NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon papered Katana signed Sōshu-ju TSUNAHIRO

Koto End of Muromachi period (Tensho-Bunroku era/1573-95)

Tsunahiro Katana

Tokubetsu Hozon



 

Tsunahiro Katana


NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon papered Katana signed Sōshu-ju TSUNAHIRO

Koto End of Muromachi period (Tensho-Bunroku era/1573-95)

Length of cutting edge 78.3cm, Curvature 2.7cm, Width of base 33.5mm, Thickness of base 8.5mm, Width of Yokote 21.7mm

Blade construction (kengyo) : Shinogi-zuruki, Mitsu-mune. Extra-long blade, wide in Mihaba and thick in Kasane - massive volume holding deep curvature. There is appropriate difference in width between base and tip leading to the middle kissaki. There are original carvings of "Kasuga Daimyojin" 春日大明神 in front, the reversed side are carved with Siddhams and a lotus pedestal.

Forging pattern (kitae hada) : Kitae hada is conspicuous Itame hada mixing with large Mokume-hada partially and quench side shows flowing forging pattern. The hiraji surface is covered in Ji-nie (hard metal granules over the surface) with thick Chikei (darkish Nie lines) activity.

Tempering pattern (hamon) : Quenching area is covered with rather on profuse and coarse side of Nie "hard metal granules", starting narrow Yakidashi on base, flamboyant pattern - mixture of large Gunome zigzag, Clove outline, Arrow tail or Box shape. The quench splashes into Hiraji surface so called "Hitatsura" to form various shaped spots like a crescent moon. There works with ASHI, YOU activities and wild SUNAGASHI/KINSEN (short, long lines of Nie / bright curved threadlike areas) frequently in the interior where is filled with deep mist granules of Nioi. The entire quenching pattern is full of Nie activities, vividly bright.

Temper of tip (boshi) : Temper of tip is rather on strong Nie side, forms irregular pattern harshly with "Hakikake" brush up indication then large circle turns back deeply to form intense quench scene of "Hitatsura".

Tang (Nakago) : Fish belly (Tanago-bara) shape Nakago is UBU, unaltered. "Kiri" horizontal file marks, there is a little mass on the back ridge. Double-bevelled (Kurijiri) heel shape. Two retaining holes "Mekugiana". There is clear chiselled five large character inscription that starts with the place of work "Sōshu-ju" 相州住 and the smith name TSUNAHIRO 綱廣.

The power of Sōshu school in Sagami province ever since Kamakura era had been declining in Muromachi period because the Sōshu technique was the most difficult technical method among 5 major schools. After Muromachi period, only TSUNAHIROs 綱廣 observed the real tradition of main Sōshu technique. From the historical document of Yamamura (Tsuhahiro's) family, the founder TSUNAHIRO 綱廣 had came from smith HIROMASA 広正 and moved to Odawara to accept an invitation of clan Hōjō Ujitsuna 北条氏綱. The age of founder TSUNAHIRO is Eisho (1504-20), the second generation is Tenbun (1532-54) and the third gen. is Tensho - Bunroku (1573-95). Later subsequent generations renamed himlelf TSUNAHIRO 綱廣 who had been prospered throughout Edo, Meiji and down to Taisho era until 16th generations.

This stirring katana is the sublime work by the 3rd. gen. of TSUNAHIRO. His real name was "Yamamura Sōuemon-no-jo" 山村宗右衛門尉 and lived in Ougigayatsu, Kamakura 鎌倉扇ヶ谷. He worked with 300 katanas exclusively for Tsugaru lord "Tsugaru Tamenobu" 津軽為信 from Keicho 9 to 11 (1604 - 06). Passed away in the 27th day, the 2nd month, Kanei 15 (1638), was 91 years old. The subject katana is full of Samurai majesty spirit during the Warring States of period when major powerful clans such as Oda or Toyotomi in Owari, Tokugawa in Mikawa, Imagawa in Suruga, Takeda in Kai and Hōjo in Odawara began rise to power. Powerful Samurais prayed not only for the prosperity of their kingdoms but also planned for the unification of Japan. An elaborate and minute carvings of "Kasuga Daimyojin" 春日大明神 and Siddhams "Bonji" with a lotus pedestal that gave the strength to endure many hardships against an antiestablishment spirit. This prominent katana has been treasured by powerful legitimate Samurais for generations and deeply admired for the excellent quality of the legitimate Sōshu technique and supreme condition over the passage of 430 years. Shakudo ground gold foiled Tachi style Habaki collar, preserved in a Shira-saya plain wood mounting. Fresh polish/Condition scale: EXCELLENT (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor).




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