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


 

SOSHU HIROMITSU

By Fred Weissberg 9/5/04

 

Hiromitsu, according to the old authorized books, Kodensho and Kokon Mei-zukashi, is unanimously considered a student of Masamune. Most of his extant examples carry the dates of Bunna (1352-1355), Enbun (1356-1360), Koan (1361) and Joji (1362-1367), but the earliest date goes back to the first year of Kanno (1350). The mei inscriptions on the works in the Kanno days are all nagamei or long mei inscriptions. In terms of the order of Masamune's disciples, Hiromitsu is surmised to have come next in line after Sadamune.

There are a couple of examples of ni-ji mei (two character signature) which seem to be of earlier and superior workmanship to the later naga-mei examples. This has led to the current theory that there were, in fact, two generations of smiths by this name with the first generation being the direct student of Masamune and the second as having worked closely with Sadamune. As with most theories of this sort, all of the facts are not, as yet, in and further research and debate are required.

Most of Hiromitsu's remaining works are ko-wakizashi (or sunnobi tanto). There are a few tanto and almost no surviving singed example of his tachi. One very important tachi with an exceedingly rare signature of Hiromitsu was recently discovered in the states and was exhibited in Japan to a great deal of fanfare.

Sugata: As noted most of the surviving examples are ko-wakizashi which are of a wide mihaba. They are done in hira-zukuri style with a mitsu-mune. The sori will be very slight. Tachi will be in the style of the Yoshino Period with shallow sori, wide mihaba, and very little, if any, hira-niku. The kissaki will be long giving the tachi a very strong and sturdy appearance.

Jitetsu: The steel surface texture is itame (usually large) mixed with O-mokume. There will be chikei as well as a rough and course configuration of Ji-nie. Most of his works (especially the tanto and wakizashi) will be done in Hitatsura.

Hamon: The hamon is basically choji mixed with gunome but, as noted, ashi, yo, tobiyaki, and outstanding muneyaki will combine to form the classic Hitatsura style of temper. The hamon will contain strong nie grains forming kinsuji and sunagashi. Hiromitsu and Akihiro are considered to be the creators of the Hitatsura temper pattern.

Boshi: The boshi will be irregular (Midare-komi) with a long kareri. While they usually tend to be nie-kuzure, occasionally they will approach ichimai in shape.

Horimono: Hiromitsu was excellent at carving horimono. Most of his extant works have it in one form or another. Horimono will be mostly Hi or one sort or another, i.e., Bo-hi, Bo-hi with Soe-hi, Futatsu-Hi, etc. There will also be various types of Ken carvings and or Bonji.

Nakago: Surviving nakago are made short in the Tanagobara style with the tip in Kengyo. The file marks will be kiri. His long signature will read: Sagami (no) Kuni Junin Hiromitsu.

 

 



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





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