Chicago Meibutsu 1996

by Arnold Frenzel and Chris Leung

Once again we are pleased to be able to report on one of the most anticipated and enjoyed events of the show calendar: The Meibutsu Display of Juyo Token swords held on Oct. 19, 1996 in conjunction with the Chicago Token Kai Show at the Radisson Hotel, Arlington Heights, Illinois. Those who were there will have their own recollections and opinions, but these are ours and they are primarily directed to those many Society members who are unable to attend the show. Past Meibutsu have all been interesting, but if you missed this one, you missed a whopper!

We had two hours with these wonderful swords between 10:00 am and noon to make the attached oshigata and to do a full description of each sword. At noon the room opened to registered participants, each of whom could move from blade to blade at a pace slow enough to thoroughly study each sword under the watchful eyes of volunteer scrutineers. We never fail to admire the unselfish generosity of the anonymous lenders of these swords. If you have never participated in the Meibutsu keep your travel plans flexible next fall as the Meibutsu display is now a regular fixture of the Chicago Show, though topping this one will be a real challenge for Bob Coleman and the other organizers.

The term Meibutsu is a corruption from Kyoho Meibutsu Cho (Catalog of Famous Things), a record of famous blades from the late Heian (7941185) to the Nambokucho (1333-1392) periods. The record was compiled by the Hon'ami family at the order of the Tokugawa Shogunate and completed in Kyoho 4 (1719).1 While, to the best of our knowledge, none of the blades displayed were part of that original record, the term Meibutsu is now used generically to refer to a display of choice and representative art objects related to the Japanese sword, and this display certainly met that criterion. Juyo Token, a designation given by the Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai, and the comparable designation, Yushu-saku, awarded by the Nihon Token Hozon Kai, are certificates attesting to a very high degree of quality, importance and preservation of a Japanese sword. They can be taken as unquestioned assurance that an unsigned sword is a superb representation of its designated type, and, if signed, genuine without question. Acquiring such a status, which can only be accomplished in Japan, is a low probability, lengthy and high cost undertaking. Such blades are invariably worthy of study and appreciation. They are the very best learning tools we are likely to get our hands on. All swords will be discussed in the order laid out for viewing.

Blades one and two were Ko Bizen. Bizen was one of the eight Kuni of the Sanyodo along the Inland Sea, and as such was a major transit point in Western Japan, and according to Albert Yamanaka 2, it was the only Kuni to actively produce swords from Helan through late Edo (1780-1868) unto the present time. It was blessed with good iron sand, good charcoal facilities and a good water supply. The founder of that somewhat varied group was Sanenari (reported active circa Tenryaku, 547-957), of whom no known work survives, followed by Tomonari 3 and Sukenari of the Eian era (987-989). The group boasts such great smiths as the three sanpira (Kanehira, Takahira, Sukehira), Masatsune and numerous others. Their work is varied, being as it is either in the Yamashiro tradition, Bizen tradition, or a combination of the two. The group can be dated roughly to 950-1200 4, and it gradually gave way to Ichimonji groups of the twelfth and early thirteen centuries. In general they made long tachi, of graceful shape, ko mokune hada with ohada mixed in, and hamon of choji or ko-midare. For many collectors Ko Bizen are a Holy Grail, more a quest than an expectation of success, yet we understand a signed Ko Bizen, since authenticated, was found simply lying on a table at the Tampa Show last February!

#1: Ko Bizen. Heian period:

Sugata: Wakizashi (o-suriage tachi), 1.8 shaku (21 1/2''), shinogi-zukuri, ihore-mune, ko-kissaki.

Jihada: Ko-itame, tending to nagareru (flowing) hada near the lower third of the blade, faint ji-nie in places, chikei, no utsuri.

Yakiba: Ko-choji-midare in the monouchi, with the hamon later widening into midare with choji and the valleys touching the edge in places, in nioideki with nie. In the monouchi the hamon is particularly beautiful with thick nie, ashi, yo and sunagashi.

Boshi: Midare-komi becoming ko-maru with slight kaeri.

Nakago: O-suriage, one mekugi-ana.

Horimono: Futasuji-hi.

Other: Sayagaki by Kanzan Sato, NBTHK.

