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Kyo Go Kaji & Mishina School

Published anonymously with the author’s permission.

京五鍜冶 & 三品一門



Kyo Go Kaji & Mishina School

Kyo Go Kaji 京五鍜冶 is short for Kyoto Go Kaji 京都五鍜冶 which means five swordsmiths of Kyoto.  The term was developed to describe a group of related smiths who worked prosperously in the Kyoto area during shinto times.  They made good quality works with similar characteristics and each had many students for generations.  Nagayama Kokan in 1990, Fukunaga Suiken in 1985, Tokunou Kazuo in 1977, Albert Yamanaka in 1971, and Yoshio Fujishiro in 1947, all listed the same smiths as Kyo Go Kaji.  They are Iga (no) Kami Kinmichi 伊賀守金道, Echigo (no) Kami Kinmichi 越後守金道, Tanba (no) Kami Yoshimichi 丹波守吉道, Etchu (no) Kami Masatoshi 越中守正俊 and Omi (no) Kami Hisamichi 近江守久道. These smiths all had Mishina 三品 as their last name.  The first four were sons of Seki Kanemichi 兼道 and Hisamichi was a student of Kanemichi's grandson.

 

However, a book titled Shinto Meiken 新刀名鑑, published in July 1767, lists the Kyoto Go Kaji as Iga (no) Kami Kinmichi 伊賀守金道, Oumi (no) Kami Hisamichi 近江守久道, Tanba (no) Kami Yoshimichi 丹波守吉道, Awataguchi Oumi (no) Kami Tadatsuna 粟田口近江守忠綱, and Shinano (no) Kami Nobuyoshi 信濃守信吉.  Nobuyoshi was considered a Mishina school smith, but Tadatsuna certainly was not.  He's said to be a decendant of Awataguchi Kunitsuna 粟田口國綱 who worked in Yamashiro tradition with Osaka shinto characteristics. Tadatsuna moved to Osaka in Settsu where he became famous.  Shodai Tadatsuna's works are very similar to that of the Shodai Kunisada 初代国貞.  It seems that, in later years, the term "Kyo Go Kaji" solely referred to the first five smiths who laid the foundation of the Mishina school.

 

Kanemichi is the founder of the Mishina school.  He called himself the ninth generation of Shizu Kaneuji 志津兼氏.  The Shizu Kaneuji school moved from Nao 直江 to Seki after a big flood around late Nambokucho and early Muromachi.  The workmanship since then has been a combination of Nao Shizu and Seki.  Kanemichi was active from mid-Muromachi to early Edo.  In February of 1593, Kanemichi moved from Seki in Mino to Seidonin 西洞院 in Kyoto with his four sons.  They are Iga (no) Kami Kinmichi, Echigo (no) Kami Kinmichi (also known as Rai Kinmichi), Tanba (no) Kami Yoshimichi and Etchu (no) Kami Masatoshi.  This is the beginning of the Mishina school.

 

The general characteristics of Mishina school works are strong powerful shape, ko-itame mixed with masame with masame in shinoji-ji, Kyo-yakidashi 京焼出し, very skillfully done picture-like hamon of sudare ba 簾刃 and kikusui ba 菊水刃 with pointed peaks in gunome midare, and Mishina boshi 三品帽子 which is shallow notare-sugu with pointed ko-maru and a medium turn-back.

 

There was another smith by the name of “Kanemichi” in the Seki area about the same name as Seki Kanemichi.  In 1603, the Emperor gave him the character "Dai" 大 to be used in his name. Thereafter, he used the mei of Dai Kanemichi 大道 or Dai Do 大道. The character "Do" is identical to "".  Only the pronunciations are different.  The former is Chinese and the latter is Japanese.  Some people believe that Dai Do and Seki Kanemichi are the same person.  This theory has yet to be proven.

There are not many katana done by Kanemichi.  He did mostly tanto and ko-wakizashi.  His work has the following characteristics:



Mei:  Kanemichi 兼道, Kanemichi Saku 兼道作, Noshu Seki ju Kanemichi 濃州関住兼道

Ji-tetsu: ko-itame with strong ji-nie or itame with masame that stands up

Hamon: nioi based gunome, the peaks of gunome tend to be rounded and suguha is also seen.

Yasurime: hawk feather on katana and higaki on tanto.

