NBTHK SWORD JOURNAL

ISSUE NUMBER 721

February, 2017

 

 

Meito Kansho

Examination of Important Swords

 

Juyo Bijutsu Hin

Important Art Object

 

Type: Katana

Orikaeshi-mei: Choshu Ju Akikuni

Owner: Mori Kinen (memorial) Shu-sui Museum

 

Length: 2 shaku 3 sun 4 bu 3 rin (71.0 cm)

Sori: 5 bu 9 rin (1.8 cm)

Motohaba: 9 bu 6 rin (2.9 cm)

Sakihaba: 7 bu 9 rin (2.4 cm)

Motokasane: 2 bu (0.6 cm)

Sakikasane: 1 bu 7 rin (0.5 cm)

Kissaki length: 1 sun 7 bu 4 rin (5.25 cm)

Nakago length: 5 sun 7 bu 8 rin (17.5 cm)

Nakago sori: None

 

Commentary

 

 This is a wide shinogi zukuri katana with an ihorimune, and there is little difference in the widths at the moto and saki. It has a standard thickness, there is a slightly large sori, and a large o-kissaki. The jihada is itame mixed with mokume, and towards the hamon, there is a prominent nagare-hada, and a slightly visible hada. There are dense ji-nie, frequent chikei and a dark jihada. The hamon is chu-suguha, there are some ko-ashi, ko-nie, frequent kinsuji and sunagashi, and the habuchi has hotsure and a slightly worn down nioiguchi. The boshi is straight: on the omote side the point is round, and on the ura side, it is yakizume. Both sides have sunagashi around the boshi, and the tips have small hakikake. The horimono on the omote and ura are futasuji-hi carved through the nakago. The nakago is suriage, the nakago tip is kiri (because of the orikaeshi mei, the shape was changed). The original yasurime are katte-sagari, the newer yasurime are kiri. There are five mekugi-ana, and to accommodate the orikaeshi mei, three were closed. On the ura side, around the nakago-jiri, in a flat area, there is a slightly large five kanji mei made with a thick tagane (chisel).

 According to the gMeikanh, there are six listed Choshu Akikuni smiths: first is in the Sa Yasuyoshi school around the Bunwa (1352-55) period; the second is his son around the Oan period (1368-74); the third and fouth smiths are the sons of two generations of Choshu Yasuyoshi around the Oei period (1368-740); the fifth one worked in Onin period (1467-68); and the sixth one worked in the Eiroku period (1558-69). According to the lists, Akikuni is supposed to be related to Yasuyoshi, and since historical times, they were referred to as gChoshu Sah and gNagato Sah. Akikunifs dated oshigata range from Oei 4 (1397) to Bunan 5 (1448). The signatures are g Choshu ju (nin) Akikuni (saku)h, and g Choshu ju Saemonjo Akikunih. Among these there is an unusual one: gChoshu Setozaki ju-ninh which indicates where he lived. His signatures are not always the same, and the location of his signatures are on flat areas of the nakago near the center and also on the mune side, so are not always the same.

 Most of his works are seen after the Oei era in the early Muromachi period. In this period, many hamon are ko-notare and gunome. Among these, we sometimes see continuous round top gunome with a dense nioiguchi, and this dense nioiguchi is one of his characteristic points.

 This is a wide blade with a large kissaki, and is an unusual shape among his signed blades. It is also obviously a Nambokucho period shape. According to the gMeikanh, this Akikuni is a direct descendant of the Shodai Yasuyoshi. Yasuyoshi has a tanto classified as Juyo Bijutsuhin, dated Shohei 17 (Joji 1) and signed gChoshu ju Yasuyoshih. After this period, he is supposed to have been associated with Akikuni.  

