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KATANA

OSAFUNE MOROKAGE

BIZEN

CHUKOTO

CHUJOSAKU

NTHK

 

SUGATA: SHINOGI ZUKURI

MEI: BISHU OSAFUNE JU (remainder cut off)

DATE:  NONE

NAGASA: 65.09cm (25.625")

OVERALL: 80.33cm (31.625")

MIHABA: 2.7cm (1.0625")

KASANE: 0.63cm (0.25")

SORI: 2.22cm (0.875")

NAKAGO: O-SURIAGE

MEKUGI ANA: TWO

YASURIME: INDISTINGUISHABLE

MUNE: IORI

HADA: ITAME

HAMON: GUNOME MIDARE

BOSHI: KO_MARU

HORIMONO OMOTE: NONE

HORIMONO URA: NONE

HABAKI: 1 PIECE GOLD FOIL

SHIRASAYA

Bizen Province has the distinction of being the only province which continuously produced swords from the Heian period through the Shinshinto period. Several factors culminated to facilitate this distinction. Beginning with the natural resources found in the area. The ocean was nearby and provided an abundant supply of high quality iron ore sand. Both the Ashii and Yoshii rivers flow through the region and provided an unlimited source of pure fresh water. Bizen Province is still said to produce the highest grade charcoal found, due to the nutrient rich soils found there.

There were an abundance of highly experienced sword smith's living in this province and the Sanyodo Hwy, a major supply route passed through this area. These factors both environmental and social combined perfectly, stimulating the prosperity of the region and making Bizen Province the epicenter of sword production.

This sword is attributed to Osafune Morokage, known as Omiya Morokage. Kunimori is said to be the founder of the Omiya school and his earliest extant works are from the Nambokucho period. Kunimori was originally from Omiya and moved to Bizen province. As such the smith's from this school were known by the prefix Omiya.

Omiya Morokage was the grandson of Omiya Morimitsu, and son of Omiya Morikage. Omiya Morokage is said to have worked around Oei c. 1394. His works are rated Chujosaku by Fujishiro for their quality. This sword is very beautiful to view, thanks in part to it being polished in sashikomi style. The hada is a wonderful swirling Itame with chikei and the ji is packed with nie. Utsuri can be seen along it's length, especially in the monouchi. The Hamon is gunome midare done in ko-nie which sparkles brightly in the light. The hamon holds a multitude of activities such as kinsuji, ashi, yo, tobiyaki, nijuba and more. The boshi is midare komi. There are bilateral bohi and slight remnants of sohi seen. The nakago is o-suriage with two mekugi ana, it retains a partial signature of "Bishu Osafune Ju" with the remainder lost when the sword was shortened.. The nakago is o-suriage with two mekugi ana. The nakago appears to have cleaned somewaht in the past, I think the photos show this clearly but just to avoid confusion I want to be sure it is not overlooked. The habaki is one piece gold foil and the sword comes in a top quality shirasaya.

This sword come with an attribution of authenticity by the NTHK.  Edit: There are in fact two sets of NTHK papers.  One set is from the older Yoshikawa (now deceased) and the other from the current NTHK.  As both sets attribute the sword to Osafune Morokage, I did not worry with mentioning the other set.  However, while looking at them today I noticed that one set list Oei and the other lists Bunmei era.  So, while both agree on same smith there may be some debate as to which generation.  I will leave that up to the new owner to decide which he prefers.
 

I have provided numerous photos of the activities seen.  This sword was one of those which did not want to yield itself to being photographed.  While the close-ups came out okay, I must have shot the full length photos 5-6 and still am not happy.  I spoke with with Moses Becerra at nihontoantiques.com who graciously allowed me to use a couple of the photos he had taken of this sword.  

Please keep in mind that this sword is ten times more beautiful than my best photograph depicts.

This sword comes with a three day inspection period to ensure your absolute satisfaction.

 

NO LONGER AVAILABLE  

 

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