iToken Bijutsu No.569j

 

Nihon Koto Shi

(History of Koto)

 

By Dr. Honma Junji

 

 (22)

 

(P.19)

There are two extant collaborations by Kagemitsu and Kagemasa and it makes us guess that there was a close relation between the two smiths. Also the inscription is important information regarding the comings and goings of samurai in the Kanto District in those times.

 

(Reference photos)

Juyo Bijutsu Hin : Tachi Mei gBIZEN (NO) KUNI OSAFUNE JU CHIKAKAGEh

                            gKENMU 2 NEN 5 GATSU HIh

(Owned by the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum)

 

(P.20)

It is speculated that Tanji Tokimoto and his son, who stayed in their fief temporarily invited Osafune Kagemitsu and Kagemasa of Bizen Province then had them made the tachi and presented one of them to the Hiromine Shrine.

 

There are extant works of Chikakage with dates between the Gen-o and Reki-o Eras and their workmanship shows a resemblance to that of Kagemitsu but Chikakage is not equal to Kagemitsu in quality. There is another Chikakage who was active in the Jowa Era and he is to be a later generation or different smith inferring from his workmanship and mei.

 

(Reference oshigata and photos)

gBI(ZEN) (NO) KUNI OSAFUNE CHIKAKAGE

 

         Kokuho : Tachi Mei gBIZEN (NO) KUNI OSAFUNE JU CHIKAKAGEh

                            gKAREKI 4 NEN (  ) GATSU HIh

 

(P.21)

There are extant works of Motoshige with dates of the Showa, Gentoku, Kan-o, Bunwa and Enbun then there seems to be two generations of Motoshige. The first generation tempers midare-ba in small pattern and pure Bizen-den, which resembles to that of Kanemitsu. It is wrong that eKokon Mei Zukushif and other sword directories say that Motoshige is a student of Soshu Sadamune. A theory says that he is the same smith as a smith called Hibara Motoshige of Hoki Province but we have no reliable information of Hibara Motoshige. Meanwhile, there are extant works with sugu-ha in tight nioi-deki like that of the Aoe school and mei in large two characters. Some of them have dates of the Kagen Era and the latter is to be earlier smith than the former then generally called eKo-Motoshigef. It must be noticed that he employs o-sujikai-yasuri as Aoe smiths do and occasionally signs his mei on the sashi-omote (mei in katana style). There is a smith called Motozane and he left some extant works and is speculated to be in the lineage of Ko-Motoshige.

 

(Reference oshigata)

Juyo Token : Tanto Mei gBISHU OSAFUNE MOTOSHIGEh

                       gSHOWA 5 NEN 6 GATSU HIh

 

       gBISHU OSAFUNE JU MOTOSHIGEh

       gKAREKI 1 NEN 10 GATSU HIh

 

                     gMOTOSHIGEh (Ko-Motoshige)

 

(P.22)

eKokon Mei Zukushif and eTensho Bon Mei Zukushif list smiths called Kagehide, Kagenori and Kageyasu in the group of the Osafune smiths but they demonstrate a little different workmanship from other Osafune smiths. It is said that Kagehide is a younger brother of Mitsutada and tempers gorgeous o-choji-midare in crowded and pointed pattern then the hamon is tempered in irregular width and looks like that of Ichimonji smiths also he signs mei in a different style from other Osafune smiths. A tachi nicknamed eKuronbo-girif and owned by Date Masamune is the best work of Kagehide. Kagenori left a tachi in ko-midare with a date of the Koan Era. There is a smith called Kagenori in the Yoshii school of Bizen Province too. It is not certain which school this Kagenori belongs to and he demonstrates a totally different workmanship from that of Kagehide. There are some extant works of Kageyasu and he tempers ko-midare in squarish pattern and his workmanship resembles to that of Ko-Bizen smiths on the whole. There is a suriage tachi with the mei of just eIchif and it has an old attribution to Kageyasu and the workmanship makes us affirm the old attribution. Anyway, the relation of the above three smiths has yet to be studied.

 

(Reference photos)

Juyo Bunka Zai : Tachi Mei gKAGEHIDEh (Kuronbo-giri)

 

(P.23)

gKAGEYASUh

gKAGEYASUh

 

     gKAGENORI  KOAN 4 NEN TSUKURU KOREh

 

           gKAGEYASUh (Kuronbo-giri)

 

                    Juyo Bijutsu Hin : Tachi Mei gKAGEYASUh