{INTRODUCTION} {MAJOR KOTO SCHOOLS} {DIAGRAMS AND TERMINOLOGY} {GLOSSARY}{ARTICLES}




BUNGO TAKADA SCHOOL




The Bungo province in Kyushu produced such excellent swordsmiths as Yukihira in the Koto times. The Bungo Takada school was founded by Tomoyuki in the Nanbokucho period. Tomoyuki is considered to have been a superior swordsmith. With the passage of time it is generaly felt that the qualty and style declined and by the Muromachi period all of the works were pretty much the same. Members of this school are also known as Fuijwara Takada because they used Fujiwara as a family name in their signatures.

There are different schools of thought on the quality of Bungo works made in the Shinto period. An immediate response from many "sword experts" when Bungo works are mentioned is that they are not swords of great quality. Others feel that they are good swords. Perhaps a foundation of this difference of opinion is that if you look at the structure of Bungo Takada swords, you will see that they were made to satisfy practical rather than artistic needs. Indeed, at times they were sought out becuase of their cutting ability and sturdiness.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS


SUGATA
:(Shape)
The sori is shallow, the kasane is thick, and the boshi is a relatively small chu-kissaki. They also tend to taper towards the kissaki. Katana and wakizashi are abundant and tanto are few.

JITETSU:(Steel)
Usually a very tight and coarse mokume hada.

HAMON:(Temper)
Suguba, ko-midare, gunome-midare, and o-notare are the most common. Generally the structure is nioi deki with nie seen sparingly. Occasionally, there are some that have a little hitatsura. When they are nie deki, the habuchi is tight and they have clustered nie. One even finds gunome-midare mixed with stiff and awkward midare (togari-ba) resembling the san-bon sugi of the Mino tradition. To further confuse things, they can also be found in chu-suguba in which the habuchi has fine nie, a quiet nioi, and ko-ashi resembling works by Hizen Tadayoshi.

BOSHI:(Point)
Maru with a kaeri is the most common, but occasionally there is one with a hint of hakkake, and there are some that are nie kuzare (abundant nie forming an indistinct boshi).

HORIMONO:(Carving)
Rarely seen and when it does exist, it is usually not of the best quality.

NAKAGO:(Tang)
They tend to be narrow and long. They are kaku mune (square back edge). The jiri (tip) tends to be ha-agari with a tendancy toward kengyo. The yasurime (filemarks) are usually katte sagari (slanting slightly down from left to right), but can be yoko (straight across).

MEI:(Signature)
Shinto Bungo works typically use the family name, Fugiwara, in the signature. Additionally one of the most common characters used in the smith's name is Yuki (i.e. Yukinaga, Yukihira, Tadayuki, etc.).


{INTRODUCTION} {MAJOR KOTO SCHOOLS} {DIAGRAMS AND TERMINOLOGY} {GLOSSARY}{ARTICLES}





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