John Slough's,  Modern Japanese Swordsmiths; page 97

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PUBLISHED GENDAI KATANA

SHODA MASAFUSA c. 1940

SUGATA: SHINOGI ZUKURI

MEI: MASAFUSA

DATE: SHOWA JU HACHI NEN SAN GATSU (1943)

NAGASA: 66.675cm (26.25")

OVERALL: 87.63cm (34.5")

MIHABA: 3.175cm (1.25")

KASANE: 0.78cm (0.312")

SORI: 1.9cm (0.75")

NAKAGO: UBU

MEKUGI ANA: TWO

YASURIME: KESHO

MUNE: IORI

HADA: TIGHT KO-ITAME

HAMON: WIDE HORSE TOOTH GUNOME

BOSHI: O-MARU

HABAKI: ONE PIECE COPPER

PUBLISHED: JOHN SLOUGH'S, "MODERN JAPANESE SWORSMITHS", page 97

 

SHODA MASAFUSA c. 1940

This is a well forged Gendaito by the Gifu swordsmith Masafusa.  Masafusa's real name was Shoda Kihichi, whose date of birth was 1916.  In 1931 he enrolled in the school of hayama Masatsura.  Then in 1936, he entered the Kaji of Fujiwara Kanefusa who was the 23rd generation of the Seki Kanefusa family of swordsmith's.  Later, in 1941, he went to study at the Nihonto Gakuin (Japanese Sword Academy) in Zama.  Masafusa became a Rikugun Jumei Tosho in 1942 and worked at the Seki Nihon Token Kaisha (Seki Japanese Sword Co.).  His last known residence was KaizuiGun, Nanno-cho.He was known to make medium to high grade Gendaito and Showato.  In a 1941 exhibition, he placed 3rd seat in the cutting test category.  References include TK-582: Toko Taikan; MAS-67,70,71: Hawley's;  NMK-889: Nihonto Meikan;  and GTM-142 Gendai Toko Meikan.

This star stamped Gendai Katana is just above average length at 26.25" and is 34.5" overall. I have referred to this sword as a Katana, but technically it should be referred to as a Tachi, as it was made for gunto Tachi mounts, and is signed Tachi mei.  It is shinogi zukuri, tori zori, iori mune, chu kissaki and the boshi is o-maru. The Nakago is ubu with two mekugi ana and kesho yasurime.  The Hada is a tight ko-itame and the hamon is a flamboyant wide horse tooth gunome.

The sword is ubu-ba which is most likely indicative of it being in it's original polish. There are no flaws ie; bends, chips, openings, pitting, hagire, etc.  As the polish was done almost 70 years ago, it does have some stains, scuffs, light rust and hike kizu or surface scratches.  The overall polish is somewhat dulled, but make no mistake the hamon and it's activity are very much alive.  I can only imagine what a knockout this sword would be in fresh polish.

It comes in new shirasaya.

The habaki is surely the original one, as it is copper and looks to have been silver foiled at one time. Most of the silver foil has eroded over time.

 

PUBLISHED GENDAITO by, MASAFUSA

 

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