Tanto signed MASASHIGE (Senji) with) Red brown Brush marks lacquered scabbard Higo style Koshirae

Koto End of Muromachi period (Tenbun era about 480 years ago) Ise
Length of cutting edge26.9cm Curvature0.3cm Width of base27.2mm Thickness of base6.4mm


with) Red brown Brush marks lacquered scabbard Higo style Koshirae

Reference only 

Blade construction: Hira-zukuri Tanto, Mitsu-mune in low, Kasane is a little on the thick side and the base is wide with a slight curve where upper Fukura area is fully swelling out. The entire shape gives an unusual impression of majesty.(click HERE for higher resolution image of the entire blade)
Forging(Hada): Forging is conspicuous fine Itame mixing with entwined flowing ware. The surface shows moistened beauty of old elegance impression with fine Nie sparkling glitter and mottled Utsuri reflection.
Temper(Hamon): Hamon is fine a little Nie hard metal granules base, Gunome, Togari-ha and box-shape outline where entire temper shape of both sides are well matched. The summit of Gunome-outline radiates sparkling, mottled reflection into the Hiraji surface so called Yubashiri and Tobiyali - splash temper into Hiraji surface. Temper edge is active with streaming mark against sparkling Nie and Nioi granules and interior of temper gives off Sunagashi and Kinsen brushing mark. Temper splashes along back ridge "Muneyaki".
Temper of tip(Boshi): "Jizou-boshi (side view of Jizou stone stature)" Hakikake Blaze up indication then deeply turns back that connects to temper of back.
Tang(Nakago): Nakago is in UBU original. Tanago-bara (Fish belly) shape. Three peg holes (one is filled). Kiri (horizontal) filemarks. Back ridge of Nakago is full and V-shaped (kengyo) heel shape. The signature in front is two character that reads MASASHIGE 正重.
Senji school in Ise domain, Shimada school in Suruga domain and Shitahara school in Bushu domain, they played major roles of making swords in Tokaido main road since middle of Muromachi period. They became mostly active on after the Warning States period, when Major powerful clans such as Oda or Toyotomi in Owari, Tokugawa in Mikawa, Imagawa in Suruga, Takeda in Kai and Houjo in Odawara began rise to power.
The founder of Senji 千子 school, MURAMASA 村正 is said, a son of KANEMURA 兼村 in Akasaka, Mino domain moved to Kuwana, Ise domain
From the recognized works of 1st gen. MURAMASA with the date of year, the oldest work is Genki 1, (1501) and lived in Higashikata, Kuwana-city. MURAMASA family had been active up to 3rd generation, till Tenbun (1532-1554) period.
MASASHIGE 正重 is said as a son, son-in-law or pupil (not been proven yet) of 1st gen. MURAMASA. The 1st gen. was active in Eisho(1504-1520) and 2nd gen. was activate during Tenbun(1532-1554). MASASHIGE played the leadership faction of Senji school to meet with special demands from powerful clans.
This is the work of 2nd gen. MASASHIGE to show close resembles to the Soshu works of the ancient top articles by HASABE 長谷部 or SHIZU 志津. The workmanship of 2nd gen. of MASASHIGE, in compare with ones of MURAMASA in the same age, Blade is usually larger in size, Hada is wildly forging and Hamon is full of variety and Extravagant shape of tang "Fish-belly" in fully swelling with emphasized V-shape heel. The peculiar signature manner by fist character MASA 正 is extremely right-up.
Red brown Brush marks lacquered scabbard Higo style Koshirae comprising :
HERE for higher resolution images and HERE for the entire image of koshirae fitting)
White lay-skin black lacquered paper string lozenge wrapped hilt
Menuki : Shakudo Yobori carving gold Iroe Hornet on an Antler
Fuchi/Kashira,Kojiri and Tsuno : Iron ground Ivy and Vine, Scarlet-tinged leaf Kojiri and Stucking Rope-Tie Tsuno
Kurikata : Water chestnut - Shakudo, Gold and Silver Iroe
Tsuba : Iron ground polish surface KIRI, Ivy and Vine gold inlay
Kozuka : Shakudo ground polish surface, Saya-mon and Umebachi crest gold inlay
Gold foiled double layer habaki collar, Preserved in a Shira-Saya plain wood mounting.
An old good polish/Condition scale: very good (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor).
reference data:
Honma Junji/Satou Kanichi, NNIHONTO TAIKAN KOTO-HEN 3 Otsuka Kogei sha April 15, 1969