 

 

Iga no Kami Kinmichi 伊賀守金道

K1) Kinmichi, 1st generation, 1590, Yamashiro, wazamono, Kinmichi 金道, Iga (no) Kami Kinmichi 伊賀守金道, Iga (no) Kami Fujiwara Kinmichi 伊賀守藤原金道.  Seki Kanemichi's eldest son, Kinmichi, received the title of "Iga (no) Kami" on 2/19/1594 and worked for the emperor.  Before the war of Seki Ge Hara, Kinmichi made arrangements to have one thousand tachi made for Tokugawa Ieyasu's war preparation.  After Ieyasu won the war, it's only natural he would reward Kinmichi.  He received the title of "Nihon Kaji Sosho" from Ieyasu.  The title means, "master of Japanese swordsmiths".   It also gave Kinmichi the authority to register swordsmiths and give them titles.  He died on 12/11/1629, but his family retained this privilege for generations.

 

The sugata of his swords is very strong and powerful with wide width and elongated kissaki. Ji-tetsu is itame mixed with running itame and masame.  The ji-hada stands up with ji-nie and chikei.  Hamon styles are notare and gunome with pointed peaks, ko-notare gunome, and o-midare under Soshu influence with sunagashi and kinsugi.  Boshi types are midare, jizu, sugu and Mishina boshi.  Mishina Boshi is an very distinct "trade-mark" of this school.  The Kin character of his name can also be pronounced as Kane.  In order to distinquish from his father's name, he called himself Kinmichi instead.

 

K2) Kinmichi, 2nd generation, 1630, Yamashiro, wazamono, (Kiku) Iga (no) Kami Fujiwara Kinmichi & Nihon Kaji Sosho (菊紋) 伊賀守藤原金道 & 日本鍜冶惣匠.  Mishina Kambei is the first son of Shodai Kinmichi and the elder brother of Izu (no) Kami Fujiwara Kinmichi.  He received the title of Iga (no) Kami on 9/16/1637.  Starting with this generation, the title of "Nihon Kaji Sosho" was signed on the nakago.  His kiku mon is called windmill kiku.  He died on 10/21/1680.  Ji-testsu is Itame with masame in the shinoji-ji.  He made hamon in the styles of suguha, gunome, midare with lots of sunagashi and the boshi is Mishina boshi.

 

K3) Kinmichi, 3rd generation, 1680, Yamashiro, wazamono, (Kiku) Iga (no) Kami Fujiwara Kinmichi (菊紋) 伊賀守藤原金道.  Mishina Kambei received the "Iga (no) Kami" title at age 30, on 6/28/1684.  His mei included the statement of "Nihon Kanji Sosho". In his early work, this inscrption was exactly as the previous generations. However, in his later works, the character "Mune" was used in place of "So" in "Nihon Kaji Sosho".


K4) Kinmichi , 4th generation, received "Iga (no) Kami" in March, 1731.

 

K5) Kinmichi, 5th generation, received "Iga (no) Kami" in Oct., 1763. He also added two characters, Raijo 雷除, before his title.

 

K6) Kinmichi, 6th generation, received "Iga (no) Kami" in Oct., 1799

 

K7) Kinmichi, 7th generation, received "Iga (no) Kami" in Feb., 1825

 

K8) Kinmichi, 8th generation, received "Iga (no) Kami" in Dec., 1827

 

K9) Kinmichi, 9th generation, received "Iga (no) Kami" in Oct., 1835

 

K10) Kinmichi, 10th generation, 1850, Yamashiro, (Kiku) Raijo Iga (no) Kami Fujiwara Kinmichi (菊紋) 雷除 伊賀守藤原金道.  He's the nephew of the 8th generation Kinmichi, and received the "Iga (no) Kami" title on July 5th, 1844.  His works are mostly ko-itame hada (almost mu-ji) with suguha in nioi.

 

K1.1) Yoshikuni 義国, 1624, Yamashiro, Sanjo Horikawa ju Fujiwara Yoshikuni 三条堀川住藤原義国, Yamashiro Sanjo Horikawa Yoshikuni 山城三条堀川義国, Horikawa ju Yoshikuni 堀河住義国, Bungo (no) Kami Tachibana Yoshikuni 豊後守橘義国. Student of Mishina Kinmichi and Horikawa Dewa Daijo Kunimichi. Running itame with ji-nie, notare and gunome hamon with kinsugi, sunagashi and nie.

 

K2.1) Kinmichi 金道, 1673, Yamashiro, second son of shodai Kinmichi, younger brother of 2nd generation Kinmichi, Izu (no) Kami Fujiwara Kinmichi 伊豆守藤原金道.

 

K2.2) Iesada 家定, 2nd generation, student of nidai Kinmichi. Oshu Sendai ju Iesada saku奥州仙台住家定作, Oshu ju Iesada 奥州住家定.

 

K2.3) Katsusada 勝定, student of Iga (no) Kami Kinmichi, Oshu Sendai ju Fujiwara Katsusada 奥州仙台住三左衛門尉藤原勝定.

