katana signed Soushu-ju HIROMASA

Koto End of Muromachi period (Eisho era/circa 1504-) Sagami
Length of cutting edge 65.3cm Curvature 2.1cm Width of base 31.8mm Width of Yokote 22.5mm Thickness of base 7.1mm

NBTHK(Hozon) certificate



Blade construction : Shinogi-zukuri, Iori-mune deeply curved. Kasane is thick, high Shinogi-suji that shaves off toward the back ridge of Mune. There is less degree of tapering from base to tip leading to an elongated medium Kissaki. Entire blade is full of dignified manner with warlike spirits. (click HERE for higher resolution image)
Forging(Hada) : Jigane steel is a bit on darker side. Hada is outstanding Itame and entwined swirling grain marks appear on Hiraji side and Straight Masame appears on Shinogi-ji. Profuse martensite crystals Ji-nie appears against well refined Jigane to generate profuse black gleaming lines of Chikei all over the surface.
Temper(Hamon) : A rather on tighter side martensite crystals Nioi-base, shallow wavy of Notare and minute Gunome or smaller clove elements. Boundary line indicate prominent martensite crystals of Yubashiri - isolated Nie to form double patch indication of Nuju-ha. The hamon has natural beauty of its own which is a reflection of the peak battle ages.
Temper of tip(Boshi): Stronger the Nie crystals, wider the temper to form gleaming long lines of Nie with no-return Hakikake end.
Tang(Nakago) : Suriage shortened in about 4.5cm with horizontal Kiri file marks. The heel is shortened to be horizontal Kiri end. The signature is located on the Shinogi-ji side, five small character that reads Soushu-ju HIROMASA 相州住廣正.

Soushu-den tradition in Sagami province that was founded by YUKIMITSU 行光 had been succeeded by the famed MASAMUNE 正宗 and was matured by SADAMUNE 貞宗 then reached the height of its prosperity and accomplished by HIROMITSUI 廣光 and AKIHIRO 秋広 in Nanbokucho period.
According to the Nihonto Meikan, the founder HIROMASA 廣正 appeared in Enbun era (1356-) but no extant works are found. The 2nd generation HIROMASA, said a son of MASAHIRO 正廣, became a pupil of HIROMITSU 廣光 was active Eiwa era (1375-).
The extant number of works by the latter 3rd to 6th generations in Muromachi period are quite less because Soushu-den tradition was declining in power due to the other clans in different regions have rosen in power and the other traditions of Bizen-den and Mino-den rosen in power.
This sword is judged as the work either by 5th or 6th generation HIROMASA. It is quite rare to come across with Shinogi-zurukuri construction of HIROMASA 廣正 as most of his extant works are Hira-zukuri construction wakizashi.
The hitting mark at Shinogi-suji on front proves that the owner of this katana - brave Samurai distinguished a brilliant military feat with this katana and has been treasured by generations over the centuries.
Gold foiled copper ground habaki collar, preserved in Shirasaya plain wood mounting.
reference data : Honma Kunzan/Ishii Masakuni, Nihonto Meikan, Yuzankaku, 1975