"Tachi" Sword, Known as “"Hōjō Tachi"”

Details

"Tachi" Sword, Known as “"Hōjō Tachi"”

others / Kamakura

By Ichimonji school

Kamakura period, 13th century

1口

Inscriptions:無銘 福岡一文字

Important Cultural Property

This long sword and its mounting were passed down at a shrine in Shizuoka Prefecture, called Mishima Taisha. The silver-plated mounting is adorned with the triple-triangle crest of the Hojo Clan, a famous military clan from the Kamakura period, which lasted from 1192 to 1333. This set was allegedly dedicated to the shrine by the Hojo Clan itself. As such, the sword is known as 'Hojo’s long sword.' A silver chain is used here to hang the sword from the waist. This style was popular among court nobles and samurai, with similar swords also given as offerings to temples and shrines. Though the blade does not bear the engraved signature of the swordsmith, the style suggests it was made by a swordsmith of the Fukuoka Ichimonji school in Bizen Province. Bizen was located in southwest Japan and flourished throughout medieval times as a major base of sword production, with numerous swords made there from around the 11th century onwards. It also gave rise to many schools, with the Fukuoka Ichimonji school rising to particular prominence during the Kamakura period. The deep curve is typical of long swords from that era, while the wavy pattern created during the tempering process, creates a complex pattern resembling a line of different-sized cloves. This set affords us a glimpse into the imposing, aesthetic world of swords dedicated to the gods.

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