Wakizashi signed Suruga-no-kami MORIMICHI (1st gen.)

Shinto early Edo period (Keicho era/1596-14) Owari
Length of cutting edge 47.1cm Curvature 1.2cm Width of Base 32.3mm Thickness of base 5.5mm

NBTHK(Tokubetsu Hozon) certificate


Blade construction : Hira zukuri Iori-mune, The blade is large with upper pointed shallow curve and Kasane thickness is a bit on thin side. Mihaba is wide and there is less difference in width between base and tip which is swelling out in full. The subject majestic wakizashi reflects the typical shape during Azuchi-Momoyama period. (click HERE for higher resolution of entire blade)
Forging (Hada) : Forging is conspicuous Mokume wooden grain mark in general, Masame and flowing Itame ware mostly appears along Mune back side. Fine moist steel surface is covered in reflecting whitish Ji-nie hard metal granules over the surface in where thick and darkish Nie lines "Chikei" activity conspicuously appears growing on surface.
Temper line (Hamon) : Hamon is a bit strong side hard metal granule Nie-based, starts from slightly above Hamachi-edge (Yakiotoshi) with short slope of Yakidashi then forms long footed zigzag (Gunome), tall clove (Choji) shape, Sharp head, slanting box shape or composite shape of which sparkling foot in different angles radiates toward the cutting edge. The interior is covered with mist-like crystallize area "Nioi" where is activated with thick lines of Nie KINSEN and SUNAGASHI areas which corresponds with flowing Masame forging ware.
Temper of tip (Boshi) : Temper of the tip forms irregular line with some thick lines of Nie "Hakikake" indication then small sharpen up to become turning back deeply forming like a side view of "Jizou stone stature".
Tang (Nakago) : Fish belly (Tanago-bara) like shape Nakago is UBU, unaltered. O-sujikai greatly slanting left file marks and the other side is checked (Higaki) file marks. The back ridge is flat. Single-bevelled (Ha-agari Kurijiri) heel in full. Two retaining holes "Mekugiana". The signature in front is clear chiselled grandly in full on the nakago, five large character that starts with an official district title "Suruga-no-kami" 駿河守 and smith name "MORIMIACHI" 盛道.

The first generation MORIMICHI 盛道 with Suruga-no-kami 駿河守 title was born during early Eiroku era (ca.1558) in Gifu, Mino province as a son of smith MORIMICHI 盛道 who belonged to MUROYA 室屋 branch of "Seki-Nana-Nagare" group 関七流. It is said that he is a relative smith of Mutsu-no-kami DAIDO 陸奥守大道 of which initial name was KANEMICHI 兼道 who is well known as the founder of Mishina school. Mutsu-no-kami DAIDO moved from Seki town up to Kyoto during Bunroku era (1592-95) with his four sons Iganokami KINMICHI 伊賀守金道, Rai KINMICHI 来金道, Tanbanokami YOSHIMICHI 丹波守吉道 and Echunokami MASATOSHI 越中守正俊 to establish the famed Mishina school in Kyoto.
It is said that MORIMICHI 盛道 went up to Kyoto from Gifu in his early age to help his rerative Mutsu-no-kami DAIDO then on after
Nagoya castle relocation in kencho 15 (1610), he moved to Nagoya in order to accept an invitation working for Owari Tokugawa feudal lord.
Changing over from the Middle Ages of Muromachi to Modern Times of Edo period dramatic turning period of politics, economy, culture and ideology, style of Samurai fashion was innovatively changed and greatly exaggerated lile this wakizashi. Those sword smiths who were active in Mino province had played the most major roles to meet with luxurious oriented desire from powerful Samurais therefore they had moved to major capitals likely to Kyoto, Nagoya, Bushu or major castle towns like Hiroshima, Echizen or Sendai.
Fish belly shape of Nakago had become getting popular during Azuchji-Momoyama period, frequently seen among Ise-Senko 伊勢千子、Owari MORIMICHI 尾張盛道, Suruga-Shimada 駿河島田、Soushu-Tsunahiro 相州綱広、Bushu-Shitahara 武州下原 schools to understand that frequent cultural and techinical exchange became very active along Tokaido region.
The subject gorgeous wakizashi shows a typical style during Momoyama period so called "Keicho-style".
The elaborate made filemarks and powerfull chisels of inscription, tang remains excellent taste of patina and superb condition over almost 400 years history. This wakizashi had been treasured by high class cultured Samurais in Owari domain in generations and presenting the typical workmanship of 1st gen. MORIMICHI 盛道. There is an example of posthumous
collaboration Wakizashi both by MORIMICHI 駿河守盛道 and UJIFUSA 飛騨守氏房. The entire shape of 1st gen. Suruga-no-kami MORIMICHI creates a majestic manner of heroic image by powerful Samurai to play for success.
Preserved in Shirasaya plain wood mounting, Single layer gold foiled Habaki collar.
Recent polish/Condition scale: excellent (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor)
reference data:
Iwata Atou [Owari Tokofu] Nagoya city Board of Education, 1985
[collaboration work with UJIFUSA -
Wakizashi signed Suguga-no-kami MORIMICHI (front) Hida-no-kami UJIFUSA (reverse) 駿河守盛道 飛騨守氏房] from the exhibition at Nagoya city Museum, 2004