#2: Ko Bizen Yoshikane. Earlv Kamakura period:

Sugata: Katana, 2.25 shaku (26 7/8"), shinogi-zukuri, ihore-mune, kokissaki.

Jihada: Ko-itame with nagareru hada near the ha, all very intact. There is o-hada in the lower third of the blade. Beautiful sparkling ji-nie, prominent midare utsuri the full length of the blade rising from the hamon and touching the shinogi line.

Yakiba: Ko-choji-midare of nidi-deki with tadpole choji in the midsection. Prominent ko-ashi and yo.

Boshi: Gentle midare-komi and very short kaeri.

Nakago: O-suriage tachi, two mekugi-ana.

Horimono: Full length bo-hi, khaki-toshi.

Other: Sayagaki by Tanobe Michihiro, NBTHK.

The next sword was a Ko Ichinonji, a group which developed collaterally with the Ko Bizen and is somewhat difficult to distinguish from Ko Bizen.5 The Fukuoka Ichimonji were first to develop a distinct style in the early Kamakura (1185-1218), to be followed later by the Yoshioka and Shochu Ichimonji: initially Yamashiro characteristics of suguba, mixed with ko-midare or ko-choji in nie were seen, and then eventually choji midare in nioi.

#3: Ko Ichimonji. Heian period:

Sugata: Tachi, 2.4 shaku (28 5/8"), shinogi-zukuri, ihore-mune, kokissaki.

Jihada: Outstanding and intact, made up of mokume full of sparkling ji nie and extensive active midare utsuri the full length of the sword.

Yakiba: Ko choji of nioi with prominent round tops and detached tops.

Boshi: Gentle notare with short kaeri.

Nakago: Ubu, kijimono style with a characteristic upward bend about 1 l/2" below the mune-machi, two mekugi-ana.

Horimono: None.

Other: Sayagaki by Tanobe Michihiro, NBTHK.

The fourth blade was a signed Awataguchi Hisakuni. It was designated a Juyo Bijutsuhin by the Ministry of Education in Showa 17 (1942) 12,17, and it must be one of the most important Japanese sword in the United States While all the swords in the Meibutsu were wonderful, the Hisakuni was a standout among standouts. These introductory remarks and the description to follow call partially on an excellent write up on this sword by Richard Mantegani in the June, 1996 Newsletter of the Northem California Japanese Sword Club. His report was about the display of this sword at the 1995 San Francisco Show. It was recently featured by Jim Kurrasch in the Nanka Token Kai Newsletter, Vol. 14, No. 12 (Dec., 1996), pp. 4-6.

There are, as of this writing, thousands of Juyo Token designated swords. However swords carrying higher designations are rare, and outside Japan very rare. Juyo Token have been designated, sometimes hundreds per year, since 1958, and the more familiar Hozon and Tokubetsu Hozon, replacing the designations Kicho, Tokubetsu Kicho, and Koshu Tokubetsu Kicho, since 1982 are much more numerous yet.6 The designation Tokubetsu Juyo Token was introduced in 1971. These designations were or are issued by the NBTHK, founded in 1948. At a more rarefied level are the categories Kokuho (National Treasure), Juyo Bunkazai (Important Cultural Property), and Juyo Bijutsuhin (Important Art Object), designations of the Japanese Government.7 The Hisakuni is one of the latter. It is our understanding that after the War swords which had attained one of the latter designations were declassified as such and eligible for reconsideration. Alternatively they were considered Juyo Token until redesignated to a higher category. There must be some elasticity in the usage however of considering them as demoted as the well known pre-War Kunimune Koku ho, recovered in the United States and returned to Japan by Walter Compton, is described by Ogawa Morihiro as "Classification: Kokuho."3

While all of the Gokaden (Yamashiro, Yamato, Bizen, Soshu, and Mino) are admired for important reasons, Yamashiro is usually considered the site of the first established schools,9 and the Awataguchi, along with the Sanjo, were the first in late Heian to Kamakura times (late 1100s - late 1200s). 10 General characteristics of Awataguchi are long graceful narrow swords with that classic tachi configuration meant to be swung in a great arc from horseback. The jihadas is fine ko-mokune, sometimes nashiji (pear skin like), with ji-nie, chikei and yubashiri. The yakiba is sugu based mixed with ko-choji and ko-midare in nie-deki. Beautiful activity is to be seen. Sometimes they are in sugu-hotsure. The boshi is o-maru, ko-maru or ko-midare-komi.