 

K2.4) Sadamichi 定道, 1673, Owari, Echizen (no) Kami Minamoto Sadamichi 越前守源定道, Mishina Echizen (no) Kami Minamoto Sadamichi 三品越前守源定道.  Originally came from Mino Seki, descendant of Kanenori 三阿弥兼則. Student of nidai Iga (no) Kami Kinmichi. Itame hada and masame in shinoji-ji, ko-nie gunome hamon with sugu-yakidashi, sugu-boshi with ko-maru.

 

K2.5) Sadamori定盛, 1681, Yamashiro, Oumi (no) Kami Minamoto Rai Sadamori 近江守源来定盛.  Ko-itame with masame in shinoji-ji.  Rounded peak gunome choji with ko-nie, sugu boshi.

 

K2.6) Masateru 正照, 1681, Musashi, Hojoji Echizen (no) Kami Tachibana Masateru 法城寺越前守橘正照, Echizen (no) Kami Hojoji Tachibana Masateru 越前守法城寺橘正照.  Student of Hojoji Masahiro 法城寺正弘 and nidai Kinmichi. Suguha and shallow notare with nie and deep nioi. Kiku mon was used.

 

K3.1) Takekuni 武国, 2nd generation, Chikugo.  Went to Kyoto in 1714 AD. and became a student of the 3rd generation Iga (no) Kami Kinmichi, later received the title of Echizen (no) Kami and 16 petal Kiku mon and changed his name to 清俢.

 

K3.2) Michitoki 道辰, 1st generation, 1711, Wakasa (no) Kami Fujiwara Michitoki 若狭守藤道辰, Wakasa (no) Kami Michitoki 若狭守道辰. Early name Nagahiro 長広.  Student of Nagamichi 長道 and the 3rd generation Kinmichi. Kiku mon was used on his works. Died on 10/7/1730.

 

K3.3) Kiyomasa 清方, 1764, Satsuma, (Kiku) Ise (no) Kami Fujiwara Kiyomasa Sashu ju (菊紋) 伊勢守藤原清方 薩州住, 薩州喜入住伊勢守藤原清方.  Student of Iga (no) Kami Kinmichi, itame mixed with running masame and sprinkled ji-nie. Suguha and notare hamon that have nie with ko-ashi, inazuma and sunagashi.

 

K6.1) Shigenao 繁直, 1804, Harima, Shigenao 繁直, Shigehiro 繁広, Banshu Shigehiro 播州光明山繁広, 加藤主水繁広. Brother of Tegarayama Masashige 手柄山正繁, adopted son of the sixth generation Kinmichi.  Also used the names of Shigehiro 繁広 and Masateru 正照.  Worked in similar fashion as his brother, o-gunome.

 

 

Echigo (no) Kami Kinmichi (also known as Rai Kinmichi) 来金道

RK1) Rai Kinmichi, 1st generation, 1590, Yamashiro, Echigo (no) Kami Fujiwara Kinmichi 越後守藤原金道, Fujiwara Rai Kinmichi 藤原来金道
*Izumi (no) Kami Rai Kinmichi
和泉守来金道

He respected and wanted to re-invigorate the Rai tradition, and therefore used the Rai character in his mei. The Toko Taikan states that this smith, contrary to the Mishina family record, did not use the mei of "Izumi no kami". A Modern Scholar of Nihonto, Mr. Han Bing Siong, found a genuine example bearing this mei and it is now accepted that he did use it. Please see below.



* Nihontocraft Addendum Thanks to fellow Nihonto students Lody and Hennie Duindam for bringing the following information to our attention. The late Mr. Han Bing Siong discovered an important yari by the Shodai Rai Kinmichi bearing the mei "Izumi No Kami Rai Kinmichi". Please see Han Bing Siong's book, "Japanese Swords in Dutch Collections" for the full details. It states in this book that Kanzan Sato explained in one of his lectures..." The main reason we do not see many blades made by the shodai Kinmichi with his title of "Izumi no Kami" is, that he died in December of Keicho 5th year (1600), after receiving the title in December of Bunroku 4th year (1595) Han Bing Siong's outstanding discovery was praised by Tokuno Kazuo, John Yumoto and his article concerning it was published in Token Bijutsu as well as Token to Rekishi.

 


RK2) Rai Kinmichi, 2nd generation, 1620, Yamashiro, wazamono, Izumi (no) Kami Rai Kinmichi 和泉守来金道, Fujiwara Rai Kinmichi 藤原来金道, Daihoshi Hokyo Rai Kinmichi 大法師法橋来金道, Daihoshi Hokyo Rai Eisen 大法師法橋来栄泉.  On 5/6/1616, he received the title of "Izumi (no) Kami".  Used kiku mon and eda kiku mon which is a kiku flower with branches, together with his mei on nakago.  Produced gunome hamon.

