Tachi Sword

TomonariHeian period, 11th century

Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo, Japan

Among the swordsmiths in Bizen no Kuni, those before the Ichimonji school, which was established in the early Kamakura period, are collectively called Ko-Bizen. Tomonari was a swordsmith who, together with Masatsune, represented the Ko-Bizen school and is said to have been active around the Eien era (987 to 989). This was the time when the wanto (curved) form with a ridgeline was completed as the form of Japanese swords. This tachi (swords made to be worn with the cutting edge down) is considered to be one of Tomonari's oldest swords and shows a refined antique shape: a slim blade with high koshizori (the deepest part of the curve close to the tang), funbari (a blade that tapers towards the tip) and kokissaki (short tip of the blade). The jigane (ground metal) features a wood grain pattern with some traces of rough forging (hadadatsu) and faint utsuri (a white misty formation) while the hamon (blade pattern) features komidareba (a small irregular pattern) with little difference in height, ashi (martensite crystals extending from the hamon to the cutting edge) and yo (a falling leaf-like activity in the hamon).


  • Title: Tachi Sword
  • Creator: Tomonari
  • Date Created: Heian period, 11th century
  • Object Title: 太刀
  • Object Notes(Japanese): 備前国の鍛冶のうち、鎌倉時代初期に興った一文字派以前の刀工を古備前と呼んでいる。友成は正恒とならぶ古備前を代表する刀工で、古来より永延年間(987~989)頃に活躍したと伝える。これは日本刀が鎬造(しのぎづくり)で湾刀(わんとう)の形式を完成させた時期にあたる。この太刀は、友成の作品のなかでも最も古い時期のものと考えられ、細身で腰反りが高く、踏ん張りがついて小鋒(こきっさき)となった古様な太刀姿を示している。地鉄(じがね)は、板目肌が僅かに肌立って映りが淡く立ち、刃文(はもん)は、高低差の少ない小乱刃(こみだれば)となって、足や葉(よう)が交じっている。
  • Object Date: 平安時代・11世紀
  • Donor(Japanese): 山本達郎氏寄贈
  • Donor: Mr. Yamoto Tatsuro
  • Artist Name: 古備前友成
  • Type: Arms & Armor
  • External Link: http://www.emuseum.jp/detail/100194

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