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Long Sword (Tachi), Signed "Norikuni"
National treasure
Length: 74.7cm Curvature: 2.1cm
Kamakura period/13th century
Kyoto National Museum
From the end of the Heian (794-1185) through the Kamakura (1185-1333) periods, three brothers, who were swordsmiths, Kunitomo, Hisakuni, and Kuniyasu, lived in the Awataguchi area of Kyoto and found the Awataguchi School. The brothers served the retired emperor Gotoba (1180-1239, r. 1180-98) on a rotating basis. Norikuni is said to have been a son of Kunitomo.

The blade of this long sword (J., tachi) is slender. The point is somewhat turned down and the center of the curve is near the tang of the blade. The surface of the blade is characterized by a fine wood-grain texture, and the temper line is narrow and straight. These features and manufacturing techniques are characteristic of Kyoto swords made in the early Kamakura period.