 

RK3) Rai Kinmichi, 3rd generation, 1660, Yamashiro, wazamono, (Kiku) Izumi (no) Kami Rai Kinmichi (菊紋) 和泉守来金道, (Kiku) Izumi (no) Kami Fujiwara Rai Kinmichi (菊紋) 和泉守藤原来金道.  Active between 1648 and 1680.  Made suguha and gunome with ko-midare and tobi-yaki.

 

RK4) Rai Kinmichi, 4th generation, 1710, Yamashiro, (Kiku) Izumi (no) Kami Rai Kinmichi (菊紋) 和泉守来金道.  Second son of the 3rd Rai Kinmichi, received the title of "Izumi (no) Kami" on 11/5/1692.  He took over the responsibilities of taking care of Iga (no) Kami Kinmichi family's business in 1722 when the 3rd generation Kinmichi was ill.  He separated from Iga (no) Kami in 1723, moved to a house given to him by the emperor.

 

RK5) Rai Kinmichi, 5th generation, Izumi (no) Kami Minamoto Rai Kinmichi (菊紋) 和泉守源来金道.  This is the last generation of Rai Kinmichi.

 

RK2.2) Norimichi 法道, 1624, Yamashiro, Joshu ju Rai Norimichi Saku 城州住来法道作. Student of Izumi (no) Kami Rai Kinmichi. Ko-itame with ji-nie and gunome midare hamon.

 

RK2.3) Masahiro 正広, 1655, Satsuma, Sashu ju Masahiro 薩州住正広, Kawachi (no) Kami Fujiwara Yukihiro 河内守藤原行広. Student of Izu (no) Kami Masafusa 伊豆守正房and Izumi (no) Kami Kinmichi. After received the title of Kawachi (no) Kami, he changed his name to Yukihiro.

 

 

Tanba (no) Kami Yoshimichi (Kyoto) 丹波守吉道 京都

KT1) Yoshimichi, 1st generation, 1590, Yamashiro, ryo-wazamono, Tanba (no) Kami Yoshimichi 丹波守吉道, Tanba (no) Kami Fujiwara Yoshimichi (菊紋) 丹波守藤原吉道.  He's the third son of Seki Kanemichi who originally came from Noshu Seki.  He moved to Seidonin in Kyoto with his farther and brothers in February of 1593.  He received the "Tanba (no) Kami" title on 12/7/1595.  He was still making swords in 1637.  This family received the "Tanba (no) Kami" title and stayed in Kyoto for many generations, and are therefore known as Kyo-Tanba 京丹波.

 

Yoshimichi made many wakizashi and tanto but, not many katana.  The sugata of his works is wide with elongated kissaki.  His hira-zukuri ko-wakizashi tends to have strong saki-sori. Jihada is itame mixed with masame and ji-nie, with masame in the shinoji-ji. Hamon patterns are gunome, notare-midare, o-midare under Sosho influence.  Yaki-dashi is sugu and narrow, becaming big patterns when hamon moves up.  Lots of sunagashi in the hamonand it is sprinkled with nie.  In his later years, he developed the famous sudare-ba hamon, bamboo blinds, which became the trademark of Kyo-Tanba.  His boshi is also typical family style, Mishina Boshi.

 

He signed the Tan character of his title like the sails of a sailboat.  People referred him as Hokake (sail) Tanba 帆掛丹波.

 

KT2) Yoshimichi, 2nd generation, 1640, Yamashiro, Tanba (no) Kami Yoshimichi 丹波守吉道, (Kiku) Tanba (no) Kami Yoshimichi (菊紋) 丹波守吉道.  He was the first son of the 1st generation Yoshimichi.  Received his title and kiku mon in 1639.  Was active between 1641 and 1655.  He's the one responsible for developing the kikusui hamon which is a variation of sudare ba.  He also used Mishina Boshi.

 

KT3) Yoshimichi, 3rd generation, 1661, Yamashiro, (Kiku) Tanba (no) Kami Yoshimichi (菊紋) 丹波守吉道.  Received his title in 1662, lived a short life, and made very few swords.

 

KT4) Yoshimichi, 4th generation, 1684, Yamashiro, wazamono, (Kiku) Tanba (no) Kami Yoshimichi (菊紋) 丹波守吉道, Zen Tanba (no) Kami Nyudo Munetetsu.  Received his title in 1672 and was active between 1673 and 1702. He did mostly in sudare ba and kikusui ba.

 

KT5) Yoshimichi, 5th generation, 1711, Yamashiro, (Kiku) Tanba (no) Kami Yoshimichi (菊紋) 丹波守吉道.  Received his title in 1711 and was active between 1716 and 1740.

