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




CHOGI (Bizen Nagayoshi)

By Fred Weissberg 10/5/03

 

Chogi is considered to be the most representative of the swordsmiths of the Soden-Bizen group. He was one of the first smiths to break with traditional Bizen characteristics and was strongly influenced by the Soshu style of swordmaking. He is generally considered to have been one of the ten great students of Masamune. He worked in the heart of the 14th century and the earliest dated example of his work is dated in Shohei 15 or 1360. His latest dated work was done in Koryaku 2 or 1380.

Chogi was the son of Mitsunaga and is considered to be the younger brother of Bizen Nagashige. Some of his better known students were Kaneshige, Nagatsuna and Nagamori.

Traditionally the soft steel used by the Bizen smiths is said to be very difficult to work in Nie, however Chogi succeeded in this which tells us of his extraordinary skill as a smith.

SUGATA:

His Tachi are wide and have a O-kissaki. There is very little Sori and very little Hira-niku. The Shinogi is high and the Kasane is usually thick. He made Tanto of about 28 cm with a fairly wide Mihaba and shallow Sori. Blades made in the size of Ko-wakizashi (31 cm or longer) are never seen. He made Nagamaki but they have all been converted to a Nagamaki Naoshi shape.

 

JITETSU:

The steel tends to be soft and worked in a Itame-hada mixed with some Mokume-hada. The grain is tight and dense with Nie forming Chikei. On occasion there will be Utsuri but it is scarce.

 

HAMON:

The Hamon will be wide and gorgeous. He worked basically in Nioi Deki (Bizen style), but there is also the addition of profuse Nie. The Hamon will tend to be O-Midare mixed with Choji-Midare. Among the O-Midare will be ear shaped Gunome or Mimigata-Midare. This is one of the important characteristics when judging his works. Inside the Ha exist many Ashi and Yo. On certain works that have much Nie, the Nie within the Hamon will form Sunagashi and this will turn into Inazuma and Kinsuji. His workmanship is close to that of Hiromitsu and Akihiro, both great smiths of the Soshu tradition. The grain of the steel within the Hamon in the works of Chogi will stand out quite clearly.

BOSHI:

The Boshi on his Katana will be long and powerful, typical of Nanbokucho Era swords. His Boshi will be Midare-komi with a sharp turn-back which will return down the Mune (Kaeri).

 

NAKAGO:

The width of the Nakago does not taper towards the Nakago-Jiri which is made in Kurijiri. The file marks are generally Sujikai.

 

MEI:

When the Mei remains, which is occasionally on Katana, often on Tanto, and never on Naginata; it will be long generally saying BISHU OSAFUNE JU CHOGI. His chisel cuts for the Mei inscription always consist of relaxed, extended strokes. Many of his works are dated.

 

HORIMONO:

Bo Hi (single wide grooves) and Soe Hi (a second small Hi along side the Bo-Hi)) are found. Horimono are never found.

 

 

 

 

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





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