Reference books about Mino-to and Tosho

Our books: Mino-to and swordsmiths, Japanese dates, iaido

Reference books on Minto-to


Nihon To Koza Volume III
Koto Kantei, This is Koto Part II, in 1994 translation by Harry Afu WATSON has a chapter on Mino no Kuni, pages 37-140.

Mino-to Taikan
This major reference book by Dr Kazuo TOKUNO is the main individual source for Mino-to and is more like an encyclopedia. Dr Tokuno was born Showa 8 (1933) and is a well regarded expert in Japanese sword study, having written 4-5 major works. The book, originally published in 1974, is in Japanese and is 540 pages in length, hard cover. It has a very large number of quality oshigata.

Nihonto Seki Shichi Ryu
A reference book on the late koto Seki tosho by Hide YAMADA, published by Chuo Token Kai in Showa 45 (1970). The book is written in Japanese, is 339 pages in length and has hard cover. It has 26 clear black and white photos of nakago and mei; there are 210 single page traditional oshigata and hamon with descriptions in soshu script, and also repeated in the 100 pages of Japanese text.

Seki Kaji no Kigen wo Saguru (”The Path of Origins of Seki Swordsmiths”)
This reference book published by Seki City, Heisei 7 (1995), is written by the Seki Kaji Toushou Chosa Kai (”Research Committee for Origins of Seki Swords and Swordsmiths”) and provides much information on the history and development of sword manufacture in Seki and Mino in general. It is a large book, 30.5 x 22.0 cm, 300 pages, with hard cover and in Japanese, but has many excellent photos and diagrams, and a lot of technical information about sword making.

Sekishi no Shoyu Token Koshirae
A soft cover book of 40 pages with excellent photos of examples of Seki swords from old to modern. Produced in 2008 by the Seki City Office of Tourism and Commercialisation.

Muromachi Ki Mino Toko no Kenkyu
(”study of Muromachi period swordsmiths from Mino”)
SUZUKI Takuo and SUGIURA Yoshiyuki. Published in 2006 of 377 pages and many oshigata. It is in Japanese but provides and organised summary of the various schools and groups working in Mino no Kuni.

Kanesada and Kanemoto. Sengoku Judai no Mino-to. Toku Betsu Ten.
(”Special exhibition of Kanesada and Kanemoto”)
Produced by Gifu City Museum of History, 2008. Soft cover and 80 pages with many quality photos and details of mei of these two major tosho lines. On the right is the poster for the exhibition.

Mino-to Ko Meikan
By SUGIURA Yoshiyuki, 2008, soft cover with outer cover, glossy paper, 30 x 21 x 1.7 cm. In Japanese. Very well organised dictionary and index of mei, divided into Koto, Shinto and Gendaito, and into the different groups/tosho. Of the 361 pages, 346 are oshigata. Extremely useful book.

Information about Seki and Mino no Kuni



Historic influences by swordsmiths from other provinces on the evolution of Mino-den as a style.



Kasuga Jinja (shrine) in Seki which is important to the spirits of Seki kaji. Top photo: Seki Kaji no Kigen wo Saguru, 1995.
Lower photo: 2008 showing both torii.


At Seki Kaji Denshokan, Seki


Two Mino-den swords by Shinshinto Aizu Izumi no Kami Kanesada on display in Yahiko Buddhist Shrine museum. The lower blade has sanbonsugi hamon and interesting o-kissaki in the style of Kiyomaro. (see page on Museums)


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