 

KT6) Yoshimichi, 6th generation, 1751, Yamashiro, (Kiku) Tanba (no) Kami Yoshimichi (菊紋) 丹波守吉道.  Received his title in 1753.  Made a sword for the Emperor and died in 1789.

 

KT7) Yoshimichi, 7th generation, 1789, Yamashiro, ryo-wazamono, (Kiku) Tanba (no) Kami Yoshimichi (菊紋) 丹波守吉道, Tanba (no) Kami Yoshimichi 丹波守吉道.  He went to study under Hamabe Toshinori 浜部寿格.  Toshinori worked in Bizen style with tight itame and almost muji hada and fist-like choji and kiku flower choji with sugu-yakidashi. Yoshimichi's early name was Yoshinori 吉格.  He moved to Edo with his teacher in 1788.  He changed his name to Yoshimichi in 1789 and received his title in Oct., 1802.  He died the following year at age 36.  His works are in the tradition of his teacher's which is Hamabe style nioi based choji-midare.

 

KT7.1) Yoshimasa 吉正, student of the 7th generation Yoshimichi, 1804, a retainer of Okasaki 岡崎 in the Mikawa 三河 area, his early name was Kiyoyoshi 清吉. 

 

 

Etchu (no) Kami Masatoshi 越中守正俊

M1) Masatoshi, 1st generation, 1596, Yamashiro, wazamono, Etchu (no) Kami Masatoshi 越中守正俊.  He's the fourth son of Seki Kanemichi.  Received his title on 9/12/1597.  He was active between 1600 and 1629.  Made mostly hira-zukuri ko-wakizashi and tanto, not many katana.  Whitish jitetsu with strong ji-nie is mainly itame and running itame which stands up with a feeling of hardness.  Hamon styles are notare-gunome, box shape midare, o-gunome, gunome-choji with nie, deep nioi, sunagashi, kinsugi, tobiyaki and very much in the Shizu style.  His Mishina boshi is mostly sugu.  He is considered the best Mishina smith.  He is skillful with all five Koto schools' characteristics and could reproduce them very well.  His works also have the most activities in the hamon among all Mishina smiths.

 

M2) Masatoshi, 2nd generation, 1644, Yamashiro, (Kiku) Etchu (no) Kami Masatoshi  (菊紋) 越中守正俊. He was active between 1645 and 1678.  His kiku mon has 16 wind-mill like petals.

 

M3) Masatoshi, 3rd generation, 1684, Yamashiro, (Kiku) Etchu (no) Kami Masatoshi (菊紋) 越中守正俊.

 

M4) Masatoshi, 4th generation, 1736, Etchu (no) Kami Masatoshi (菊紋) 越中守正俊.  He lived with the Iga (no) Kami Kinmichi family and used the eda kiku mon in his mei.

 

 

Tanba (no) Kami Yoshimichi (Osaka) 丹波守吉道 大坂

OT1) Yoshimichi, 1st generation, 1644, Settsu, (Kiku) Tanba (no) Kami Yoshimichi     (菊紋) 丹波守吉道.  He's the second son of the first generation Kyo-Tanba and was born in 1598.  Received his title around 1644 -1647 and moved to Osaka.  His work is very similar to the styles of the shodai and nidai Kyo-Tanba in sudare ba and kikusui ba.

 

OT2) Yoshimichi, 2nd generation, 1661, Settsu, Tanba (no) Kami Yoshimichi 丹波守吉道, Mishina Tanba (no) Kami Yoshimichi 三品丹波守吉道.  Worked in sudare ba and kikusui ba with good nie in o-gunome midare hamon.

 

OT3) Yoshimichi, 3rd generation, 1688, Settsu, wazamono, Tanba (no) Kami Yoshimichi 丹波守吉道.  Son of the nidai Yoshimichi, his hamon styles are gunome, kikusui and Fujimi saigyo. These were all very skillfully done.   Sugu-yakidashi is also one of his trademarks.

 

OT1.1) Yoshimitsu, 1661, Settsu, Sesshu ju Yoshimitsu 摂州住吉光. Student of Osaka shodai Tanba (no) Kami Yoshimichi. Jihada is ko-itame with masame in shinoji-ji and o-notare hamon with ko-nie.

 

OT2.1) Yoshishige, 1661, Settsu, Sesshu Osaka ju Yoshishige 摂州大坂住吉重. Student of nidai Osaka Tanba (no) Kami Yoshimichi. Ko-itame and o-gunome. This is the early mei of Sagami no Kami Kunitsuna. 相模守国維.

