EXAMPLE 1,  ENLARGED 4X

 

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EXAMPLE 2, ENLARGED 40X

 

EXAMPLE 3

 

EXAMPLE 4,  ENLARGED 4X

 

EXAMPLE 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DOTANUKI  KATANA

KOTO c. 1560-1590

SUGATA: SHINOGI ZUKURI

MEI:  DOTANUKI KOZURE no SUKE SAKU

DATE: NONE

NAGASA: 66.04cm (26.00")

OVERALL: 85.09cm (33.5")

MIHABA: 3.01625cm (1.1875")

KASANE: 0.635cm (0.25")

SORI: 1.43cm (0.563")

NAKAGO: UBU

MEKUGI ANA: TWO

YASURIME: KATTE SAGARI

MUNE: IORI

HADA: ITAME / MOKUME

HAMON: GUNOME MIDARE

BOSHI: KO-MARU

HORIMONO OMOTE: NONE

HORIMONO URA: NONE

HABAKI: ONE PIECE GOLD COVERED

SHIRASAYA

 

KATANA

DOTANUKI SCHOOL

The Dotanuki school evolved in Higo Province with  it's ancestry going back to the famous "Enju Kunimura". Enju Kunimura founded the Higo Enju school in approximately 1305. Kunimura was born in Yamato province to the swordsmith Hiromura. He moved to Yamashiro province and became a student of Rai Kuniyuki, and later married Kuniyuki's daughter. Kunimura then moved to Higo and founded the Enju school.  There are only six blades by Kunimura known to exist.

 The Dotanuki School emerged in the small Higo village of Dotanuki in the mid 1500's, following the decline of the Higo Enju school in the latter part of the Koto period.  The Dotanuki school founder is said to be Dotanuki Masakuni, he was called Oyama Kozuke no Suke and his original signature was Nobuyoshi.  The famous general Kato Kiyomasa honored masakuni with one character of his name, and form that point onward  Nobuyoshi was known as Masakuni.  However, the majority of his works are only signed "Dotanuki Kozuke no Suke",  such as the sword presented here.

Dotanuki swords quickly gained great popularity among the warrior class due to their superior cutting ability.  The Dotanuki smiths cared little for aesthetics, but instead focused on strength, sharpness, and durability in the field.  They were renowned for producing blades which would endure the harshest conditions, the most difficult battle field situations and survive to return to battle day after day, year after year.

One of the most feared, respected and ruthless of Hideyoshi's Generals was Kato Kiyomasa. General Kiyomasa was known as a ferocious and ruthless fighter, a true warrior.  So intense was General Kiyomasa that he was called "Kishokan" or "Devil General".  When Hideyoshi sent General Kiyomasa to lead the invasion of Korea  the General chose Dotanuki smiths to accompany him to ensure adequate swords could be produced in the field.

 

The sword is in overall good condition. The polish is nice, everything can be seen.  There are a few small flaws which may include but are not limited to areas of light scuffing, hike kizu or surface scratches, small kitte ware or openings, loose grain, pitting, stains, etc.. In particular there is a tiny, tiny area of loose grain in the boshi which is right at the edge.  Barely noticeable to the naked eye, I discovered it while photographing the kissaki.  At first I thought it might be a haigire, but after much study, I am convinced this is not a haigire. Really it is not large enough to mention, however, I want there to be no misunderstandings or no implication of deceit on my part. I have provided ample photos in order that any potential buyer can study them closely and decide whether or not they agree with my findings.  The area in question is shown in relation to a machinist's rule in 1/64" (0.015625") or 0.0396875 cm increments. As shown in example #5, the width of this area of loose grain at the edge is approximately 1/3rd of 1/64" which equals 0.00520833333" or 0.01322916665cm. It is approximately 0.078125" or 0.1984375cm in length.  Looking closely at photo example #2 (ENLARGED 40 X), it is clear to see this is no Hagire!!   Haigire or stress fractures generally run straight, this does not. As well looking closely at photo example #2 it is easy to see the wavy line of the loose grain, again clearly not the straight line that would be seen in a stress fracture. As some of the Japanese sites like to say, it is inconspicuous. None the less,  in consideration I have priced the sword at barely over cost and considerably lower than was my original intention.  

The sugata is typical for the school. They were known for producing wide, thick bodied swords with little or no discernable differences between motohaba and sakihaba as well as slightly elongated kissaki. The hada is a nice Itame with swirls of Mokume throughout. The hamon is gunome midare with ko-nie. There are chikei and fine sunagashi as well. While this school did not emphasize aesthetics, the hamon shows a great deal of activity.

This sword has seen battle as there is a kirikomi or sword cut in the shinogiji of the Omote side.

 

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