 However, Akikunifs jihada are itame mixed with mokume; towards the hamon side nagare-hada is prominent, and the entire hada is dark and visible. His hamon are suguha with kinsuji, sunagashi, and prominent hotsure. His style is rustic and we cannot find common points with Yasuyoshi. More likely Akikunifs style is related to the Samonji school, and goes back to Seiren and Jitsua. Also, Yasuyoshifs signed works are only hirazukuri tanto and wakizashi a little over 1 shaku long , and he has no shinogi zukuri work at all. In the Nambokucho period, they are supposed to have had some kind of collaboration. From what we see, it does not seem to be a reasonable idea that they were a student and teacher.

 That is my personal opinion, and today looking at their blades, and thinking about their relationship, it may be possible that these two schools had some kind of relationship after the Oei period.

 There is another katana with a shape similar to this, and which was the 51st Juyo Token. This katanafs jihada is also itame mixed with mokume, and nagare hada, and the itame hada is relatively prominent. The hamon width and the nioiguchi widths are different, but they share the same type of suguha and fine hataraki. Coincidentally, they both have orikaeshi mei, which is interesting, and both have their original signatures on the ura side. Possibly they were made as tachi or those smiths used to sign on the ura side like the Aoe school which continued to do that until the latter half of the Kamakura period. However, the Aoe school also signed on the ura side on long uchigatana.

 This katanafs width at the moto and saki are not very different, and with the large kissaki and dynamic shape, it shows a strong spirit. This type of large sword is a very rare example for this smith, and considering his active period, this is a remarkable example. This is a very valuable material to study and to learn about any direct relationship with Yasuyoshi.

 

Explanation and photo by Ishii Akira.

 

 

 

No.721 Tosogu Kanshou

Juyo Toso

 

Kuro ro-iro ( black urushi) saya with Tamagawa Yoshihisa issaku (matched) kanagu (fittings) Daisho koshirae

 

Daisho tsuba, Daisho fuchi mei: Suifu ju Tamagawa Yoshihisa with kao

With Daisho blades with mei: Junko with kao

 

 In the Edo period, in public places, samurai wore daisho koshirae, which were called Hakama-zashi (worn inside of the hakama pants belt), Ban-sashi, or Denchu-zashi (worn inside of the castle). These styles were not always the same and depended on the samuraifs status and the area. Basically there was a hilt covered with white same and wrapped with a black cord in the hishimaki style, a kashira made out of black painted horn, and a saya lacquered with black urushi.

The tip of the katana saya had an Ichimonji design (a flat bottom on the saya), and the wakizashi had a round bottom on the saya. The tsuba had a polished shakudo ground with a mon, i.e. it was a Kenjo-tsuba (a formal design), or had a scattered mon design. Usually a Mitokoro-mono consisting of a kozuka, kogai, and menuku provided sophisticated matching pieces.

 This daisho koshirae style follows this rule. The tsuba and fuchi are signed by a Mito gold smith Tamagawa Yoshihisa. The sword smith is the Bakumatsu periodfs Mito Tokugawa lord Nariakifs (Rekko) successor Yoshiatsu (Junko). In the chaotic Bakumatsu period, Rekko was active in the Sonno-joi movement ( reverence for the emperor and expulsion of foreigners). Possibly he followed the example of the Kamakura period emperor Gotoba, and forged swords by himself, and following the emperor Gotoba who put a chrysanthemum mon on the nakago, Rekko put the Aoi mon design on the nakago. He presented his swords to his closest vassals, the imperial court, and some daimyo in an effort to raise morale and proudly show off military ability. Possibly his son Yoshiatsu followed him. In Yoshiatsufs case, he put his own kao on the nakago.

 This is a sophisticated and refined work which is suitable for a highly prestigious Mito Tokugawa family formal koshirae.

 

Explanation by Iida Toshihisa

 

 

 

Shijo Kantei To No. 721

 

The deadline to submit answers for the No. 721 issue Shijo Kantei To is March 5, 2017. Each person may submit one vote. Submissions should contain your name and address and be sent to the NBTHK Shijo Kantei. You can use the Shijo Kantei card which is attached in this magagzine. Votes postmarked on or before March 5, 2017 will be accepted. If there are sword smiths with the same name in different schools, please write the school or prefecture, and if the sword smith was active for more than one generation, please indicate a specific generation.

