSAKA AND KYOTO DISPLAY FINELY WORKED STEEL.
 

  STRONGEST appraisal-point for SHINTO: fine-grained or MUJI-like steel infers OSAKA - KYOTO.
  ECHIZEN - MUSASHI

  A big influence on the style of EDO (MUSASHI) swords was  the
choosing of a swordsmith to the SHO-GUN.  While SAGAMI, with its TSUNAHIRO line, lay next to MUSASHI, ECHIZEN (the DAIMYO related by family to the TOKUGAWA)  had  the chosen SHIMOSAKA.   Upon accepting the title and AOI (Hollyhock) MON along with the honor, he changed his name to YASUTSUGU. Consequently it is seen  that the root of the EDO style was ECHIZEN SHIMOSAKA.
 

  The initial appraisal technique  is the grouping of  provinces other than OSAKA - KYOTO with ECHIZEN - MUSASHI.

OSAKA - KYOTO
Fine grain
(YAKIDASHI)
ECHIZEN - MUSASHI
Pronounced  grain
(no YAKIDASHI)
KAGA  |  HIZEN  |  SATSUMA

  Occasionally, work displaying YAKIDASHI similar to that of the OSAKA or KYOTO schools is found, but usually the YAKIDASHI from elsewhere is, essentially, a match or perhaps a weak match for the general pattern of the Hamon. Lack of the distinctive YAKIDASHI, coupled with a pronounced grain, point away from OSAKA - KYOTO.

  The following are some points that mark a separation from the OSAKA - KYOTO schools:

  When one finds a strong or pronounced JI-HADA, one should think
to look to the ECHIZEN - MUSASHI group. One should look for MASA in the SHINOGI. MASAME at the SHINOGI (typical of SHINTO) will be seen made strongly in the ECHIZEN - MUSASHI group.

  BOSHI of the ECHIZEN - MUSASHI group often have more area of hardening in the KISSAKI (excepting of the distance to the tip). There may be wider turnback. There may be deeper turnback. There may be more MIDARE and JIZO-like shapes.