Japanese Sword Ginza Choshuya


Kokinko

Outline

Those fittings which sources are not clear, doesn't seems to be followed by any specific style, but no doubt that were made earlier than Momoyama period, are classified into "Kokinko". However what you call "Kokinko" has such a broad meaning that it includes works look like mino-bori, or pieces that can be regarded as Goto school and some are made to fit Tachi. Group of "Kokinko" in nowdays might became beyond one's grasp.

With one exception(*1), it is impossible to identify particular maker of each works or to classify each of them as one's individuality. After all, the way we put fittings into specific groups depends on the analogy of expression come through its carving(hori). (*1)Goto's works usually has sign on it and also shows typical character individualy.

Therefore, there might exist "Mino"ful works made by somebody from Goto and there's a possibility of same person made pieces that are classified into "Kokinko" now. Or people who made speciality of Mino-bori could have conceivably made "Kokinko" aswell. But who knows. This state, hardly imagine a definite image of makers, capable of lower the status of "Kokinko"'s works compared to "Mino"s' and "Goto"s'.

Numbers of "Kokinko" works have been failed to properly evalutate the real quality of them. And more, a large quantity of works that are found out valuable as historical material.

Pieces made in the Age of Civil rouse a great interest as practical use. They seems to belong completely different category with artistic works of Edo period's. But when you come in contact with high quality piece of "Kokinko", you can't just judge it as functional equipment, they shows a first stirring of artistic sense though the surroundings were filled with barbarousness in Muromachi period.

The Goto is considered as the origin of an artistic quality among the world of sword fittings. The aim is not to raise their skill of making things showy and decorative but to pursue one's thoughts and philosophy and condense and shape them into works. That is what we call Art thing.

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Peony and Lions

Momoyama period
About 400 years old
Shakudo nanakoji takabori iroe okezoko mimi
Height : 71.7mm
Width : 70.4mm
Thickness at the center : 3.1mm
Thickness at the rim : 4.5mm

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Now we reviewed several works judged "Kokinko" and notice there is a big flow as time goes by. They were basically made for decorative purpose fitting the arms for practical use those to meet the demand of the times. At the same time, they changed with the times and became more polished. But this transition toward elegance is not everything, there are works in pursuit of archaic beauty that their simplicity facinates us impressively.
We have to understand, the point of "Kokinko" is that reflecting and answering the time very well in several means.

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