One of the best known stories is about early Japanese swords is that of Emperor Gotoba (1180-1239), and his influence on raising the status of sword making during the koto period.12 He initially "reigned" as the 82nd Emperor from 1184-1198, though as a child represented by his grandfather Go-Shirakawa. He abdicated in favor of two of his sons for whom he governed in their names. After the death of the third Minamoto Shogun in 1219, power passed into the hands of the Hojo family. Gotoba's troops were defeated in 1221 and thereafter he lived until his death on Oki Island.13 He was very much a Renaissance man himself, participating in all the martial arts and literature. He studied for a number of years with the best swordsmiths of his day some 42 in number, mostly from the Awataguchi and Bizen Ichimonji groups. Awataguchi Hisakuni and Bizen Norifusa were overseers of the rotation of the other smiths and were, to quote Yamanaka, "personal instructors".14

There are believed to be seven Hisakani, five tachi, including this one, and two tanto, in existence. Needless to say they are all considered important swords, and they include at least one Kokuho. This wonderful blade, that you could have studied at your leisure in Chicago, was discovered by Hon'ami Koson in the collection of the Koga family, sake brewers from Kyushu. It had been in their family since the Genroku era (1688-1704). Koson (1879-1955) issued an origami for the sword in 1941 with the recommendation that it be designated by the government. The sword was confiscated during the Occupation and it was recently rediscovered in the United States along with its original Juyo Bijutsuhin certificate!

#4: Awataguchi Hisakuni. Early Kamakura period:

Sugata: Tachi, 2.39 shaku (2' 4 5/8"), toii-sori, shinogi-zukuri, low ihoremune, extended ko-kissaki.

Jihada: Tight and clear ko-itame, chikei, nie utsuri-like effects.

Yakiba: Narrow irregular suguba with ko-nie, and kinsuji. The lower third of the hamon displays some ko-gonome.

Boshi: Ko-maru with very short kaeri. It is possible that the hamon slightly runs off at the tip of the kissaki.

Nakago: Suriage by about 3", obscure yasurime, four mekugi-ana, mei: Hisakuni.

Horimono: Bo-hi and a short koshi-hi, both running into the nakago.

Other: We regret that our best effort yields a poor oshigata as far as the mei is concerned. The mei is clearly visible with blade in hand, but it is soft and much affected by time and oxidation. While we have heard comments referring to the blade as tired, to our eyes the jigane is very healthy and fresh. We have seen more tired gendaito.

The fifth and sixth swords were from Yamato where, at Nara, the Imperial house resided from 710-784, after which it relocated to Kyoto in nearby Yamashiro in 792.15 It is only natural that Yamato would be the center of culture and technology. According to Yamanaka 16 swordsmiths worked there as early as Taiho (701-704), and he describes the characteristics of the Amakuni school, however the actual existence of those smiths is shrouded in the mists of time as no accepted examples exist.17 The sword shape that we associate instantly with the Japanese sword, shinogi-zukuri of parabolic form was not perfected before te second half of the Heian period (11-12th centuries), probably by Sanjo Munechika in Kyoto, Yasutsuna in Hoki, and Tomonari in Bizen, and the earliest dated example is 1159.18 The earliest dated Yamato only comes from Mid Kamakura.19

Nonetheless there is something wonderful about Yamato swords. Nara, like Kyoto, is an area of temples, and which had hrge land holdings and fighting monks. The five earliest Yamato groups, Senguin, Tegai, Taema, Shikkake, and Hosho, all were associated with making swords at forges located in or near leading temples. Many Yamato swords, though daito in length, are without signatures either because they were very long before becoming suriage, or they were originally unsigned because of a temple connection. Yamato swords are beautiful and utilitarian at the same time; the harmony of art and craft might be conditioned by the circumstances of self-effacement under which the smiths worked.

Yamato swords, if unshortened, will have that graceful tachi shape, though they will have a high shinogi line and tend to be more husky than Yamashiro. The jihada will be mokume with invariably some running grain, though the textbook masame is confirmed to the rather uncommon Hosho group. Ji-nie is prominent. Hamon are sugu based, sometimes mixed with gonome, and with a nie-deki base and considerable "activity." Boshi will vary but some brush-like nie effects are usually seen.

