Copyright Robert Cole 2015 - No copying or distributing -
YAMASHIRO
  



Schools:
///ARTWORK///  KOTO  - Face Card   ///MAP - Japan with YAMASHIRO Overlay///
////////ARTWORK//// 
    Hand with Cards 
    Early YAMASHIRO
///////////////////

//////ARTWORK///// 
    Hand with Cards 
    Later YAMASHIRO 
///////////////////
SANJO 
AYANOKOJI
AWATAGUCHI
RAI
HASEBE
NOBUKUNI
HEIANJO
DARUMA
KURAMA
GO KINAI steel
Dark-clear
------------
Earlier masters show
greater complexity and
subtlety of color
/////ARTWORK - Block Diagram///ARTWORK//
Sword Profile  ////////////

The Five Schools                                                                                   
YAMASHIRO                                                    

YAMASHIRO Tutor: General Technical

SUGATA 
Excepting of early SANJO, YAMASHIRO SUGATA, like YAMATO, is TORIIZORI.
Both exhibit wide SHINOGI-JI. YAMASHIRO, however, does not have the raised SHINOGI ridges that are associated to YAMATO. YAMASHIRO has comparatively identical thickness between SHINOGI planes. 
That is: thickness at the SHINOGI will be approximately the width of the MUNE. 

HADA 
YAMASHIRO HADA is a fine KO-MOKUME. Both YAMATO and YAMASHIRO steel is finely worked. Both have the reputation of being NASHIJI "Flesh of Pear." Unlike YAMASHIRO, YAMATO shows MASAME mixed with MOKUME. The fineness of YAMASHIRO steel will show a particular "moisture" or wet appearance known as KYOTO steel.

HAMON 
YAMASHIRO will show less NIE inside the YAKIBA. NIE is hard steel that differentiates from soft at the quench. NIE, and the many forms of crystalline steel, were created by highly bound carbon resulting from the forging process of an individual smith. The hardness developed in the extra-folded YAMASHIRO tradition disallows soft steel to form in the YAKIBA. NIE in YAMASHIRO blades, therefore, is to be found along the line of HAMON or as JI-NIE, and less in the YAKIBA.

BOSHI 
YAMASHIRO, as with early YAMATO, will mostly have little or no turnback. MARU and KAEN are typical. Strong NIE is not unexpected.

NAKAGO 
The NAKAGO is usually long and gently curved. There are a few KIJIMATA. KURIJIRI is found on early pieces exclusively with more variety in the later period - NAMBOKUCHO and MUROMACHI. Signatures are usually short.



Stylists Travel in Time


SAKANOUE no TAMURA-MARO

Emperor KAMMU commissioned OTOMO OTOMARO, SEI-I-TAI-SHOGUN in 791 to subdue the EBISU. His Commander, SAKANOUE TAMURAMARO distinquished himself such that KAMMU-SAMA conferred upon him the same duty in 801, following the creation of the new, Chinese patterned Imperial City, HEIAN-KYO in 794.

TAMURAMARO built IZAWA Castle in MUTSU to check the EBISU. He is also credited with constructing KIYOMIZU-DERA by supporting those endeavors of BONZE, ENCHIN. ENCHIN, however, was not born during the life-time of TAMURAMARO. 

Regardless, TAMURAMARO is the man of the times. He is thought buried at the famous SHOGUN-ZUKA, "Tumulous of the SHOGUN," the sight of KAMMU's Chinese-style, Clay Warrior, also buried in full Arms & Armor to protect KAMMU's new Imperial Haunch, HEIAN-KYO, or the soon called, KYOTO. 

SAKANOUE no TAMURAMARO died KO-NIN 2, 811. 
                                                   ________________________
 

JUYO BUNKAZAI KOKUSHITSU TSURUGI - Sword of SAKANOUE no TAMURAMARO

SAKANOUE no TAMURAMARO - no - KOKUSHITSU TSURUGI

Precious Possession of KURAMA-DERA


Slaying the NUE
Innovator of SEPPUKU "Harakiri" 

GEN SAN-I NYUDO
                  Minamoto Yorimasa




As a child, he knew YOSHIMITSU - and brother, YOSHITSUNA (See the MINAMOTO in HOKI). He knew TAMEYOSHI, and his sons; and YOSHITOMO, and his sons.

He slew the KO Night-Bird, the monkey-headed NUE threatening KONOE-SAMA's Imperial precincts, NIN-PYO 3, 1153, with a single shot.

He was HYOGO no KAMI, and a supporter of GO-SHIRAKAWA JOKO through two wars.

He watched TAIRA KIYOMORI chase down TOKIWA GOZEN because the tyrant had to have his enemy's wife.

