Ōmi-Yari Spear signed Hishu-ju Fujiwara KIYOKUKNI (Doutanuki)

Momoyama period (Bunroku/Keicho era circa 1592-14) Higo
Length of cutting edge 74.0cm Length of tang 26.5cm Width of base 28.0mm Thickness of neck 17.0mm

NBTHK(Hozon) certificate


Blade construction: Extra long triangular spear so called Ōmi-Yari with pentagonal neck. There is a wide and deep vermilion-lacquered groove in Hiraji-surface. Powerfully made spear with great Majesty. (click HERE for higher resolution image of the entire blade).
Forging(Hada): Itame hada with Mokume ware mixing with entwined flowing Masame ware.
Temper(Hamon): Hamon is Nioi based Suguha straight with slight wave, mixing in with small Gunome and Hotsure fray indication.
Temper of tip(Boshi): Boshi forms irregular pattern with brushing Hakikake indication.
Tang(Nakago): Nakago is shortened in Suriage. One Mekugiana peg hole. Upper the Nakago, shallow Kattesagari (slanting left) filemarks, lower the Nakago indicates Higaki (checked) then becomes Ōsujikai (greatly slanting left) gradually. The signature in front is seven large character that starts with the place of work Hishu-ju and name of clan Fujiwara then smith name KIYOKUNI 肥州住藤原清国.

Kumamoto, Higo domain used to be prosperous as traditional steel manufacturing using foot bellows since the Middle Ages. In the end of Kamakura 14th century, a founder of Enju 延寿 school - Rai KUKNIMURA 来国村 had been invited from Yamashiro, Kyoto to provide against
Mongol invasions of Japan. However during Nanbokucho period as powerful clan Kikuchi 菊池 declined in power, sword makers in Enju school had disappeared or scattered away.
Sword makers in Doutanuki 同田貫 school were the descendants of Enju 延寿 who were invited by the famed feudal lord
Kato Kiyomasa 加藤清正. He came to Kumamoto in Tensho 16 (1588) and equipped Kumamoto Castle with armed swords, spears and Naginatas made by Doutanuki school. Their swords, spears and Naginata have been highly appraised as "the most supreme sharp and durable" and had been used for historical battles such as Japanese invasions of Korea (1592-98), Battle of Sekigahara or Siege of Osaka. Therefore many of existing works by Doutanuki have worn down due to the usage or repeated restoration. However some katanas or spears with long inscriptions with additional maker's name such as KIYOKUNI 清国, MASAKUNI 正国, HEIBU 兵部, EMON 右衛門, MATAHACHI 又八 were identified as custom made mostly exclusively for a higher rank commander of Samurais and those were mostly superior made that hold higher artistic value but on the other hand most of shorter Wakizashi which were equipped in Kumamoto Castle had no inscriptions but marked only a consecutive number.
The subject majestically powerful spear was made for brave Samurai with warlike spirits, even it's tang has being shortened Suriage during the Warning States period, the most significantly, perhaps, the subject spear holds the massive original shape, volume further still remains clear inscription of signature in full by KIYOKUNI 清国, the founder of Doutanuki school, who was exclusively served for
Kato Kiyomasa 加藤清正.
It is an old polish status, although there are some insignificant scratches, still remains rich volume in good health to prove that this Doutanuki spear has been highly treasured as a brilliant military feat of winning over series of battles.
Preserved in an old Shirasaya plain wood mounting.
An old polish/Condition scale: very good - good (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor)
reference : Numata Kanetsugu, Shinpan Nihon-no-Meisou, Yuzankaku, 1974