Mid Muromachi to end of Momoyama period.


Tsuba with the Nobuiye signature are quite different from those of the earlier armor maker's, the different points being the thickness, more than double those of the katchushi, the designs and engraving. The only similarity is that of the several plates of iron being welded together to form the ita plate. Generally Nobuiye tsuba are circular or mokko in shape, are thick and the rims are sukikaeshi showing the tekkotsu. Many of them are ita tsuba but others are sukashi tsuba. Patterns are kikko, kanji, flowering plants, etc. The iron is consistent, but the designs and the style of engraving on signatures differ, so that there were undoubtedly several artisans who used the same name.

Nobuiye signatures (Akiyama):

According to Akiyama there are six different signatures:
1) Same as those Nobuiye signatures found on armor and helmets.
2) Harare mei (wide spaced signature).
3) Nikubuto mei (bold, broad characters).
4) Same as no. 3 with thinner strokes.
5) Same as no. 3 with hesitant chisel strokes to the mei.
6) Same as no. 3 with a dot between hito and kotoba (the two components of the character nobu).

Nobuiye School (Momoyama period):

The school flourished in the Momoyama period and there was no successor.


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