蛙子丁子乱れ (Kawazuko Choji Midare)
What is Kawazuko Choji Midare in Japanese Katana terminology?
Kawazuko Choji Midare refers to a type of blade pattern (Hamon) in Japanese swords. It is a variation of ""大丁子乱れ"" (Oochoji Midare), where the 'heads' of the 'nails' (choji) are large and bag-shaped. Among these, ""蛙子丁子乱れ"" specifically refers to those where the 'heads' of the 'nails' are particularly inflated, and the waist part is extremely constricted, resembling a tadpole (Kawazuko in Japanese).
This pattern was also known as ""瓢箪刃"" (Hyotanba), ""竜子丁子刃"" (Ryugo Chojiba), and ""腰切れ刃"" (Koshigireba) in the past.
""蛙子丁子乱れ"" is often seen in the works of swordsmiths who were active in Bizen Province (now eastern Okayama Prefecture). Notable swordsmiths or schools that made ""蛙子丁子乱れ"" include ""長船光忠"" (Osafune Mitsutada), the de facto founder of the Osafune school, ""畠田守家"" (Hatakeda Moriie), the founder of the Hatakeda school, and the Fukuoka Ichimonji school.
The sword ""刀 無銘 畠田真守"" is a sword made by ""畠田真守"" (Hatakeda Sanemori), a swordsmith of the Hatakeda school. Hatakeda Sanemori, who is either the son or grandson of Hatakeda Moriie, is known for his flamboyant style with a variety of changes, emphasizing the tadpole-like choji midare. While his overall style is similar to that of Hatakeda Moriie, unlike Moriie, his irregular patterns tend to be somewhat small.
This sword is a large polish (Oosuriage) with no signature, and it is a gorgeous piece with a mix of ""蛙子丁子乱れ"", ""互の目"" (Gunome), and ""尖り刃"" (Togariba).