 

OT2.2) Kunimasu, 1673, Tosa, Toshu ju Kunimasu Saku 土州住国益作.  Student of Osaka nidai Tanba (no) Kami Yoshimichi. ko-itame with ji-nie, masame in shinoji-ji, notare hamon with choji-ashi, ko-nie and deep nioi-guchi, very similar to his teacher's style.

 

 

Tango (no) Kami Kanemichi 丹後守兼道

1) Kanemichi, 1st generation, 1648, Settsu, ryo-wazamono, (Kiku) & Ichi Tango (no) Kami Naomichi (菊紋) 丹後守直道,  Tango (no) Kami Kanemichi 丹後守兼道,  Tango (no) Kami Fujiwara Kanemichi 丹後守藤原兼道,  Mishina Tango (no) Kami Kanemichi 三品丹後守兼道,  Mishina Tango (no) Kami Fujiwara Kanemichi 三品丹後守藤原兼道,  Mishina Tango (no) Kami Naomichi 三品丹後守直道,  Tango (no) Kami Fujiwara Rai Naomichi Saku 丹後守藤原来直道作.  He's the third son of the first generation Kyo-Tanba. He was born in 1602.  He died in 1672 at age 70.  His early name was Naomichi.  He received his title in 1625 and moved to Osaka.  Ji-hada is ko-itame with ko-nie and chikei.  Hamon styles are o-gunome choji and sudare ba with nie and deep nioi. There is also Kyo-yakidashi in his hamon and he's good at making suguha.  He was one of the best Mishina smiths in Osaka.

 

2) Kanemichi, 2nd generation, 1688, Settsu, wazamono, Tango (no) Kami Kanemichi 丹後守兼道, Tango (no) Kami Fujiwara Kanemichi 丹後守藤原兼道.  Son of the shodai, worked in the Edo area with hamon of gunome choji, ashi and nie in kikusui ba and sudare ba. He also used the Osaka style sugu-yakidashi.

 

3) Naomichi, 3rd generation, 1716, Settsu, Settsu ju Naomichi 摂州住直道, Oite Banshu Mishina Tango (no) Kami Fujiwara Naomichi 於播州 三品 丹後守藤原直道. Son of the nidai Tango (no) Kami Kanemichi, early name Naotsugu 直次. Lived in Osaka of Setsu and moved to Banshu. Worked in similar styles as his father.

 

3.1) Kanemichi, 3rd generation, 1711, Settsu, Tango (no) Kami Kanemichi 丹後守兼道.  He's the adopted son of the nidai. Fujishiro listed him as Mishina Tajima (no) Kami Minamoto Kanemitsu and died in 1732.

 

4) Kanemichi, 4th generation, 1751, Mishina Tango (no) Kami Fujiwara Kanemichi 三品 丹後守藤原兼道.

 

5) Kanemichi, 5th generation, 1801, Tango (no) Kami Mishina Sahyoenosuke Kanemichi 丹後守五世三品左兵衛門介源兼道.

 

6) Naomichi, 6th generation, 1789, Settsu, Tango (no) Kami Mishina Fujiwara Naonori Saku 丹後守 三品 藤原直格, Raijo Mishina Minamoto Naomichi 雷除 三品 源直道. Student of Hamabe Toshinori 浜部寿格, early name Naonori 直格. Ko-itame with ji-nie, chu-suguha and o-gunome midare with nie and deep nioi.

 

7) Naoyoshi 直吉, 1818-1865,  Mikawa, Son of the 6th generation Mishina Naomichi was born in Owari. Also used the name of Naoyoshi, 直義. Student of Hamabe Toshizane 寿実 and Taikei Naotane 大慶直胤. Early works are Hamabe style kiku-choji midare and later ones are gunome midare with nie.

 

8) Munetsugu, 1748, Settsu, Mishina Tajima (no) Kami Fujiwara Munetsugu 三品 但馬守 藤原宗次.  Student of Mishina Kanemichi. His hada was mainly Ayasugi.

 

9) Naokatsu 直勝, 1789, Kozuke, a retainer of Isesaki 伊勢崎, student of Mishina Naomichi. Ko-itame hada with hamon in suguha and o-gunome midare with ko-nie.

 

 

Yamato (no) Kami Yoshimichi 大和守吉道

YY1) Yoshimichi, 1st generation, 1661, Settsu, wazamono, Yamato (no) Kami Yoshimichi 大和守吉道.  Second son of Osaka shodai Tanba, he was active between 1652 and 1675. The sugata of his work is wide, thick and heavy.  Hada is ko-mokume and ko-jinie. Hamon is nioi based choji with ko-nie. He also used sugu-yakidashi.

 

YY2) Yoshimichi, 2nd generation, 1673, Harima, wazamono, Yamato (no) Kami Yoshimichi 大和守吉道.  Worked in the style of the shodai in choji and saka-choji hamon.

