BIZEN tradition refers to the Japanese sword schools active in Bizen province during the Koto period and the common characteristics of these schools.
- FUKUOKA ICHIMONJI SCHOOL(福岡一文字派)
- KATAYAMA ICHIMONJI SCHOOL(片山一文字派)
- Kobizen school(古備前派)
- OSAFUNE SCHOOL(長船派)
- IWATO ICHIMONJI SCHOOL(岩戸一文字派)
- YOSHIOKA ICHIMONJI SCHOOL(吉岡一文字派)
Shape : Low IORI-MUNE(庵棟), KOSHI-SORI(腰反り).
Hada : MOKUME-HADA(杢目肌) blended with ITAME-HADA(板目肌) or finely-graied ITAME-HADA with the noticeable UTSURI(映り).
Hamon (from Heian to early Kamakura period) : Irregular NIE-DEKI(沸出来), SUGUHA(直刃).
Hamon (after middle Kamakura) : NIOI-DEKI(匂出来), CHOJI(丁子), GUNOME(互の目).
Boshi : MIDARE-KOMI(乱れ込み), KAERI(返り).
- The region was so blessed with all the vital ingredients needed for the sword making, it boosted the development of the schools there. In particular, the schools, which were active near the lower course of the Yoshii river, enjoyed great prosperity.
- No less than 1,200 smiths were said to have been active during the Koto period in the region. This number is 16 times as many as those of the Soshu tradition(相州伝), 12 times as the Yamashiro tradition(山城伝) and 5 times as the Mino Tradition(美濃伝).
- The Bizen swords account for nearly half of the sword extant today, not only that, 47 out of 111 Japanese national treasure swords were made in the region.