#5: Senguin. Lake Kamakura period:

Sugata: Katana, 2.35 shaku (2'4"), shingoi-zukuri, ihore-mune, extended chu-kissaki.

Jihada: Tight mokume with sparkling ji-nie, nagareru with itame in the monouchi and nagareru along the ha.

Yakiba: Gentle sugu-notare with prominent nie-deki, and tiny yo and kochoji within the hamon. Patches of nijuba.

Boshi: Ko-maru with short kaeri.

Nakago: Osuriage tachi, two mekugi-ana.

Horimono: None.

Other: Sayagaki by Tanobe Michihiro, NBTHK.

Comment: Senguin are the oldest ofthe recognized Yamato groups. Their workmanship was somewhat varied smith to smith and they worked from late Heian to Nambokucho (12th to late 14th centuries).

#6: Shikkake Norinaga Late Kamakura period:

Sugata: Katana 2.17 shaku (25 7/8"), shimogi-zukuri, ihore-mune, extended chu-kissaki.

Jihada: Beautiful uniform o-mokume with prominant ji-nie; shinogiji is masame.

Yakiba: Wide suguba of nie-deki ,with ko-ashi and sunagashi; prominent nijuba near the monouchi.

Boshi: Midare-komi in thick nie and kaeri.

Nakago: O-suriage tachi, four mekugi-ana, kinpun-mei: "Shikkake Norinaga; Hon'A, (Hon'ami Koson) with Kao.20

Horimono: none.

Other: Sayagaki by Tanobe Michihiro, NBTHK.

Comment: The Shikkake group was founded by Norihiro during the Kenji era (1275-1278), and in that he left no known swords his son Norinaga is usually taken as the founder.2l There were five generations with the work of the first being the most numerous.

Blade seven was a husky naginata-naoshi by Suetsugu from the Nanbokucho era (1333-1392), a period of great stress in Japan when there were two reigning dynasties at one time. The "southern" Emperor Godiago was eventually overwhelmed by the would be usurper Emperor Komyo who had allied himself with Ashikaga Takauji. The ensuing period of almost 60 years saw battles in and around Kyoto and other mountainous areas in central Honshu. While the tachi was still the primary weapon, many naginata were used. Numerous magnificent specimens remain unto this day, often in shortened "naginata-naoshi" form.

#7: Suetsugu. Nanbokucho period:

Sugata: Naginata-naoshi, 2.16 shaku (25 5/8"), shinogi-zukuri, ihore-mune.

Yakiba: Ko-choji-midare of nioi-deki, with prominent ashi, yo and some sunagashi.

Boshi: Continued choji-midare with no kaeri on account of reshaping from original naginata shape.

Nakago: Suriage, two mekugi-ana mei: Bishu ju Suetsugu, and dated Eitoku 2 (1382),2,8.

Horimono: None.

Other: Numerous, kiri-komi (battle scars) on the mune.

Comment: This sword is illustrated and discussed in McIlquham, Rod, ed. Meibutsu: Japanese Swords and Sword Fittings in American Collections. Chicago: Token Taikai 79, pp. 10-11. Very few smiths signed as Suetsugu with the "Bi" preface. Hawley22 and Iimura23 illustrate the same blade, signed with two characters but that Bitchu man does not appear to be this smith as the "Sue" character is quite different.

The eighth blade was a Hasabe from Yamashiro. The Hasebe group was short lived, lasting from its founder Kunishige, traditionally recognized as one of the Masamune's Jittetsu, working during the Kemmu era (13341336), to his successors working into Oei (1394-1478). While the connection with Masamune has been questioned,24 Kunishige's work does contain Soshu characteristics, and other eminent scholars except the connection.25 Other relationships have also been noted.26 The tachi were all made long and the group kept close to Kunishige's model: shallow sori, wide yet thin blades with little niku. Kissaki are long with fukura lacking. The yakiba is wide in nie, with much activity, and the jihada in tight itame with masame. The group's work are now mostly shortened, having been converted into katana, but none-the-less they give the impression of very imposing weapons.

#8: Hasabe. Nanbokucho period:

Sugata: Katana, 2.13 shaku (25 3/8"), shinogi-zukuri, mitsu-mune, okissaki.