 

YY3) Yoshimichi, 3rd generation, early mei was Yukimichi 幸道, Yamato (no) Kami Yoshimichi 大和守吉道.

 

YY1.1) Yoshinari, 1652, Settsu, Harima (no) Kami Tachibana Yoshinari 播磨守橘吉成, Harima (no) Kami Tachibana Yoshinari Nyudo 播磨守橘吉成入道. Student of shodai Yamato (no) Kami Yoshimichi. Ko-itame with ji-nie, o-gunome midare and suguha with ko-nie and sunagashi.

 

YY1.2) Kunifusa, 2nd generation, 1661, Chikugo Daijo Fujiwara Kunifusa 筑後守藤原国房, Chikugo (no) Kami Kunifusa 筑後守国房.  Student of Yamato (no) Kami Yoshimichi, died in December 1734, had an early name of Kunimori 国林.  Hada is mainly itame mixed with mokume. Hamon is gunome with ko-nie and boshi is sugu with ko-maru.

 

YY1.3) Yoshikuni 吉国, 1661, Tosa, Setsu ju Yoshikuni 摂津住吉国, Kozuke (no) Kami Yoshikuni 上野守吉国, Kozuke Daijo Yoshikuni 上野大掾吉国. Student of shodai Yamato (no) Kami Yoshimichi. Worked in the similar styles as his teacher, itame with masame hada, sugu-yakidashi, gunome midare and sudare ba hamon.

 

YY1.4) Yoshiyuki, 1661, Tosa, Mutsu (no) Kami Yoshiyuki 陸奥守吉行, Yoshiyuki 吉行. Younger brother of Yoshikuni, student of shodai Yamato (no) Kami Yoshimichi. Hamon is mainly gunome with long choji-ashi.

 

YY1.5) Yoshinobu 吉信, 1673, Kozuke Zenhashi Minamoto Yoshinobu 上州前橋源吉信, student of shodai Yamato (no) Kami Yoshimichi. Early name Yoshishige 吉重. Gunome midare with sugu-yakidashi, nie and deep nioi.

 

 

Omi (no) Kami Hisamichi 近江守久道

H1) Hisamichi, 1st generation, 1673, Yamashiro, ryo-wazamono, (Kiku) Omi Daijo Minamoto Hisamichi (菊紋) 近江大掾源久道, Omi (no) Kami Minamoto Hisamichi 近江守源久道, Omi (no) Kami Hisamichi 近江守久道.  He was born in 1626, a student of Kyoto nidai Iga (no) Kami Kinmichi.  He was given the Mishina last name and Hisamichi by his teacher.  He often used eda kiku mon with his name.  He died in 1711 at the age of 85.  He was active between 1665 and 1703.  He followed his teacher's work styles.  Hamon are gunome midare with box-like patterns, suguba, and toranba with tobi-yaki were also made. Made quite a few swords with his son Hisatsugu, nidai Hisamichi.

 

H2) Hisamichi, 2nd generation, 1711, Yamashiro, wazamono, (Eda Kiku) Omi (no) Kami Minamoto Hisamichi (枝菊紋) 近江守源久道.  Mishina Kinshiro, he was born in 1663, the third son of the nidai Rai Kinmichi.  Adopted by Hisamichi and was using the name of Hisatsugu.  Received his title on 12/7/1702.  Was ordered by the Shogun to move to Edo in 1722.  He was active between 1689 and 1715. Work styles are similar to that of the first generation.  Gunome-choji hamon with long ashi, kinsugi, nie, deep nioi and Mishina Boshi.

 

H3) Hisamichi, 3rd generation, 1744, Yamashiro, (Eda Kiku) Omi (no) Kami Minamoto Hisamichi (枝菊紋) 近江守源久道, Omi (no) Kami Hisamichi 近江守久道. Son of the nidai, Hisamichi was born in 1699.  The Shogun asked him to go to Edo in the spring of 1739 to make copies of two famous tachi.  One was Wakasa Masamune 若狹正宗and the other was a Yamato Tegai Kanenaga 児手柏包永.  He went back to Kyoto in July of the same year when he finished the work.  He was still making swords around 1760.

 

H4) Hisamichi, 1789, Mishina Omi (no) Kami Hisamichi 三品近江守久道.  Son of the daughter of the 3rd generation Hisamichi.

 

H1.1) Toshishige, 1st generation, 1673, Yamashiro, Musashi Daijo Minamoto Toshishige 武蔵大掾源利重, Musashi (no) Kami Minamoto Toshishige 武蔵守源利重. Student of the shodai Hisamichi lived in Seidonin of Kyoto.