 

Information:

 

Type: katana

 

Length: 2 shaku 3 sun 4.5 bu (71.1 cm)

Sori: slighly over 5 bu (1.6 cm)

Motohaba: 1 sun 06 rin (3.2 cm)

Sakihaba: 7 bu 8 rin (2.35 cm)

Motokasane: 2 bu 3 rin (0. 7 cm)

Sakikasane: 1 bu 5 rin ( 0.45 cm)

Kissaki length: 1 sun 3 bu 5 rin (4.1 cm)

Nakago length: 7 sun 1.5 bu (21.66 cm)

Nakago sori: very slight

 

 This is a shinogi-zukuri katana with an ihorimune and almost standard width. The widths at the moto and saki are not very different. There is a large wa-zori and a chu-kissaki. The jihada is a tight ko-itame hada, and the hada is visible. There are ji-nie, chikei, and the jihada is slightly dark. The hamon and boshi are as seen in the picture. There are some tobiyaki, ashi, a dense nioiguchi, dense nie, kinsuji and sunagashi. The horimono on the omote is a ryo-chiri bo-hi, and on the ura there are futasuji-hi, and both are carved through the nakago. The nakago is ubu, the nakago tip is kuri-jiri . The yasurime are suji-chigai and there is one mekugi ana. On the omote side, towards the mune edge, there is a long kanji signature.

 

 

Teirei Kanshou Kai For 2017 New Year 

 

The swords discussed below were shown in the January 2017, meeting at the NBTHK headquarters building. This discussion presents answers concerning the makers of these blades.

Meeting Date: January 7, 2017 (1st Saturday of January)

Place: Token Hakubutsukan auditorium

Lecturer: Imoto Yuki

 

The Heisei 29 New Yearfs Token Teirei Kai was held at the Token Hakubutsukan auditorium, and beside members, 75 people attended.

 

 

Kantei To No. 1: ko-tachi

 

Mei: Bungo kuni Yukihira

 

Length: 2 shaku 1 sun 3.5 bu 

Sori: 6 bu

Style: shinogi zukuri

Mune: ihorimune

Jihada: ko-itame; some places are mixed with nagarehada and the hada is visible. There are fine ji-nie and pale white utsuri.

Hamon: at the moto there is a is yakiotoshi; there is a chu-suguha style komidare hamon. There are nioiguchi-like ko-nie, frequent yubashiri and tobiyaki, fine kinsuji, and the entire nioiguchi is soft.

Boshi: straight; the tip is unclear.

Horimono: on the omote in a frame is a Kurikara relief; on the ura there is a Suken carved through the nakago.  

 

This is a Bungo Yukihira kotachi. Because he has 2 tachi classified as Juyo Bijutsu Hin which were retempered (saiha) and were dated Genkyu 2 (1205), his active period is known. Today, most of his work which we have are tachi, and there are a few kotachi. In his swords, the widths at the moto and saki are different, there is a large koshizori, and the sori decreases toward the tip, and there is a small kissaki, and this describes a classic tachi shape.

 The jihada is ko-itame mixed with nagare hada, there are fine ji-nie, and the iron surface is soft looking and has a moist appearance. The hamon is yakiotoshi at the moto, suguha, and the nioiguchi is soft, and these are Kyushufs unique characteristic style. Yukihirafs hamon are sometimes mixed with tobiyaki type yubashiri, and this kotachi shows this characteristic point. In the sword book hKaifunkih his work is described as having gyubashiri, with gorgeous disorderh and this supposed to be a feature seen in his work.

