A10938(S5501) Katana signed Bishu Osafune KATSUMITSU In the 8th month, the 3rd year of Eisho
with)Black lacquered Notches sheath Uchigatana style Koshirae
Koto Middle of Muromachi period (the 3rd year of Eiroku/1506) Bizen
Length of cutting edge69.3cm Curvature2.6cm Width of base28.3mm Width of Yokote16.0mm Thickness of base6.8mm
Blade construction (kengyo) : Shinogi-zuruki, Iori-mune. Short tang (nakago) which was designed for one-hand grip. Back Iori-mune ridge is low, Shinogi-suji ridge is high and deep curve standing firmly both with waist pointed and upper curve, leading to a small tip. The entire blade has dignified bearing in the style of medieval period. (click HERE for high resolution of the blade photograph)
Forging pattern (kitae hada) : Kitae hada is clearly fine Itame wooden marks mixing with Mokume burl partially. Hiraji surface glows speckled whitish Ji-nie hard-metal granules that generates irregular Utsuri (Midare-Utsuri) vividly.
Tempering pattern (hamon) : Hamon is fine ko-nie base, Clove outline (Choji-ha), small Gunome zigzag. Ashi feet is shining toward cutting edge and Sunagashi blushing streams across the Ashi feet. YOU dots float in the interior of temper. This work has a superb ji-ha and is a fine example of the famed swordsmith KATUSMITSU.
Temper of tip (boshi) : Boshi is Midarekomi irregular,flaming up then small circle turns back.
Tang (Nakago) : Nakago is UBU original. Katte-sagari (slightly slanting left) filemarks. Kurijiri round heel shape. One Mekugi-ana peg hole. The signature in OMOTE side is chiselled with six character [BI SHU OSA FUNE KATSU MITSU] and URA side is the date of year [In the 8th month, the 3rd year of Eisho] (1506).
On after the ōnin war (1466-1477), so called the Warning States Period, sword smith Ukyou-no-suke KATSUMITSU appeared. His existing works with the date of year shows his major active period from the 10th year to 16th year of Bunmei (1478-1484) and also there is a collaboration with his younger brother Sakyo-no-shin MUNEMITSU in the date of the 2nd year of Entoku (1490).
An important cultural property, belonging to Nikkō Tōshō-gū shrine [Wakizashi signed Bizen kokuju Osafune KATSUMITSU-MUNEMITSU Bichu oite Kusakabe saku, Auspicious day in the 2nd month 19th year of Bunmei (1487)] with an original Chisa-katana Koshirae which was transmission by Tokugawa Ieyasu is their representative collaboration work.
Jiro-saemon-no-jo KATSUMITSU who is a son of Ukyou-no-suke KATSUMITSU, his monumental work is the Juyo-Bijutsu-hin (Cultural Properties of Japan), personal belonging [Katana signed Bizen kokuju Osafune Jirou Saemon-no-jo KATSUMITSU Asa-Arashi (morning strom), Matsudaira Masatoshi shoji, Auspicious day in the 8th month, the 1st year of Eisho (1504)].
Legitimate successor Shuri-no-suke KATSUMITSU, then Tōsaemon KATSUMITSU had prospered until end of Muromachi period as one of the top superb Osafune sword smiths
From Bunmei to Eisho (1469 - 1520) about 50 years, early stage of the Warning States Period, average size of cutting edge was about 2-shaku (about 60cm) which was designed for one-hand grip purpose and the subject katana, although size is longer than standard, was designed with short tang for one-hand grip. The shape is graceful with deep curvature, standing firmly on base and exquisite Jigane uses fine steel by elaborate forging. Splendid clove (Choji-ha) temper adds artistic value.
The entire blade remains an UBU (original shape) condition with the one peg hole which has been treasured by generations. There is a darkish forging loosen ware in front under the Yokote ridge, which is elaborately eliminated and restored by a skilled polisher. Condition is in "good-very good" (Using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor).
The attached Black lacquered Notches sheath Uchigatana style Koshirae consists of: (click HERE for the entire fitting)
Fuchi/Kashira : signed MITSUMASA Nanako-ji surface Shakudo copper alloy ground Takabori Gold Iroe inlay. A throng of Horses motif.
Menuki : Horse and Ox(午牛) motif, Shakudo Yobori, gold Iroe inlay
Tsuba : Matsukawahishi(a water chestnut) with cherry blossoms against bark motif(松皮菱に桜花図). Round rectangular shape, Iron ground, Sukibori carve, gold inlay.
Hilt : White rayskin, gray indigo-blue lozenge cord wrap.
Scabbard : Notches black RO-IRO style Japanese lacquered with brass ground stone surface Kojiri end.
Gold foiled bare rock copper ground habaki collar, preserved in a Shira Saya plian wood mounting.