Jihada: Itame with o-itame and nagareru hada; full of ji-nie forming chikei and yubashiri.

Yakiba: O-midare, hakko (box)-like, with considerable vertical difference between the peaks and valleys, in nie-deki; ara nie and some ashi. Prominent sunagashi and kinsuji.

Boshi: An extension of the hamon, o-maru and long kaeri on omote, kaen and togari on the ura.

Nakago: O-suriage tachi, two mekugi-ana.

Horimono: Bo-hi going entirely through the nakago.

Comment: This magnificent sword is also illustrated in the 1979 Chicago catalog mentioned above. It was also offered for sale in the first "Haynes Catalog," November, 1981, and it was featured in Bushido magazine, Vol. I, No. 2, pp. 43-47. We understand that there is also a koshirae that accompanies the sword, though it is currently mounted in shirasaya.

The next blade, number nine, was a Chikuzen Sa Hiroyasu. According to Yarnanaka 21 the work of these smiths from Kyushu resemble that of Soshu Akihiro and Hiromitsu except that there will be little tobiyaki and much large sunagashi. There is often a sort of isolation and distantness in the blades of Kyushu and they are accordingly less influenced by fashions of the day. However there were several exogeneous shocks during koto times that had impacts on swordmaking styles there: the Mongol invasions of 1274 and 1281, had their first impacts on Kyushu and certainly influenced swords, armour and tactics. During the Nanbokucho era the Northern Emperor supporter, Ashikaga Takauji fought there, and there was considerable fighting there during the later Sengokujidai (The civil wars starting in the mid-l5th century). It is only natural that Soshu styles, as are exhibited by the Chikuzen Sa, would have filtered into Chikuzen during the late Kamakara and Nanbokucho periods. The Sa group is dated from 1300-1370.28

#9: Sa Hiroyasu. Nanbokucho period:

Sugata: Wakizashi, 1.86 shaku (22 114"), shinogi-zukuri, ihore-mune, chukissaki.

Jihada: Itame in nagareru form mixed with some o-hada; layers of dark spotted ji-nie.

Yakiba: Gonome-mridare in nie-deki with thick ashi; prominent sunagashi with strings of ara nie.

Boshi: O-maru, some hakikake on the omote.

Nakago: O-suriage tachi, two mekugi-ana.

Horimono: Bo-hi, kaki-nagashi.

Comment: It is our belief that the awarding of Juyo Token status to osuriage blades of wakizashi length is uncommon, and that is is even more uncommon to name a particular smith under such circumstances rather than to merely indicate a group. This sword obviously found favor with the shinsa team.

The tenth sword was a Sue Bizen from the Late Muromachi period (1477- 1573). The Onin War (1467-77), while bloody and fabled, was essentially a local confrontation in and around Kyoto;29 however the ensuing hundred years saw monumental conflicts of national importance and is referred to as the Sengokujidai (Age of the Country at War). The country was to see a literal inversion of its ruling structure, and peace would not begin to return until the Monoyama period (1573-1615) heralded by the arrival of Nobunaga, Hideyoshi and Iyeyasu.

Sue (Late) Bizen, sometimes called Eisho Bizen after the Eisho period (1504-1521) is sometimes dated 1400-1600,30 but that is too early. It should be restricted to the Seugokujidai from the late l5th to the late 16th centuries.31 Not only was it a period of intense conflict and social disorganization, but military weapons and tactics were under much change. Massed infantry actions saw the yari used as a major weapon as was the matchlock musket after the first contacts with the Portuguese in 1543 at Tanegashima. The uchigatana koshirae was fully in use and the drawing of the sword cutting edge up promoted the accelerated curvature in the monouchi that we call saki-sori. The great need for new weapons and the conversion of older tachi to katana must have encountered a bottleneck in production capacity which was releaved by mass-production. While mass-production itself is independent of quality, it, like craftmade articles, invites a range of quality (do you want a Lada or a BMW?), and many poor swords were made during that time, particularly in Bizen and Mino. While the mass-produced "kazu uchi mono" are usually condemned, very high quality swords were made and signed with names like Katsumitsu, Munemitsu, Tadamitsu, Sukesada, Kiyomitsu, Harumitsu, Yukimitsu, etc. When they are combined with a date and a personal name, and even made to order, they are often superb swords. These are the socalled "Chumon uchi,", or made to order blades.32 Yamanaka lists ten Kiyomitsu with "titles" (zokumyo) which we commonly call personal names.33

#10: Yosaemon (no) Jo Kiyomitsu. Late Maromachi period.

Sugata: Katana, 2.36 shaku (28 1/8"), shinogi-zukuri, ihore-mune, chukissaki.

Jihada: Tight fine mokune with fine ji-nie.

Yakiba: Chu-suguba with crumbling nie, ashi, yo, uchinoke and small nijuba.

Boshi: Midare-komi with hakikake.

Nakago: Ubu, one mekugi-ana, mei: Bizen (no) Kuni ju nin Kiyomitsu Gorosaemon (no) Jo soku Bishu ju Osafune Yosaemon (no) Jo Kiyomitsu Saku Kore (wo), and dated Eiroku 7 (1564), 6, lucky day, Banshu ----- Kuni.

Horimono: None.

Other: Sayagaki by Yoshikawa Koen, NTHK.

Comment: This fine sword is illustrated and discussed in the Newsletter, Vol. 18, No. 1 (January - February, 1986), pp. 13-14. We are told there that this katana is an important reference material in that the mei verifies that Yosaemon (no) Jo is the son of Gorosaemon (no) Jo. The nakago also bears the name and province of the individual who special ordered it. As you can see that information was subsequently obliterated, perhaps when the family had to surrender or sell it, and only the characters for the province "Baushu" (Harima) and the last character of the first name, "Kuni," are readable. This sword has been awarded a Yushu-saku designation by the Nihon Token Hozon Kai, founded in 1889. It is the equivalent of a Juyo Token and Yoshikawa sensei is the keeper of the Imperial Household Collection. His sayasaki are particularly beautiful.

The last sword is another Soshu style sword with nice horimono. There were a number of smiths who worked during the Late Muromachi period in Soshu in both Soshu and Mino traditions.34 Hawley lists five with dates from 1469-1573. This Fusamune is the same man as illustrated in Fujishiro as K408, and to quote from the Harry Watson translation:

The carving of the late Soshu is striking, and Fusamune was especially skilled. The kenmaki-yu carved in the frame is elaborate. Even the carvings of the famous carvers of the shinshinto period, such as Yoshitane, are nothing more than imitations of this.

It would be hard to imagine a more enthusiastic endorsement. We only wish our oshigata could do it justice. The dragon and ken are deep set and crisp.

#11: Soshu Fusamune. Late Muromachi period:

Sugata: Wakizashi, 1.85 shaku (22 1/8"), shinogi-zukuri, ihore-mune, chu kissaki.

Jihada: Mokume with ji-nie.

Yakiba: Midare with high peaks in nioi-deki with nie, some ashi. Tobiyaki near the monouchi.

Boshi: Midare.

Nakago: Ubu, two mekugi-ana, one filled, mei: Soshu ju Fusamune saku.

Horimono: Kenmakiryu, and five character Kanji: "Hachiman Dai Bo Satsu."

Comment: The length of this blade is nominally that of a wakizashi; it is sometimes called a chiisa katana. According to Ogawa,35 blades of this length were often worn by wealthy merchants who were not permitted to carry katana. However, the rise of the parvenu merchant mostly awaited the Edo period, and this sword was undoubtedly carried by a samurai. Fusamune worked in Odawara which is in Sagami.


1. Yamanaka, Albert, Nihonto News-Letter, Vol. I, No. I (January, 1965), p. 26.

2. Ibid., Vol. III, No. 3 (March, 1970), pp. 3-10.

3. A Tomonari Tokubetsu Juyo recently sold in London at Sotheby's for 243,500, which, at the then exchange rate, was $409,080. We understand the last battle before the hammer was between a European collector and a Japanese dealer.

4. Robinson, B.W. A Primer of Japanese Sword - Blades. New York: Paragon Book Gallery, 1955, p. 21.

5. Nagayama Kokan. To-ken Kantei Dokuhoai (The Hon'ami School Guide to Japanese Sword Appreciation, translated by Kenji Mishina), n.d.,pp. 12526,137.