 Also, the Kurikara relief is in a frame at the koshimoto, and this is his speciality. As the Kaifunki says gthis type of horimono is Yukihirafs signature workh, and this kotachi has this strong characteristic point. In voting, a majority of people recognized these characteristic points, and voted for Yukihira.

 Beside Yukihira, some people voted for So Sadahide who is supposed to be his teacher or student. Sadahide has three blades classified Juyo Bijutsu Hin and his styles are similar, but he does not have such detailed horimono.

 Usually Yukihira signed on the ura side, but also, rarely, on the omote side. This blade is signed on the omote. A similar example is a tachi classified Juyo Bunkazai and owned by the Nikko Futara-san Shrine.       

 

 

 

Kantei To No. 2: naginata naoshi wakizashi

 

Mei: Yamato Shikkake ju (suriage after gjuh). Attributed to Norinaga.

 

Length: 1 shaku 6 sun 5 bu

Sori: 4.5 bu

Design: naginata naoshi zukuri

Mune: ihorimune

Jihada: tight ko-itame, the upper half has a strong nagare-masame type jihada. There are thick dense ji-nie, chikei, and bo-utsuri.

Hamon: based on chu-suguha; mixed with gunome and ko-gunome. There are ko-ashi, yo, and the hamon is nie-deki; there are some rough nie; on the ura at the koshimono there are kuichigai-ba mixed with a little bit of hotsure and fine kinsuji. 

Boshi: straight with hakikake, and the tip is yakizume.

 

 This is a Shikkake Norinaga naginata-naoshi wakizashi. From the moto it does not have much funbari, so you can guess this is a suriage wakizashi. In thinking about the original shape, the curvature at the tip is not strong, and from this you can judge this as originally having a classic naginata shape.

 The jihada is a tight ko-itame, but the upper half has a strong nagare type masame, and there are abundant ji-nie, and refined forging. The hamon is suguha, there are large kuichigaiba at the koshimoto, some places have hataraki such as hotsure and kinsuji. The boshi has hakikake. These are all strong Yamato school characteristic points.

 Yamatofs five schools are Senju-in, Teigai, Toma, Shikake, and Hosho, and these  are supposed to have been associated with temples such as Todai-ji and Toma-ji. Their styles are very likely to follow their individual traditions, and each school recognizes its individuality. The Senju-in characteristic point is a strong classic style in the shape, jihada, and hamon. For the Toma school listed in a historical sword book called the gChoryo mei-zukushi g, it says there are no signaturesh, however there are a very small number of swords with signatures. A few signed blades show a very gentle style. But without signatures, we see strong nie, and prominent chikei and kinsuji which are Soshu characteristics, and these are characteristic points to judge Toma work. The Hosho schoolfs character is seen entirely in their jihada with masame forging. The sword book gKaifunkih says gtheir midare hamon are just like the Dosui schoolh. The Dosui school originated with some Bizen Yoshii school smiths who moved to Unshu, and their characteristic hamon is a continuous gunome, and on this wakizashi on the ura side we obviously see this feature, and this becomes a key point in judging this as Shikkake Norinaga work. There is a trend that Yamato school naginata naoshi without signatures have usually been judged as Shikkake work. However,owever,Hookkk like this wakizashi, some blades do have a signature, so it is now possible to decide more accurately where they were made.  

 In voting, a relatively large number of people voted for Nanki Shigekuni. Possibly from the Yamato Den style and saki-zori shape. But this is different from Shigekunifs sunnobi wakizashi shape, and his jihada is mixed with oval shaped mokume hada. More elements need to be present to judge something as his work.

 

 

 

Kantei To No 3: wakizashi

 

Mei: (shumei or red ink mei. However, the mei is unclear) Soshu Hiromitsu

 

Length: 1 shaku 1 sun 9 bu

Sori: 1.5 bu

Style: hira-zukuri

Mune: mitsumune

Jihada: itame hada and the hada is visible: there are dense ji-nie, chikei and a bright jigane.

