"The Three Students" SANTETSU
KUNIMITSU TEI-JI: ASAKO-GORI DAI SHO, HOJOJI JU. He is
famous as one of SOSHU SADAMUNE's three students.
The SANTETSU: KYO NOBUKUNI
Comparison of styles has allowed published doubts.
There are many sacred-cows in sword scholarship,
the "Three Students" is one. Association of famous
artists of disparate style is suspicious, and there
are many reasons for erroneous information. False
appraisal to highly placed gift-swords are a cause;
but most of these legends were inherited from the
endless fiction spun by EDO writers who wrote popular
fancy on any and every aspect of Japanese history and
lore. The "Ten Students of MASAMUNE" is such.
- As most have been cut down, signatures are usually
absent. O-SURIAGE MU-MEI NAGAMAKI and NAGINATA are
most encountered. These have most often been re-
shaped for use as a sword. Re-shaping is expected and
presents no affect on the value of such rare and
- TACHI will be NAMBOKUCHO wide, with raised SHINOGI
and O-KISSAKI. Shallow FUKURA.
- TANTO are usually altered as well. Expect wide and
long HIRA-TSUKURI with MARU-MUNE or MITSU-MUNE.
- BO-HI, BO-HI SOE-BI or double HI stands below the
KISSAKI. TANTO show SU-KEN, GOMABASHI and BONJI.
- O-MOKUME where CHIKEI attends O-HADA, an old
appraisal point. HOJOJI School is known for its large
and fancy, unique CHOJI pattern called CHABANA "Tea
Flowers" CHOJI. Its definer will be rounded, double-
petal heads. Lines appear as a flowery GUNOME-CHOJI
mix in NIOI with KINSUJI and SUNAGASHI. While long
swords show large and varied CHOJI patterns, TANTO
have simple KO-MIDARE BA. Patterns of SUGUHA or
KO-MIDARE BA vary on ZAI-MEI TANTO. NIE appears to
breakup. NAKAGO in KURI-JIRI.
MEI: HOJOJI KUNIMITSU
HO-SHO JU KUNIMITSU
TANSHU JU KUNIMITSU
HO-GORI JU KUNIMITSU
KUNIMITSU(2) O-EI:HOJOJI JU. Most intense work period was
prior to O-EI. Many ZAI-MEI. TANTO and KO-WAKIZASHI
of 9 SUN to 1 SHAKU 2 or 3. HIRA-TSUKURI, IHORI-MUNE,
MU-SORI. Strongly running ITAME with JI-NIE.
NOTARE-GUNOME HA in KO-NIE shows SUNAGASHI and
MIDARE-BOSHI to KO-MARU and long-falling KAERI.
Block MEI in thick strokes. Appears like
MEI: TANSHU JU KUNIMITSU
TANSHU JU HAITOSUKE KUNIMITSU SAKU
Shaku 6 Sun 6 Bu (80.6cm)
Sori: 1 Sun 2 Bu 5 Rin (3.8cm)
Moto-haba: 9 Bu 9 Rin (3.1cm)
Moto-kasane: 4 Bu 6 Rin
Nakago: 4 Shaku 3 Sun 2 Bu
Ihori-mune strongly curved.
Expertly carved Naginata Bohi
resolves in Kaku-mune
Kawazu Choji and Gunome mix,
with Ashi and Yo in deep
Midare-Komi Boshi to a short
Katte Sagari Yasuri Kurijiri