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Sō tsutomu(宗勉)

Sō tsutomu(宗勉) was born in Fukuoka in the 2nd year of the Shōwa era (1927). He studied under his father, Sō masamitsu(宗正光), starting from the 21st year of the Shōwa era (1946). From the 30th year of the Shōwa era (1955), he began exhibiting his new swords at the Shinsaku Meitōten (New Sword Exhibition). He received numerous special awards, such as the Cultural Agency Director-General's Award and the Kunzan Award, and in the 2nd year of the Heisei era (1990), he was certified as a swordsmith without inspection(Mukansa無鑑査刀匠). His style follows the Sō masamitsu school, aiming for Samonji(左文字) and Kotetsu(虎徹), with strong nioi (the crystalline structure on the blade edge), well-executed kinsuji (golden lines), and sunagashi (flowing sand-like patterns) in the Sōshū tradition(相州伝). He challenged the style of Kiyomaro and became known as the "Sōtsutomu's Kiyomaro." In his later years, he successfully challenged the Tōranba(濤欄刃) blades of Echizen no Kami Sukehiro(越前守助広). His skills were excellent, and there are even stories that Sō's copies of Kiyomaro swords have become Juyo Kiyomaro blades by having their signatures re-engraved. He passed away in February of the 27th year of the Heisei era (2015).



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