Hamon: choji mixed with gunome and ko-gunome; the upper half of the hamon is wide, and there is a large midare hamon. There are frequent ashi, yo, dense nie, tobiyaki, and muneyaki which transitions into hitatsura. There are frequent kinsuji, sunagashi, and a bright nioiguchi. 

Boshi: midarekomi: there are strong hakikake, the tip is togari (pointed or sharp) and a long return.

Horimono: on the omote and the ura there are katana hi carved through the nakago.

 

 This is an ubu mumei wakizashi judged as being the work of Hiromitsu. He has signed blades from Kano to Joji (1350-67), and his active period is known as the peak of the Nambokucho period. This is a wide long blade with a shallow sori. It is thin and has a typical Embun-Joji shape. In this period, smiths making hitatsura hamon were the Soshu smiths Hiromitsu and Akihiro, and the Yamashiro Hasebe school. The hamon were based on choji mixed with gunome, and along the upper part of the hamon, the hamon is wider, and there is a large midare, and a variable hamon. There are tobiyaki and muneyaki, and the boshi is sharp with a return. From these characteristics, it is possible to judge this as Soshu school work.

 The Soshu Den characteristic hitatsura hamon is supposed to have been started by Sadamune and firmly established by Hiromitsu. The wakizashi hamon has thick nie, tobiyaki, muneyaki, frequent kinsuji and sunagashi, a lively mortion, and a midare hamon. Also, the upper half of the hamon has round top choji which are called dango-choji and this is Hiromitsufs characteristic point. Many people recognized this point well and judged this as Hiromitsufs work.

 There is another opinion concerning Akihiro and the Hasebe school smiths. Hiromitsu and Akihiro definitely have some similar works. But Hiromotsu has many small wakizashi blades over 1 shaku in length, and Akihiro has mostly tanto about 8-9 sun in length . Also, Akihirofs hamon do not have prominent dango-choji and his hamon are usually tend to be smaller. The Hasebe school blades are very thin, and their jihada near the hamon border and near the mune edge shows strong nagare-masame hada. Their hamon width in the upper half of the blade never become wider, and many of the boshi are round with a return.   

 

 

 Kantei To No 4: tachi

 

 Mei: Bizen kuni Sukekane (Ko-Bizen)

 

Length: slightly over 2 shaku 3 sun 7 bu

Sori: slightly less than 7 bu

Design: shinogi-zukuri

Mune: ihorimune

Jihada: tight ko-itame hada; some places are mixed with itame and the hada is visible. There is frequent ji-nie and pale jifu utsuri.

Hamon: ko-notare mixed with ko-midare and ko-choji. There are frequent ashi and yo, thick ko-nie, some long yubashiri, and places that appear to have nijuba and sanjuba; there are some kinsuji and sunagashi and a bright nioiguchi.

Boshi: straight with some nijuba; the tip is komaru.

 

 This is a Ko-Bizen Sukekane tachi. This tachi does not have much funbari at the moto, and you can recognize this as being suriage. But still, there is a large koshizori, the tip is uchizori, and there is a small kissaki. From this shape you can judge this as being work from no later than the early half of the Kamakura period.

 The tachi hamon has small vertical variations and a midare hamon which differs from standard Ko-Bizen work. There are niju-ba and sanju-ba yubashiri, and from these details it is a little difficult to judge the maker. Because of this, there are scattered opinions about this sword. Among Bizen smiths, some people voted for Ichimonji and Osafune Nagamitsu. If it was their work, there would be sori at the tip and shape would be different. If it were Ichimonji work, the hamon width would be high and there would be a gorgeous midare hamon. If it were Nagamitsufs work, around the monouchi, the hamon would become more gentle and have clear midare utsuri. The tachi has pale jifu-utsuri, and the dark utsuri extends up around the shinogi ji. From this and the shape, this is no later than mid-Kamakura period work.

 The hamon has abundant nie, kinsuji, sunagashi, and is a classic midare hamon. This shares a similarity with the usual suguha type komidare hamon. From this, it is possible to judge this as being from no later than the early half of the Kamakura period and an Ko-Bizen example. The upper halffs ni-juba and san-juba hataraki are seen in Ko-Bizen work such as the first Tomomura, Sukemura, Sukehira, Naritaka and Yukihide. 

 There are other opinions relating this to Ayanokoji and Ko-Aoe work. If it were Ayanokoji, the hamon would be ko-choji mixed with ko-midare, and the hamon elements would be close to each other; if it were a midare hamon, there would be  small tobiyaki at the top of the hamon and those could form niju-ba. If it were Ko-Aoe work, much of the jihada would be mixed with mokume and there would be a worn down nioiguchi.          

 

 

 

 

Kantei To No. 5: katana

 

Mei: Bizen-kuni ju Osafune Genbei-no-jo Sukesada saku kore

     Tenmon 24 nen 2 gatsu kichijitsu

 

Length: 2 shaku 4 sun 3 bu

Sori: 7.5 bu 

Design: shinogi-zukuri

Mune: ihorimune

Jihada: itame mixed with mokume and nagarehada, and the hada is visible. There are dense ji-nie, and the jihada is slightly dark.

Hamon: the bottom half is based on a midare hamon mixed with ko-gunome and ko-choji; some places show a double gunome style and the upper half is based on a large midare hamon mixed with gunome and ko-gunome. There are frequent ashi and yo, nioi-deki (a nioi based hamon border), a little bit of yubashiri, frequent kinsuji and sunagashi, and a bright nioiguchi. 

Boshi: wide straight yakiba; the tip is round, and there is a long return, and it is very strong.

 

 This katana is wide, and the the widths at the moto and saki are not very different. There is a high shinogi ji with a sharp angled mune. There is a prominent sakizori and a long chu-kissaki. The yakiba on the boshi is wide, and from this, you can judge this as work from the end of the Muromachi period, and in particular, around the Koji (1556-57) and Eiroku(1558-69) periods.

 In this period, there were many kazu-uchi mono (mass produced) blades. But even so, unique blades with strong characters appeared which were unlike those seen before. Examples are Kanemotofs sanbon-sugi, Muramasafs hakoba, and Sukesadafs kani no tsume (crab claw) hamon. This was the same environment in which military commanders wore eccentric tosei gusoku (armor) which showed their self-confidence (Museum Magazine issue no. 463).

 This katanafs hamon on its upper half and lower halves are quite different styles, and this was seen often at this period. It is a very characteristic work, and considering the shape, you can find clues to identifying the period.

 This katanafs hamon on the bottom half of the blade has a wide midare pattern, and the upper half has a large midare hamon.Note that the bottom half of the hamon is based on open valley gunome, and there are some parts showing a double or fused wave midare hamon. There are frequent ashi and yo, and a  bright nioiguchi, and from this it is possible to this judge as Sue-Bizen work. Sukesadafs most active period was from the the Genki to the Tensho periods, and from this you can narrow down the name to Genbei no jo Sukesada. I admired in voting, how many people voted for his name, judging it to be Sue-Bizen work because of itfs large size.

 Sukesada has a reputation for refined forging, but compared with his usual work this is itame mixed with mokume and the hada is visible. In some places the yo in the hamon appear soft and from this, some people voted for Kiyomitsu. It is a reasonable opinion and at this time, because Goro-saemo-no jo Kiyomitsu and Mago-e-mon jo Kiyomitsufs work show the same kind of style, we treated those as correct answers.

 Another opinion was Echizen Yasutsugu. If it were his work, the shape would be like a suriage Nambokucho blade, and there would not be this much sori. His hamon are based on notare mixed with gunome, there is a worn down nioiguchi, and his boshi would be a Sanpin style.    

 

 

 

 

Shijo Kantei To No. 719 (in the December, 2016 issue)

 

The answer for the Shijo Kantei To No. 719 in the December

issue is a wakizashi by Yamashiro Daijo Kunikane dated Kanei 5.

 

 This wakizshi is wide, long, and thick, and has a shallow sori. This kind of shape is seen often in the Keicho Shinto period.

 The Shodai Kunikane is known for making his entire jihada a masame hada. Just like this wakizashi, the masame hada has a shallow undulation, and is tight and well forged. There are dense ji-nie, fine chikei, and a well forged jigane.

 Kunikanefs hamon are mostly a Yamato-den suguha. His suguha have a shallow notare hamon (sometimes the entire hamon is a deep notare). There are hotsure, kuichigaiba, and nijuba by the habuchi. There are frequent nie, kinsuji, sunagashi and a bright nioiguchi. Often there is mizukage under the machi, and the hint refers to this.  

 Kunikanefs boshi are mainly straight with a komaru just like this wakizashi, or are yakizume, and many of his boshi have hakikake.

 His nakago tips are kurijiri and the yasurime are o-suji chigai. Most his signatures are long and towards the mune side. Sometimes he has a date like this wakizashi. Today, the majorities of his dates that we have are from the Kanei period.

 In voting, most people voted for the Shodai Kunikane, and a few people voted for the Nidai Kunikane.

 The Nidai Kunikane has many masame jihada with suguha, his skill is as good as the Shodaifs, and his nakago are finished in the same manner, so his name is treated as a correct answer.

 The Nidai Kunikane has a relatively large number of gunome midare hamon, and rarely, the nakago suridashi (the beginning of the polished area above the nakago) has a simple kesho-migaki.

 For another almost right answer, some people voted for Etchu no kami Masatoshi.

The Shodai Kunikane went to Edo, and he was supposedly taught by Masatoshi. Masatoshi has examples where the entire jihada is masame hada and with a suguha hamon and sanpin boshi, but there are very few of these. Also, in his work, there is almost no mizukage under the machi.

 Besides the correct and almost correct answer, a few people voted for Buzen no kami Kiyondo.

 This is a typical Kunikane work. In his work, there is a wide hamon, and some places have yubashiri and muneyaki which is more abundant than usual. Possibly  some people were focusing on this and voted for Kiyondo.

 However, Kiyondofs suguha hamonfs hotsure and kuichigaiba usually are not prominent and his nioiguchi are tighter.

 Also, Kiyondofs boshi hakikake are intense on the return part or kaeri, and his nakago yasurime are sujichigai.

 In Genna 1(1615) after the Osaka summer battle, the entire Japanese nation became peaceful and there were no more battles, and thus no practical reason to own weapons which were not practical, and the production of some types of items gradually decreased. Initially this meant that there was no longer any use for large yari or for large naginata, which are not practical outside of battles. Large weapons were no longer of value for daily use for samurai families. Next, there was a decreased production of tanto and wakizashi which samurai could not wear daily as part of a dai-sho.

 In the Kanbun Shinto period, three master smiths, Inoue Shinkai, Tsuda Echizen no kami Sukehiro, and Nakasone Kotetsu produced many master works. But when they were active, there were very few tanto and hira-zukuri wakizashi produced.

 Before that period, from the Keicho period to the Genna, Kanei, and Shoho periods, Keicho Shinto blades which were wide with large kissaki changed to narrower blades with smaller kissaki which seen around the Genna period. Also the shapes gradually changed to narrower shapes in the so-called gKanei to Shoho Shintoh shape.

 But around the Kanei period, there were many Keicho Shinto style wide, large hira-zukuri wakizashi made by Dewa Daijo Kunimichi, the Shodai Izumi-no-kami Kunisada, the Nidai Yasutsugu, Harima-no-kami Teruhiro, Musashi Daijo Tadahiro, Omi Daijo Tadahiro and this Shodai Kunikane.  

 

Explanation by Hinohara Dai