BIZEN OMIYA MORIKAGE
By Fred Weissberg 09/06
The founder of the Bizen Omiya School is generally thought to have been Kunimori He was active around the Buno era or 1260 during the Kamakura period. One theory says that he came from the Omiya district of the Yamashiro Province, thus giving this school its name. Another theory says that he went to the Omiya district of Bizen, hence the name Omiya School. Whatever the reason, works by the Kamakura smiths of this school are non-existant so the swords we today attribute to the Omiya school date from the Nanbokucho era. Because they were made of exceptional length, most are mumei, osuriage today.
Morikage is said to have been the son of Omiya Moritsugu. He worked around the Enbun era or 1356. In the Meikan, Morikage's line is precisely recorded: the one who worked from Enbun through Eiwa is considered to be the shodai. The one who worked from Eitoku through Koo is said to be the nidai. Finally the one who worked from Meitoku through Oei is referred to as the sandai. Since there are only 33 years in total encompassed between Enbun and Oei and because the signature inscriptions throughout all these years are more or less uniform, a strong case for just one generation can be made.
The works of Morikage of the Omiya branch were largely similar to that of Kanemitsu of the main line. Upon close comparison, however, one notices differences in overall quality, fineness of the jihada, prominence of the utsuri, etc. This closely parallels the relationship and differences in the works of Kagemitsu of the main line and Chikakage of the branch line of Bizen Den during the Kamakura era.
Morikage left us many fine works including undated tachi probably from the Joji era 1362-1368 which has been designated to be a Juy`o Bunkazai. Another tachi dated Oan hachi-nen go-gatsu hi or 1375 has been designated a Juyo Bijitsuhin.
Sugata: Blades by Morikage have a sugata which is typical of the Nanbokucho period. They are long, wide and thick with iroi-mune and the shinogi-haba is narrow. Some have slightly extended kissaki and others have an o-kissaki. The sori will be koshi-zori and they will have a very powerful feeling.
Jitetsu: The kitae is itame mixed with mokume will be relatively tight but there will be areas of o-hada here and there. There is ample ji-nie that will cover the itame and form areas of small tobiyaki. There will be an overall coarse feel to the ji-hada when compared to the works of the Kanemitsu. Midare utsuri , if present, will be somewhat faint and difficult to detect.
Hamon: The hamon will be nioi based, as is the case with Bizen works, but ji-nie will be present The hamon will usually be mainly ko-notare mixed with gunome and a small amount of ko-choji-gokoro containing ashi, yo, and sunagashi in the ko-nie structure. Another point about his hamon is that squarish gunome are much more outstanding and they are presented is such a manner as the place the atama (tops) on the same straight line.
Boshi: A majority of his works will have a bboshi that is boldly formed with a long kaeri combining notare-komi and a pointed tip. Occasionally, hakikake boshi will be found.
Nakago:The chiseling style of this smith differs from that of the Osafune mainline smiths' in that the horizontal strokes start from the opposite end. This technique is called saka-tagane. This style of chiseling is also found in the works of Chikakage and Yoshikage who worked in the beginning and middle of the Nanbokucho Era. This would tend to indicate the possibility that they belonged to the same line or sect of the Osafune School. The tip of the nakago will be kurijiri and the yasurimei will be kiri or katte-sagari.
Horimono: Maru-dome bo-hi will be found as will soe-hi and futatsu hi. There are also blades with sanskrit bonji and sanko-tsuka-ken.
BISHU OSAFUNE JU MORIKAGE
BISHU (no) KUNI JU OSAFUNE MORIKAGE
BISHU OSAFUNE MORIKAGE
BIZEN (no) KUNI JU OSAFUNE MORIKAGE
| GALLERY | RELATED ITEMS | UPCOMING SWORD EVENTS | ITEMS FOR SALE | ITEMS WANTED | OTHER LINKS | ABOUT ME |
Questions or feedback? Email me!