Kanemichi is the recognized founder of the Mishina School. This school had its roots in Sue-Seki School of the late Koto period. Mishina Kanemichi was working as early as the Tenmon Era (1532). There is a daito with the date of Tenmon 16 (1547) which is Juyo Token. There is also another Juyo daito with the date of Eiroku 5 (1562). These are his earliest dated works.
Shodai Daido was a smith working in the Mino tradition, and achieved the title of Mutsu no Kami in 1574. His work period dates to the transition years in the Keicho era where Koto gave way to Shinto. His history states that he was the personal swordsmith to Oda Nobunaga who employed smiths of the Mino tradition (the rise of his armies contributed to the spread of the Mino style throughout Japan, and its large contribution to what would become the Shinto style). He reportedly moved to Kyoto with his sons Iga no Kami Kanemichi (Jo-saku), Rai Kinmichi (Jo-saku), Tanba no Kami Yoshimichi (Jo-saku), and Etchu no Kami Masatoshi (Jo-jo saku) making swords for Nobunaga. They would become the Kyoto Gokaji, or the Five Swordsmiths of Kyoto.
All of them have sharpness ratings of at least wazamono, so they made blades well in keeping of the warrior tradition of Mino, and from the success and fame of his sons it would seem that Daido was a very good teacher.
Because he was authorized to use the “Dai” kanji, he dropped the character “Kane”from his signature thus making his name read Omichi or Daido. There is an example dated Tensho 18 (1590) that is signed Mino Seki Ju Daido. Because of this, it is thought that after that date he moved to Kyoto.
Thus we see that his signature transformed along the following lines:
NOSHU SEKI JU KANEMICHI SAKU
MUTSU NO KAMI KANEMICHI
MUTSU NO KAMI DAIDO
MINO SEKI JU DAIDO SAKU
Rated as a Jo-saku smith, he trained many famous swordsmiths, many of which were his own sons. When you read the names of his sons, you will realize what a great smith Daido really was;
1st son: Iga No Kami Kinmichi
2nd son: Izumi No Kami Rai Kinmichi
3rd son: Tamba No Kami Yoshimichi
4th son: Etchu No Kami Masatoshi
As you can see from the list, the very core of the Shinto Mishina School came from Daido. By seeing Daido’s past achievements, one can see how he was a “pioneer” in the early days of the Shinto period.
Daidō (大道), 1st gen., Tenshō (天正, 1573-1592), Mino – „Kanemichi“ (兼道), „Ō-Kanemichi“ (大兼道), „Minamoto Mutsu no Kami
Daidō saku“ (源陸奥守大道作), „Mutsu no Kami Daidō saku“ (陸奥守大道作), Muroya-school (室屋), according to transmission the
grandson of Daichi (大知), it is said that he first signed with „Kanemichi“ (兼道) and that he worked in Seki, in the twelfth year of Eiroku
(永禄, 1569) he forged a blade for emperor Ōgimachi (正親町, 1517-1593) whereupon he received the character „Dai/Ō“ (大) and the
honorary title „Mutsu no Kami“ from the latter, calling himself henceforth „Ō-Kanemichi“ (大兼道, lit. „the Great Kanemichi“), „Ō-
Kanemichi“ eventually became „Daidō“ („dō“ is the Sino-Japanese reading of the character „michi“), and so also the theory exists that Daidō
was the same smith as Mishina Kanemichi (三品兼道) but this subject is not yet settled definitely, because of the similarities in
workmanship of the two smiths it is also assumed that they were maybe brothers or father and son, „hybid signatures“ of the kind „Ō-
Kanemichi“ are found between the twelfth year of Eiroku (1569) and the first year of Tenshō (1573), he went later to Gifu (岐阜), Daidō was
one of the few outstanding masters of the Sue-Seki school, he showed quite a wide variety of interpretations, for example he also worked in
the Bizen and the Yamato tradition, former works have a ko-itame mixed with mokume in combination with a chōji-midare with midareutsuri,
the latter show a regular masame with a suguha and remind of the Hoshō school (保昌), works in Mino tradition show a gunomemidare
with compact nioiguchi mixed with tobiyaki, a Kenbō-midare, or also a large dimensioned and more nie-loaden gunome-midare
which reminds of the Shizu school (志津)
Source: Index of Japanese Swordsmiths by Marcus Sesko.
|Mei/signature:||MUTSU NO KAMI DAIDO|
|Period/age:||Late Koto (450 years ago)|
|Total length with mounts:||72.80 cm|
|Nagasa (blade lenght):||51.00 cm|
|Kasane (blade thickness at Mune-machi):||0.70 cm|
|Ha-machi (blade width at Ha-machi):||2.80 cm|
|Hamon (forging pattern):||Gunome/Choji mixture with ashi|
|Blade construction:||Naginata-Zukuri / Mitsu-Mune|
|Koshirae:||Full COMPLETE samurai mounts|
|Certificate/NTBHK:||No, signature is not guaranteed|
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