This is an excellent article katana of the most famed smith Tsuda Echizen-no-kami SUKEHIRO 津田越前守助広.
He was born in Kanei 14 (1637), Uchide town, Settsu domain, real name Jin'nosuke 甚之丞. He learned from the 1st gen. Soboro SUKEHIRO そぼろ助廣 to realize his ambition to be a swordsmith to obtain Echizen-no-kami 越前守 title in Meireki 3 (1657).
He achieved success and won fame and in Kanbun 7 (1667), Aoyama Inabanokami Munetoshi 青山因幡守宗俊 (Karo top-ranking samurai officials) of Osaka castle employed him as a retainer with a 10 fuchi salary.
His general workmanship transformed from Choji-midare of smaller clove in his early years then roundish gunome or gentle wave Suguha and surging waves of Toran-ha in his later age.
He was a dominant smith in his time, has been highly prized as the most superior swordsmith to have a great impact on all swordsmiths in later ages. Died young in Ten'na 2 (1682), was 46 years old.
The subject katana was made when he was 33 years old. The blade shape of this katana shows typical advanced early Edo period from Shou'ou to Jyou'kyo (1652-87). The cutting edge measures around 70cm that tapers a bit strongly, shallow sori leading to a compact Chu-kissaki, due to preference in swordmanship for thrusts rather than cuts. This significant change appears in kanbun era (1661-73).
Jigane is extremely fine Itame-hada, covers with sparkling Nie of martensite crystals of the highest quality and precise darkish elements of Chikei appears all over the surface. Medium Suguha forms five undulating hamon pattern of gentle waves, exceedingly deeper in Nioi, really brighter the Nie where boundary line flashes glaring light.
In view of Nakago, there performed with unique, decorative and complex filemark so called "Kou'tsutsumi-yasuri". The inscription of mei is angular shaped kanji and the other side is chiselled the date of year in cursive style.
Floating Butterflies from Sakura flower to flower motif Koshirae consists of : (click HERE for entire koshirae/ HERE for each fitting)
- Fuchi/kashira : Yoshino river (lit. Sakura flower stream) design, Shakudo copper alloy polish surface, gold inlay, unsigned
- Menuki : Sakura big tree design, Shakudo ground, Yobori carving
- Tsuba : Full of Sakura flowers design, Iron ground Mokkou shape, Nikubori, Kebnori carving, gold inlay, unsigned
- Tsuka : White rayskin, golden brown Tsumami-maki style logenze wrapped
- Scabbard : Kuro-ro lacquered, Kanagai 金貝 style Butterlies and Sakura design makie, Silver Kojiri end
Gold foiled double layer copper Habaki collar, Preserved in a Shira-Saya plain wood mounting (Sayagaki written by Dr. Michihiro Tanobe)
Recent polish/Condition scale: excellent (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor)