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lordameth
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hey guys. I've written a very brief article about Masamune for the S-A wiki. But, as I don't know much about swords and swordsmithing, I am having trouble with some of the more complex terminology about tempering patterns and such.

Can anyone help me translate these sentences from Masamune's entry in the Asahi Nihon rekishi jinbutsu jiten?

Quote:
新藤五国光に始まる相州物は,地沸が強く,地景の入った鍛えに,金筋,砂流しを強調した沸の強い刃文に特徴があるが,この作風(相州伝)を完成したのが正宗である。しかし,国光,行光が直刃の作が多いのに対し,湾れを主体に互の目を交えた沸の激しい乱れ刃の出来がほとんどである。


Thanks so much.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I don't know a thing about swords, but here is a translation that maybe someone who does know something can alter.

Items of the Sôshû (Sagami) school, which started with Niifuj Go(?) Kunimitsu, are characterized by a surface (ji) with a strong nie 沸(shine?) and a forged surface (kotae) with a chikei (地景) , and a strong nie pattern (hamon) emphasizing kinsuji and sunagashi, but Masamune is the one who perfected this school. Yukimitsu (Masamune's father) made many suguha (straight-line patterned) 直刃items, but Kunimitsu's works are almost all midareba (confused) with a wild nie that is principally wavy (notare) alternating with a complementary grain (互の目).

However, having tried that experiment, I think it would be best if someone who knows something could write an article from scratch. The one other time I read an English description of swords, it was filled with Japanese technical terms. I don't think that would be of any use to a general reader. I don't think this would be of much use either.
But I am curious--what is nie 沸 and how is it translated?
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hi Bethetsu, That was a great translation. 'Nie' are the individual particles of martensite that look like sprinkles of stars, 'nioi' is very fine nie forming a type of cloudy mist like the Milky Way. see 'nie deki' 沸出来 , 'nioi deki' 匂出来 Chikei: 地影 A clear grey short thin line along the surface grain appearing to be below the surface. Similar to kinsuji or inazuma. Inazuma: 稲妻 Literally, lightning. Perhaps best described as short jagged streaks of kinsuji. Kinsuji: 金筋 Whitish golden line in the hamon or yakiba. Sunagashi: 砂流し or 砂流 Literally, flowing sand. A pattern in the hamon.
Midareba: 乱刃 Irregular ha. Suguba: 直刃 Straight hamon. Notare: 湾れ or 灣れ Slowly undulating hamon line. Gonome: 互の目 is a hamon that has repeating semicircular mounds. Hope this helps. John
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Last edited by shin no sen on Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:53 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Oh, I forgot to mention that 新藤五国光 Shintogo Kunimitsu is a Sagami swordsmith of Nambokucho era and I am not sure of the nengo if north or south he used (if any) Hawley has 1375. According to Fujishiro this information is given,KUNIMITSU SHINTÔGO [SHÔWA 1312 SAGAMI] KOTÔ SAIJÔSAKU
He lived in Sagami Kamakura, is called Shintôgo Kunimitsu and Hasebe Kunimitsu, and his Bhuddist name was Kôshin. Learning his era from the nengo on his works, it was of a period of over 30 years, through Einin, Kagen, Enkyô, Shôwa, Bunpô, Gen'ô, Genkô, and Shôchû, and the center of that period can be considered as being Shôwa. In regard to it being said that his pupils also signed Kunimitsu, there probably were daimei in his latter years. In the Shôwa Hon (Book of the Shôwa era) he is said to be the son of Bizen Saburô Kunimune. In a story of the Edo period, he is made out to be the son of Awataguchi Kunitsuna when he was 88 years old, and as for the revision that he learned from Kunimune, there is no argument that he lived during the time of Kunitsuna, but making his suguba that of the Yamashiro Den seems to be a fabrication. Around the time of Einin, Shôwa and Genkô was a period that should be called the period of suguba, and is a style that can be seen in all of the swordsmiths. If Kunimitsu is praised as the first or second most famous smith as a maker of tantô, there is no difference in the suguba that was made, without regard as to whether it is the father or son. His works include few katana, and suguba is predominant in his musori (takenokozori) tantô. There are also a few midare ha with gonome mixed in.
John
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for the explanation. I think I have a little better idea.
shin no sen wrote:
Oh, I forgot to mention that 新藤五国光 Shintogo Kunimitsu is
A a Sagami swordsmith of Nambokucho era and I am not sure of the nengo if north or south he used (if any) Hawley has 1375.
BAccording to Fujishiro this information is given,KUNIMITSU SHINTÔGO [SHÔWA 1312 SAGAMI] KOTÔ SAIJÔSAKU ...Learning his era from the nengo on his works, it was of a period of over 30 years, through Einin, Kagen, Enkyô, Shôwa, Bunpô, Gen'ô, Genkô, and Shôchû, and the center of that period can be considered as being Shôwa.
How contradictory can you get? I think you had better come back to the Time class. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Laughing Yes, Fujishiro has late Kamakura and Hawley in Nambokucho as a peak year 1375. He lived quite awhile so was extant in both periods. I report the news as I receive it only. This is not uncommon in dealing with incomplete records. FWIW John
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Kunimitsu founded the Sagami school, his works span 1293 to 1326, and he was a master or predecessor of Masamune, who is described by Kojien as "late Kamakura" or (JA-Wiki) late Kamakura to early Nanboku. If any of these is true, how can Hawley describe Kunimitsu as Nanbokucho peaking around 1375? If there is a Einin sword of his, he must have been almost 90 in 1375. Does Hawley say that Kunimitsu did not found the Sagami school but rather is a successor of Masamune, or that Masamune is late Nanboku? Dates exist to be used. Even if records are incomplete, I would think one can conclude that Hawley is unreliable. (But at least your reference to different north and south Nanboku nengo shows you have gotten something out of the class. Very Happy )
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
The problem is two fold. Hawley is just a list with very little info, mostly from the Nihonto Meikan. I could reference that for additional info, but, it has little info usually as well. Fujishiro is more forthcoming with data and can be judged fairly reliable. Secondly there is a big debate over the years about Masamune and his swords as well. I give Fujishiro's data about Masamune as he sees it.

