General: Made all types. Medium to shallow even sori, medium kissaki,
medium to thick mune
Hamon: Komidare, pointed patterns, gunome-choji
Boshi: Midare-komi, Jizo boshi
General: Begins around 1156-1159 (end of Kamakura period). Last of the five traditions. Three basic periods are discussed; Early Mino (Kaneuji and Kinju), Midterm Mino (Naoe Shizu School), and Later Mino (Sue-Seki).
Early Mino - From end of Kamakura to mid-Nambokucho. Kaneuji, student of Masamune, from Yamato province, so influence of Yamato. As Masamune Jitetsu, will see Soshu influence. Kinju, also known as Kaneshige, from Echizen province, also Soshu-den adherent. In general work is considered Yamato-den mixed with Soshu-den.
Hada: O-mokume mixed with masame with chikei and abundant ji-nie, clear and not
white colored yet.
Hamon: Nie deki, large nie, thick nioi, wide and narrow patterns, O-midare, O-gunome-midare, notare-midare, pointed midare seen somewhere.
Boshi: Midare-komi with hakkikake, ko-maru and short kaeri.
Midterm Mino - From mid-Nambokucho to early Muromachi. Kaneuji's follower's; Kaneyuki, later Kaneuji, Kanetoshi, Kanetsugu, Kanetomo, Kanehisa, Kanenobu. Suguta is grander (o-kissaki, wide mihaba).
Hada: More masame mixed in and looks whiter than before.
Hamon: Wide yakihaba, o-midare and o-gunome-midare in nie deki with nie kuzure, sunagashi, with pointed midare.
Boshi: Same as before but also see kaeri usually long
Later Mino - Begins with Muromachi. Kanesada, Kanemoto, Kanetsune. Two distinct katana suguta, one wider shinogi-ji than usual, the other has a wider mihaba narrower shinogi-ji, strong saki-zori typical for the time. Also see shobu-zukuri, yari, and naginata.
Hada: Not so good, hard, color is now black without bluish black. Ji is course
mokume with shinogi ji in masame.
Hamon: Sanbon Sugi, O-notare, yahazu-midare, hako-midare, gunome-choji, sometimes hitatsura, suguha with nioi deki.
Boshi: Pointed, midare-komi, Jizo, long kaeri,
General: Two periods; First Period and Second Period. First Period mihaba is wide, kissaki is elongated, but normal mihaba and kissaki are also present. Second Period, wide mihaba, shallow sori most common. Mune on tachi is iorimune, mune on tanto is mitsumune.
Hada: hint of masame mixed in with itame most common, hada it tight, nie
overall, tetsu is black
Hamon: Gunome and notare most common, nie abundant, those done in nioi will have nie have sungashi, hakkake and so forth.
Boshi: Midare-komi, hint of jizo, hint of togari, nie deki most common with hakkake
Hada: About the same, some pure masame, if done in nie tetsu is tight and
white, in loose it is black which is more plentiful.
Hamon: Midare with gunome and/or notare, sanbonsuji plentiful, suguha w/wo hotsure, tight nioi-guchi
Boshi: Midare, midare-komi, jizo boshi, suguha, hakkake
Yamanaka's Nihonto Newsletter:
General: No specific Mino section which is in the format of the other books. Instead, In Vol II, two issues were dedicated to discussing the specific characteristics of the key schools and smiths. The key smiths and schools are as follows: Kaneuji and his school, Naoe Shizu (Kaneuji's followers), Kaneshige (worked in Soshu and Mino traditions), Zenjo School (founded by Kaneyoshi who came from Yamato province) , Kanemoto School, Kanesada School (famous 2nd generation "No-sada"), Akasaka Senjuin (Yamato province, Senjuin School, founder is Kuninaga who moved to Mino province, Hachiya School (founded by Kanesada, different kanji than other "No-sada" group.
Hada: Steel grain will show up clearly, much uruoi, ko-mokume with o-hada mixed together, shinogi-ji will have masame, some muneyaki
Hamon: narrow, worked in nie, small designs of gunome-midare w/nie kuzure, rough nie, inazuma, sunagashi in small places, tagariba mixed in places, midare will be small,
Boshi: shallow in midare-komi ending in yakizume or slight kaeri, kaen is seen on some works.
- resembles 1st and 2nd Kaneuji work, with of hamon becomes wider
Hada: small pattern mokume with masame mixed in, masame hada seen in the shinogi-ji
Hamon: narrow and in nie with mura nie, gunome-midare, nie kuzure but lacking nie. Uniform gunome somewhere along the hamon, sunagashi of small pattern seen as well as inazume and kunsuji, some muneyaki
Boshi: gunome in midare-komi which becomes togari at the tip, some yakizume or ko-maru
Hada: Same as others, but appears white, very uniform masame in the ji
Hamon: narrow yakiba with nie, but nie is lacking, some suguha hotsure, yakiba becomes wider below the yokote, uniform gunome mixed in somewhere
Boshi: Ko-maru with little kaeri, some boshi are in Ichimonji style (whatever that is).
Hada: same as others but with lack of fused steel so hada has ware (openings)
Hamon: narrow yakiba done in nioi some nie in places, ko-midare with ko-gunome or ko-gunome tagari, sambonsuji
Boshi: midare-komi with deep kaeri
Hada: very fine grain mokume with masame, grain will stand out, shinogi-ji will have masame
Hamon: narrow in nioi, some nie, hoso-suguha or shu-suguha, edge of hamon will be very distinct, somewhere along the hamon there will be ko-midare about the size of a pea
Boshi: o-maru with kaeri yoru, some yakizume boshi
Hada: mokume with masame mixed in, individual grains will stand out, very hard looking steel, some blades made in Bizen style have weak steel
Hamon: made in nioi, o-midare, notare midare, hiro suguha, or o-notare with yaki kuzure
Boshi: notare, midare-komi, ko-maru.
Hachiya School (the other Kanesada):
Hada: same as Akasaka senjuin
Hamon: made in nioi with mura nie, o-midare, gunome-choji, notare-midare, yahazu midare, o-notare on on rare occasions hiro suguha and chu suguha, hamon is very distinct, with togari somewhere along the hamon, some koshi-ba, mune-yaki at time.
Boshi: midare-komi or ko-maru, kaeri very deep and stops abruptly
General: Nice overall work by Malcolm Cox cites various sources. More detailed on particular smiths.
Material compiled by Tony Thomas.
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