Manuscript of Swordsmiths' Signatures and Sword Connoisseurship


This document is the oldest existing manuscript relating to swordsmiths in Japan. The text contains a description of the year 1316, which indicates that the original was written in the late Kamakura period. However, the postscript gives the date as December 21, 1423, which means this is a copy made in the Muromachi period. The document gives a genealogy of swordsmiths from the most ancient of times to the late Kamakura period, and describes the swordsmiths of the day. The section of the manuscript entitled Kokon shokoku kaji no mei (Inscriptions of swordsmiths over time in various districts) gives an outline of 52 swordsmiths and the style of each one, including the names of their swords, their region, and period.

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1 manuscript, 27.5 × 21.3 centimeters

Last updated: November 7, 2011