And it would be for her sons, YORIMASA awaited - on the bridge at UJI - those few years hense...

He received the 3rd Rank, SAN-I, of the Imperial Court and became a priest directly thereafter. 

Two years following, at 74, YORIMASA learned of KIYOMORI's plan to place his anchored line permanently into the Throne with little ANTOKU. 

         And he had to act.

He knew the odds, but he knew the stakes. 
He knew he'd be alone. But he also knew his voice would not die 
                                                          - on UJI Bridge.



UJI-BASHI
                          at the Phoenix Hall
                                                    BYODO-IN

YORIMASA would replace the TAIRA with MOCHIHITO-SHINNO, true-blood of GO-SHIRAKAWA and rid the world of KIYOMORI's tyranny. He sent YOSHITOMO's brother (see TOKIWA), YUKIIYE with the call.

The TAIRA were roused before the country and only the Warrior Monks were close enough to join. KIYOMORI sent his son's army and YORIMASA was obliged to entertain them.

YORIMASA waited on 20,000 at UJI - with 300 men.

It started in the fog.

They had ripped up the bridge-blanking and NAGINATA wielding monks fought through a rain of TAIRA arrows from the cross-beams, grinding the funneling army to a bloody halt above the precipice. Steel and blood and dying warriors fell from the wall of chaos - as monks jumped over themselves to carry the fight.

They spilled over onto one side and then back across to the other. The river ran red and headless bodies litered the banks.

The TAIRA saw they were not getting across that bridge, and if old YORIMASA could hold them until the Monks of KOFUKU-JI, TODAI-JI and the ONJO-JI arrived, the war would rage and Prince MOCHIHITO's ascension would be accepted vision, nearly fait-accompli.

The TAIRA decided to break off and forge at SETA when eighteen year old vanguard, ASHIKAGA TADATSUNA, whose "strength equalled a hundred men, voice echoed 10 RI and teeth were 1 SUN long" drove his men into the current. Commanding they hold the snouts of their horses up, he pulled his men to the far bank and charged the BYODO-IN.


The rest of the TAIRA clamored to, and the tide of battle swung with the numbers.

They held the TAIRA in the Temple grounds while MOCHIHITO made a departure. He would be hunted down before reaching NARA. YORIMASA's sons, KANETSUNA and NAKATSUNA held the advance while their father entered the still of Phoenix Hall.


He watched his sons die, protecting him, as he penned a last few words 
across his fan:
                                      
From a fossil tree, we gather no flowers 
                                                   Sad is my life - of no fruit fated...


A retainer took YORIMASA's head to the river where it could not be paraded to jeering crowds.



This death signaled the "Way" a man takes choice in leaving this life. The action is his, and his Second takes the head 
                                        -that it can not be trophied. 

     It is solemn respect - for profound "Resolve" 
                                        or SEPPUKU



Minamoto Yorimasa        




SHISHIO "King of Beasts" Lion TACHI
of GEN SAN-I YORIMASA


Notes on KAMAKURA YAMASHIRO
RAI: Refined and distinctive SUGUHA
They also incorporate the popular OSAFUNE GUNOME, taken up by the
AWATAGUCHI but popularized of the RYAKU-NIN powerhouse three: 

     HATAKEDA MORIIYE - OSAFUNE MITSUTADA - SABURO KUNIMUNE 

OSAFUNE: MITSUTADA's brilliant undulating GUNOME-CHOJI BA
is irresistibly infectious. Generations of workers proudly take their 
turns holding the same seats at the same table.

FUKUOKA: JUKA and OBUSA KAWAZU CHOJI-MIDARE BA
FUKUOKA pulls out all stops to grab and hold the prize

SOSHU: Stealing BIZEN's undulating GUNOME, they forge fantastic steel 
on fantastic structures. 
KAMAKURA's breakup sends SOSHU undulating GUNOME patterns out the 
HOKURIKU through the North and radiating with students, from SA's
CHIKUZEN, in all directions through the South. NAOTSUNA to the West.
                         ______________________

O-NIN War ends YAMASHIRO sword making. Only the HEIANJO smiths who 
worked near the KURAMA-DERA Temple, on the outskirts of KYOTO, returned. 
Having fled to wait out the war in MINO, they snuck back with their new 
SEKI-style influence.
Note: YAMASHIRO RAI was conservative by nature. They and hard-working
OSAFUNE sat back to watch the HOJO Regency answer the wild-abandon and 
halter-less exuberance of FUKUOKA's flagrantly Imperial and aristocratic 
sword styles, pouring from the forges of the 2nd generation ICHIMONJI. 
SAGAMI's rag-tag, put-together band exploded their new sword structures 
and SOSHU YAKIBA across the land.


Return to: SiteMap
Glossary