An Etchu Katana
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An Etchu Katana


An Etchu Katana
Sugata [configuration]: Honzukuri, iorimune, broad with rather shallow curve, chu-kissaki
Kitae [forging pattern]: Somewhat prominent itame with mokume, rich ji-nie, chikei
Hamon [tempering pattern]: Shallow notare with gunome, much nie, plentiful bright kinsuji and sunagashi
Boshi [tip]: Ichimai with clear rich nie in hakikake form
Nakago [tang]: O-suriage, kiri file marks, three mekugi-ana, kiri tip
Habaki [collar]: Double gold-clad copper
Nagasa [length of blade]: 69.8cm.
Horimono [carving]: Futasujibi kakinagasu on both sides
Koshirae [mounting]: katana mounting, shakudo nanako fuchi-kashira inlaid in iroe takazogan with sprays of kiku, shakudo nanako tsuba inlaid around the rim with flowers and foliage, the hitsu-ana plugged with shakudo nanako, shakudo menuki formed as sprays of flowers in iroe takazogan, 19th century
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Lot Essay

Accompanied by a certificate of registration as Tokubetsu Juyo Token [Especially Important Sword] no. 10199615 issued by the Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai [Society for the Preservation of the Japanese Art Sword] at the 15th Tokubetsu Juyo Shinsa on April 28th 1998

Norishige was a native of Gofuku Go in Etchu Province who had studied under Shintogo Kunimitsu of Soshu Province, and is currently believed to have been fellow pupil of Kunimitsu together with Masamune and Yukimitsu. There are many signed tanto by Norishige, but few signed tachi. His blade characteristics are similar to those of Masamune and Yukimitsu, but with a unique hada of itame with thick lines of nie, of swirling or flowing appearance known as 'matsukawa hada' [pine bark skin]. Like that of Masamune his hamon owed much to that of Yasutsuna of Hoki Province and the Ko-Bizen smiths, and looks ancient with a dark aspect. At first sight this blade appears quieter than Norishige's usual work, but upon looking closely all the powerful characteristics of his work are present in a dignified composition. It is a masterpiece by the smith.

The sayagaki by Tanobe Michihiro attributes the blade to Norishige and gives the dates of both Juyo Token and Tokubetsu Juyo Token designation.

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