Tanto signed Sagami-no-kami Fujiwara MASATSUNE
Shinto beginning of Edo period (Keicho era/about 400 years ago) Owari
Length of cutting edge29.8cm Curvature0.2cm Width of base27.9mm Thickness of base6.3mm
The first smith MASATSUNE 初代政常, family name Nando 納戸, given name Sasuke 佐助, later changed to Tarōsuke 太郎助 . He is the second son of Nando Sukeuemon KANETSUNE 納戸助右衛門兼常 who is the 8th generation descendant of Nara-Tarō KANETSUNE 奈良太郎兼常, born in the 5th year of Tenbun (1534) , Nodo-town, Mino province (now Sen-nen town, Seki-city, Gifu-pref.)
In the 10th year of Eiroku (1567), when he was 33 years old, he had moved to Komaki-town, Kasuga-gun. He made 100 spears to the order of Tokugawa Ieyasu for the Battle of Komaki and Nagakute and was granted silver coins 銀子.
He was granted Sagami-no-kami title from Emperor in the 11th day, the 5th month, 20th year of Tensho (1592) then changed his smith name to MASA-TSUNE of which MASA was granted by Ikeda Terumasa, a feudal lord for that days in Komaki castle town.
When he was 55 years, in the 17th day, 11th month, the 5th year of Keicho (1592), he moved to Kiyosu town at the same time Matsudaira Tadayoshi (the 4th son of Tokugawa Ieyasu) became the Owari Kiyosu feudal lord. After the premature death of Matsudaira Tadayoshi in the 3rd month, the 12th year of Keicho (1607), at one point he had retired from the handling of practical affairs and his heir, the 2nd gen. Sagami-no-kami MASATSUNE succeeded.
In the 26th day, the 4th month, 12th year of Keicho (1607), Tokugawa Yoshinao (the 9th son of Tokugawa Ieyasu) replaced to be a feudal lord of Kiyosu castle town. Both 1st and 2nd gens. of MASATSUNE had exclusively worked for the vassals of the Owari Tokugawas with as much as a one hundred koku stipend.
However in the 14th year of Keicho (1609), his son 2nd gen. MASATSUNE died quite young, he made a comeback to the stage with the additionally signed monk name [Nyudō入道] at the end of his signature. He again moved to Tomita-town, Nagoya (now in Sakura-dōri Honmachi, Naka-ku, Nagoya) when Nagoya castle relocation in the 2nd month, the 15th year of Keicho(1610).
Passed away in the 28th day, 2nd month, the 5th year of Genna (1619), 85 years old.
He has been highly praised for his major works of spears, halberds, Kogatana for Kozuka and Tanto but quite rare of existent Katana works. Tanto work holds high dignity and enhanced his reputation as the top expert of Owari.
This tanto is long and full in upper fukura area with slight upper curve and back is Mitsumune (double back ridge). There is chiseled half way parallel bo-hi grooves in front and the single bo-hi on the back. Forging is delicately fine small-mokume burl and covered in thick Ni-nie granules that generates darkish-blue Chikei Nie scene appeared in surface. Hamon is tight-clear Nioi based medium Suguha straight with shallow wavy indication and the interior of temper works with small Ashi feet, filled in whitish Nioi mist.
Nakago is UBU in original. One peg hole, Sujikai (slanting left filemark). The signature chisel is thick and shows vigorous style, the highlight is the final stroke of TSUNE is quite long.
Shirasaya SAYAGAKI written as Impatient Spring MASATSUNE 待春政常 - pseudonym naming by Dr. Kanzan dated 1972 Rabbit, the 9th calendar sign.
[Owari Tōkōfu] Iwata Atou in 1985Publisher : Nagoya city Board of Education