MASAMUNE GORÔ NYÛDÔ [KARYAKU 1326 SAGAMI] CHÛKOTÔ SAIJÔSAKU
He lived in Sôshû Kamakura, and is called Gorô Nyûdô. He is said to be a pupil of Shintôgo Kunimitsu and a son of Yukimitsu. In the linealogy chart of the Kanchiin Hon, it says he is a gohai of Kunihiro and Yukimitsu of the Kunimitsu School, and "Kunimitsu is the son of Bizen Saburo Kunimune", "Masamune has midare yaki in ô-tawa, Kunimune is in the Osafune Mon" and such. It is thought that the name of Masamune has some sort of relation to Kunimune, and because his works are rare, the people who had power from the time of around Bunmei used them, and he is said to be a famous smith with only mumei. At the time of Toyotakô (Toyotomi Hideyoshi), he was named along with Yoshimitsu and Yoshihiro as the three smiths of Nihon. When we reach the Edo period, he was viewed as the pre-eminent smith of Kokin (all times), but there was not a famous smith suitable for this, only mumei were plentiful, and were poor in reliability. For this reason the actual existing works which are genuine are hard to recognize, but if he is simply taken as a swordsmith of a collateral family of Sôshû, there are two or three swords which cannot be said to be forgeries. Viewed from these works, he did not surpass his teacher Kunimitsu, and even when compared to the rare midare ha of Kunimitsu and Kunihiro, he does not seem to have bettered them.
Among the works of Masamune, there are those that have been worn down by polishing but that are of superior workmanship (gyôbutsu) (Imperial household property), there are many which give a vague feeling of the mei of famous smiths, and there are many which have splendid mei kanji. The mei of Masamune is not the type of signature which imparts feelings, and the fact that there are said to be no genuine works is probably due to the same reason.