 

H1.2) Toshishige 利重, 2nd generation, son of the 1st generation Toshishige and a student of the nidai Hisamichi.

 

H2.1) Hisakuni, 1716, Tosa, Kozuke (no) Kami Hisakuni 上野守久国, Tosa ju Kozuke Daijo Fujiwara Hisakuni土佐住上野大掾藤原久国. Adopted son of Kozuke Daijo Kunimasu 国益 and a student of the nidai Hisamichi and died in 1741. Works are in similar styles as his teacher.

 

 

Takai Nobuyoshi 高井信吉

1) Nobuyoshi, 1st generation, 1644, Yamashiro, wazamono, (Kiku) Yamashiro (no) Kuni Fujiwara Nobuyoshi (菊紋) 山城国藤原信吉, Shinano (no) Kami Minamoto Nobuyoshi 信濃守源信吉.  Takai is the family name. Nobuyoshi was considered a Mishina school smith active between 1644 and 1672.  He made swords with Yamashiro influence and did some works with his brother, Rai Nobuyoshi.  Swords signed with both names exist.  There is an example of those in Tokotaikan page 490.  He worked in suguha and gunome with nie deep nioi.

 

2) Nobuyoshi, 2nd generation, 1673, Yamashiro, (Kiku) Yamashiro (no) Kami Fujiwara Nobuyoshi (菊紋) 山城国藤原信吉.  Son of the first generation, he was active between 1673 and 1703 in the Kyoto area.

 

3) Nobuyoshi, 1661, Settsu, o-wazamono, (Kiku) Takai Echizen (no) Kami Minamoto Rai Nobuyoshi (菊紋) 高井越前守源来信吉, Echizen (no) Kami Minamoto Rai Nobuyoshi 越前守源来信吉, Nyudo Minamoto Rai Nobuyoshi 入道 源来信吉.  He is the 2nd brother of the first generation Nobuyoshi moved to Osaka from Kyoto.  His priest name was Tomonobu.  His suguha is very similar to that of Shinkai.  His early (Kiku) was cut to the nakago and later ones, after 1673, were engraved.  The Ichi character was also used with (Kiku) after 1688.  He was considered the best in the family active between 1655 and 1703.

 

4) Nobuyoshi, 1661, Settsu, Takai Awa (no) Kami Fujiwara Nobuyoshi 高井 阿波守藤原信吉.  This is the youngest brother of the first generation Nobuyoshi.

 

5) Nobuyoshi, 1688, Settsu, Sagami (no) Kami Nobuyoshi 相模守信吉.  Son of the 4) Nobuyoshi was active around 1680 in the Osaka area.

 

Several other famous Shinto smiths were also students of the Mishina school.  They had developed their own characteristics after they completed the study with their masters.  Dewa Daijo Fujiwara Kunimichi 出羽大掾藤原國路 was a student of Iga (no) Kami Kinmichi.  He's also the most accomplished student of Horikawa Kunihiro 堀川国広 and considered a Horikawa smith.   His works are in Soshu and Shinto traditions and he is rated Jojo saku.

 

Yamashiro Daijo Kunikane 山城大掾国包, also known as Sendai Kunikane 仙台国包, was ordered by lord Ida Masamune 伊達政宗 to study under Etchu (no) Kami Masatoshi at Kyoto from 1614 to 1619.  Seven years after that, in 1626, he received his title.  His work is mostly Yamato Hosho style with masame hada and nie-deki suguha.  He is rated Saijo saku.

 

Another example is Tsutsui Etchu (no) Kami Kanekuni 筒井越中守包国.  He's the sixth generation Yamato Tekai Kanekuni 手搔包国, brother of Nanki Shigekuni and father of Tsutsui Kiju 筒井紀充.  He moved to Osaka to study under shodai Osaka Tanba (no) Kami Yoshimichi.  He made beautiful toran ba with lots of nie and sunagashi.  In his later years, the son, Tsutsui Kiju, did dai-saku for him.

 

It started with the father and his four sons four hundred years ago.  Because of their talent and hard work, they made not only their names immortal in the history of Nihonto, but also a lot of breath-taking works for Nihonto collectors to enjoy all over the world.

 

 

References:

1. Tokotaikan, 刀工大鑑, Tokunou Kazuo

2. Nihonto Kantei Hitsukei, 日本刀鑑定必携, Fukunaga Suiken

3. Token Kantei Dokuhon, 刀剣鑑定読本, Nagayama Kokan

4. Nihonto Newsletter, Albert Yamanaka

5. Nihonto Jiten, 日本刀銘辞典, Fujishiro Yoshio

6. Shinto Taikan, 新刀大鑑, Iimura Yoshiaki