Katana unsigned attributed to a work of Mino Senjuin

Koto Early Muromachi period (Ouei era/circa 1394-) Mino
Length of cutting edge 72.1mm curvature2.8cm Width of base 29.1mm Width of Yokote 18.6mm Thickness of base 8.5mm

NBTHK(Hozon) certificate



Blade construction: Dignified Tachi of Shinogi-zukuri, Iori-mune, well harmonized degree of tapering from base to point that leads to a bit on elongated Chu-kissaki. There is pronounced Koshi-zori on base and also upper point Sakizori is perceived.The blade remains almost it's original shape that stands firmly on base and Shinogi ridge is rather on higher side with massive volume of Hiraji.(click HERE for higher resolution image of the entire blade)
Forging(Hada): Forging is rather pronounced Itame or conspicuous Masame in combination. A bit on coarse side Ji-nie granules attaches on Hiraji that emits diffused reflection of Nie with mottled effect or sparkling profuse Yubashiri generates "Nie-utsuri" like mirages. Darkish lines of Nie so called "CHIKEI" activity wells out from steel.
Temper(Hamon): Hamon is Nie-deki, a bit on stronger side hard metal martensite crystals, flamboyant clove outline, Gunome and tall Togari-ha where head of outline varies is shape and height. Some of Gunome splashes into Hiraji surface so called Tobiyaki. The interior of temper is filled with mist-like crystallize area with thick Nie feet of ASHI and floating matensite dots of YOU areas. The entire temper is full of rich Nie activities and is vividly bright.
Temper of tip(Boshi): Temper of boshi forms irregular Midarekomi with an indication of brushing Hakikake, medium circle turn back shortly.
Tang(Nakago): The tang is almost in original "UBU" unsigned. The heel is un-even U-shaped in full. Two peg holes with V-shaped Takanoha filemarks. Back ridge of Nakago is a bit contoured with Kiri (horizontal) filemarks.

Akasaka in Mino domain (now Ogaki city, Gifu pref.) used to be prosperous as a strategic place where is located at crossing point of the Tōkaido and Tōzando Highways and near a Ooi-sho 大井荘, manor of Tōdai-ji temple.
It is said that during end of Kamakura period, smith SENSUI 泉水 in Yamato (now Nara city) accepted an invitation to move to Akasaka exclusively working for Ooi-sou 大井荘 manor of Tōdai-ji temple. KUNINAGA 国長, a son of SENSUI 泉水 appeared in Nanbokucho period.
Mino Senjuin 美濃千手院, in other word, Akasaka Senjuin 赤坂千手院 is one of the oldest school in Mino domain and practical founder is KUNINAGA 国長 whose posthumous oldest work is dated Ouan 1 (1358). Workmanship of founder KUNINAGA reflects typical Nanbokucho work of brave shape and profuse sparkling Ji-nie under Yamato tradition technique with flamboyant Gunome Hamon having slight Togari indication that comes from Mino tradition.
This katana was judged as a work of Mino-Senjuin 美濃千手院 in very early Muromachi period. Very harmonious ratio of tapering and pronounced curvature that has close resemblance to Tachi from Kamakura period. Steel gives off vividly bright Nie activities and Hakikake indication of Boshi. NBTHK judgement results in Mino Senjuin becuase of Yamato tradition can be seen such as pronounced Masame with profuse Nie sparkling attached on surface but some Togari-ha indication from Mino tradition is perceived.
The entire blade holds almost original shape of Tachi from early Muromachi and fresh polished to regain the brilliance of it's fine steel from 600 years ago even more
Silver foiled double layer Habaki collar, Preserved in a Shira-Saya plain wood mounting.
Fresh polish/Condition scale: excellent-very good (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor).
reference data:
Suzuki Takuo/Sugiura Yoshiyuki Muromachi-ki Mino-Toko-no Kenyu 2006