According to the fortieth issue of Tôken Bijutsu (Sword Art) it says, "During the time of Yoshimitsu, after a war, because he gave many kuni to each Daimyô, the land that the Shogun would give as rewards to people ran out, so he made Mikawa Nyûdô of Ubenomiya (The founder of Tôken Kantei) determine the values of swords, and depending on the superiority or inferiority of that person, he gave a sword as an award. At this time, the custom was that a mumei could not be used at a ceremony". However, since there is even a limit to famous swords which have a signature, the use of mumei was probably considered later.

In the Bunmei 15 Ôsho Nôami Hon it says, "Because Masamune became the most famous person (smith) in Nihon, he said "Nothing can be compared to my works", and seldom took the trouble to inscribe his signature", but the kantei of a swordsmith who has very few works is thin in reliability. This justifies the fact that there are many mumei of Masamune, so he is enshrined as a famous smith without equal, and there is a famous saying of "Three birds with one stone" which says that his kantei cannot be mistaken for any other, but this gives a feeling of dishonesty. As for the value at this time, the twelve smiths Masachika, Yoshimitsu nado were ichimanbiki (10, 000 hiki), and Masamune, Sadamune, Hiromitsu nado were half this value at gosenbiki (5000). [After Bunmei and from around Meiô and Eishô, the hitatsura ha can be seen throughout the land in the late Kotô, and this may have been influenced by the Nôami Hon.]
According to the Kyohô Meibutsu Hon (Kyohô Era (1716) Book of Famous Objects), Masamune has the greatest number with 39 pieces, Sadamune has 18 pieces, and Yoshimitsu 16 pieces, in that order. As for their value, Masamune is the highest, with 700, and is the number one person in Kokin (all times).
As for Masamune, there is a story that because his name is said to be Okazaki Gorô, he is a bushi with a lineage, and therefore his works are few. This name, which makes one recall Okazaki Saburô [TN: Tokugawa Nobuyasu], the eldest son of Ieyasu, and who was made to commit seppuku by Nobunaga, is probably a fabrication of a later time.
As for Sadamune being a pupil of Masamune, this is accurate, but in the Nôami Hon this is increased to six smiths, and in the Kotô Meijin Daizen it becomes twelve or thirteen. (Yamashiro) Rai Kunitsugu and Hasebe Kunishige, (Mino) Kaneuji and Kaneshige, Etchû) Yoshihiro and Norishige, (Iwami) Naotsuna, (Bizen) Kanemitsu and Nagayoshi, and (Chikuzen) Samonji are called the ten disciples. In addition, there are (Sôshû) Sadamune and Hiromitsu, and lastly, (Yamashiro) Nobukuni is also said to have been a pupil during Masamune's old age. Also, as for the pupils of Sadamune, there are (Bizen) Shigesada and Motoshige, and (Tanshû) Kunimitsu, and in addition to the above three disciples, there is (Sôshû) Akihiro. According to this, all of the smiths in the country come under the Masamune Mon. A style that is a common point related to the times is easily seen by everyone, or to put it another way, it is interesting, but this is a lineage that was constructed to embellish Masamune.

There are also ubu mumei of Masamune that have been handed down that have a kengyo nakago end, and it is said that this was handed down to Sadamune, but as for the ten disciples and the three disciples, this was not even passed on originally among the smiths of Sôshû, and even when viewed from the custom of passing on a character in which a name was assumed by taking one kanji of the teacher, (for example, the kanji for `Hiro' was handed down from Hiromitsu and Akihiro until the late Sôshû, and Shintôgo Kunimitsu - Kunihiro - Hiromitsu and Akihiro were the main line of Sôshû), Masamune and Sadamune were a collateral line of Shintôgo, and I think that they were smiths with very few works. John
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