6. Siong, Han Bing. De Samurai. Dutch Token Society, 1983.

7. Ogawa, Morihiro. Nippon - To Art Swords of Japan: The Walter A. Compton Collection. New York: Japan House Gallery. Japan Society, Inc., 1976, p. 79.

8. Ibid., p. 88.

9. Nagayama, op. cit, p.85.

10. Yamanaka, op. cit., Vol. I, No. 6 (June, 1968), p. 17.

11. Nagayama, loc. cit.; Robinson, op. cit., p. 13.

12. According to Yamanaka, op. cit., Vol. I, No. 1 (January, 1968), p. 14: "Along with Masamune of Soshu Province, Emperor Gotoba had the greatest effect on the renaissance of sword making in the Koto Period." For a fuller discursion of Gotoba-tenno see the reference just cited, pp. 13-17, the Mantegani reference cited in the text; and, Harris, Victor, and Nobuo Ogasawara. Swords ofthe Samurai. London: British Museum, 1990, p. 39.

13. Papinot, E. Historical and Geographical Dictionarv of Japan. Rutland: Charles E. Tuttle,1972, pp. 130-31.

14. Yamanaka, op. cit., Vol. I, No. 6 (June, 1968), p.l4.

15. Papiniot, op. cit., pp. 434 and 345.

16. Yamanka, op. cit., Vol. II, No. 1 (January, 1969), pp. 9-10.

17. Yamanaka. op. cit.; Nagayama, op. cit., p. 110.

18. Sato, Kanzan. The Japanese Sword. New York: Kodansha International, 1983, p. 49.

19. Nakayana, op cit.

20. Hon'ami Koson one of the better known recent Hon'ami and the teacher of Albert Yamanaka & John Yumoto, was a highly regarded appraiser, particularly for those appraisals done prior to the War. Kinpun-mei, along with kinzogan-mei and shumei are three of five appraisal modalities which are inseparable from the blade. Origami and sayagaki are separate and sometimes can be mated with blades for which they were not originally done. These nakago inscriptions are a specialty of the Hon'ami family. According to Yamanaka, op. cit., Vol. I, No. 3 (March, 1968), pp. 2122, kinzogan-mei are gold inlays found only on suriage blades, red lacquer shumei "only on a blade which is ubu, " and gold lacquer kinpun-mei " has the same purpose as the shumei." He goes on to point out that shumei were not done on shortened swords, and therefore, by implication, neither were kinpun-mei. There must be some contradiction as this Norinaga is obviously o-suriage and to be allowed to retain the kinpun-mei, issued prior to its Juyo status, must mean the attribution is correct and genuine. Ogawa, op. cit., p. 70, takes a more liberal view and says shumei are on an "intact tang," and yet he illustrates a shumei on an obviously o-suriage nakago. He goes on to mention kinpun- mei without a qualification, and points out that kinzogan-mei are only "usually" on a shortened nakago.

21. Hawley, W.M. Japanese Swordsmiths Revised. Hollywood: W.M. Hawley, 1981.

22. Fujishiro, Yoshio and Fujishiro Matsuo. Nikon Toko Jiten: Koto-hen. Tokyo: Fujishiro

Shoten, 1965, p. 618.

23. Iimura, Kasho. Yumei Koto Taikan Tokyo: Token Bijutsu Kogeisha, 1982), p. 274.

24. Yamanaka, op. cit., Vol. I, No. 12 (December, 1968), p. l0.

25. Homma, Junji, and Sato Kanichi, eds. Masamune Toso (no) Ichimon, Tokyo: NBTHK, 1961, p. 33

26. Yamanaka, op. cit.

27. Ibid., Vol. IV, No. 1 (January, 1971), pp. 18-21.

28. Robinson, op. cit., p. 26.

29. Sansom, George. A History of Japan: 1334-1615. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1961, Ch. XIV, "The Capital and the Provinces after the Onin War."

30. Robinson, op. cit, p. 24

31. Ogawa, op. cit., Vo..III, No. 10 (October, 1970), p.3.

32. Yamanaka, op. cit., Vol. III, No. 10 (October, 1970), p.3.

33. Ibid., p. 9.

34. Yamanaka, op. cit., Vol. II, No. 8 (August, 1969), pp. 9-12.

35. Ogawa, op. cit., p. 59.