Katana: Tamba No Kami Yoshimichi

Jidai:    Shinto Genroku

Osaka Tamba School  


For those of you that have been having a tough time at this Kanteikai, this sword should be a blessing as it is a classic example of the Mishina School. In this country we often see many examples of this smith, as there are a many generations, thus leaving a great many examples left for us to study nowadays.

            The Hamon (Sudare-ba) is an easily recognizable style of tempering and is usually only associated with the Mishina group in the Shinto and Shinshinto period. In a sense, just by seeing the Hamon alone. Should give you the clue as to who the maker or at the very least the School.

The Yoshimichi School actually originated from the Seki School from the late Muromachi period. Shodai Tamba No Kami Yoshimichi was said to be the 3rd son of Mino Kanemichi, who then started his own style of tempering in an O-midare style heavy with Sunagashi. This Sunagashi –midare became known as “Sudare-ba” or Bamboo-strip curtain. Because of this style of tempering, the Shodai Yoshimichi became very popular among sword enthusiast of the times. Since then, all of the later generations followed suit and continued the tradition of the Sudare-ba temper. Kikusui-ba (Chrysanthemum in the River) was also a popular theme for a Hamon in the Mishina – Kei.

This sword used today for Kantei is a classic example of a 3rd generation Osaka Tamba No Kami Yoshimichi. Unless you have studied and seen many different examples of the various Kyo-Tamba and Osaka Tamba, it is very hard to tell the differences between the two schools. But, today we are very fortunate to have a very text book example of a Sandai Osaka Tamba Yoshimichi.

Please note the following characteristics of the sword used today:

1)      Rather strong curvature-not a Kanbun Shinto style, thus putting the sword around the Genroku time period.

2)      Sudare-ba WITH a “Tama-ba” on one side in the boshi area.

3)      Jigane NOT muji-so as not to place the sword in the Shinshinto period   

In the signature- the “Kami” Kanji has a straight line rather than a slant as in the Kyoto group.Also there is NO Kiku mon on the Nakago. Only the Kyoto Tanba uses the Kiku on the nakago

Here is an example of the “Tama-ba” or Ball of hamon in the boshi. By seeing such swords as this Yoshimichi, one can understand why some swords are considered “textbook” examples, as the traits tend to be very consistent in most main schools.

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