Why there are no Juyo swords by second-tier schools
Did only the first-class school leave masterpieces?
Have you ever wondered why there are not so many Juyo swords made by the second or third-tier smiths or schools?
You may say that those schools only left poor swords, so their swords only have a remote possibility of reaching Juyo status. Many of them do have a chance of being designated as Tokubetsu Hozon Token at best. However, the name of many smiths has been succeeded by their descendants or apprentices, and each school had a number of different smiths. It’s hard to imagine why most of them failed to make a masterpiece, isn’t it?
According to the great sword appraiser Honami Koson(本阿弥光孫), most of the high ranking swords of such second-tier schools or smiths have already undergone some kind of alternation in the Meiji period(1868-1912) by erasing the original signature, and some of them got a new signature newly inscribed into the NAKAGO(茎).
The following table shows some examples of the schools and their attributions after alternation.
|Before Alternation||After Alternation|
|Hamabe school(浜部派)||Soshu Tradition swords(相州伝)|
|Mizuta School(水田派)||Soshu Tradition swords(相州伝)|
|Takada school swords(高田派) with SUGUHA(直刃)||Hizen Tadayoshi School(肥前忠吉一門)|
|Takada school swords(高田派) with CHOJI(丁子)||Sue Bizen swords(末備前)|
|Satsuma region swords||Osaka Shinto swords(大阪新刀)|