Following up on the Gokaden series, we will look at the spread and influence of some of the great schools and teachers of the Kamakura and Nambokucho periods like the Yamato Tegai, Yamashiro Rai Kunitoshi, the Soshu school, the Bizen Osafune school, and others. As always the emphasis will be on shape (sugata) to deternime era, jitetsu to determine region and school, and hamon to determine artist and school. Several study blades will be available from a variety of schools and regions.
Joe Pierre posted a nice link on FB (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1725109617721256/) to a photo essay (text in Japanese) on the Yoshindo forge. Some nice pictures of the forge in operation, and photos of blades by four generations of the family. Enjoy!
I am constantly experimenting with better ways to photograph a highly reflective, compound curved, multi-angled, shiny surface to actually reveal some of the crytal structure that the human eye sees when examining a blade. Some blades are pretty simple. A wakizashi or tanto in a transparent sashikomi polish is fairly easy to photograph. You can either use a longer lens or bring the camera closer to the blade, and the curvature is such that a single light source generally does the trick.
Two blades, both made in the fall of 2006, have been added to the sword gallery. There is a truely lovely blade in koshirae by the shinsakuto smith Higo Kikuchi ju Koretada. It is pushing ni shaku go but the shape and bohi give it a light and very balanced feel. The mounts are a combination of new saya and tsuka with an Edo period tsuba and menuki. A very nice piece of work.