Tanto signed Naniwa-ju NOBUHIDE In the 2nd month Meiji 2

Shin-shin-to Early Meiji period (Meiji 2 / 1869) Osaka
Length of cutting edge 22.6cm Inward curvature Width of Base 25.5mm Thickness of base 5.5mm

NBTHK(Tokubetsu Hozon) certificate



Blade construction: Moro-ha-zukuri, Inward curvature rather on thicker side in Kasane and well-harmonic proportion of Mihaba to Nagasa leading to a sharp point of Kissaki. (click HERE for higher resolution image of the entire blade)
Forging(Hada): Forging is minute Mokume-hada on Hiraji and subdued Masame appears on the back side Mune. The entire Hiraji is covered in of abundant sparkling Ji-nie that generates fine bluish Chikei activity over the surface.
Temper(Hamon): Hamon is a bit on stronger side fine Nie hard metal granules base, box-like Hakoba that consists of small clove elements where clove foot in angles radiates toward the cutting edge. The other side of Mune becomes Suguha, lower the blade stronger/thicker the sparkling Nie that accumulates on boundary line to form Niju-ha/Hotsure indication. In the interior of temper, there works with deep "Noi" mist-like crystalline area.
Temper of tip(Boshi): Boshi forms large wave then large circle turns back deeply to Muneyaki.
Tang(Nakago): Nakago is UBU in original. One Mekugiana peg retaining hole. Ō-sujikai (greatly slanting left) with decorative Kesho filemarks. The heel is uneven double-bevelled heel shape so called "Ha- agari KURIJIRI".
The inscription the place of work Naniwa-ju 浪花住 is located on upper the Mune side and lower the Hiraji under Mekugi-ana is chiselled smith name NOBUHIDE 信秀.
The other side shows the date of year In the 2nd month, Meiji 2 明治二年二月日 (1869).

Takahashi NOBUHIDE 高橋信秀, real name Ochi Shousaemon 越智庄左衛門 was born in Kouka 2 (1845), Ochi-gun, Imabari where locates in Ehime prefecture. On order of Imabari clan, he came up to the Edo, Tokyo to become a pupil of Takahashi NAGANOBU 高橋長信.
With his uncommon skills, master NAGANOBU 長信 handed down his skills then NOBUHIDE 信秀 became a son-in-law, named himself family name TAKAHASHI 高橋, had supposed to be a successor.
However somehow reasons, he vanished NAGANOBU 長信 family on about Keiou 1 (1865) then promptly joined Gassan SADAICHI 月山貞一 school in Osaka.
Upward of 2 years practice under Gassan SADAICHI school, he became independent to attend his own works in his native place Imabari and Osaka as well.
He is an unprolific artisan because of long term disciple of his former father in law NAGANOBU 長信 and also sudden interruption of making swords by Haitōrei Edict - a decree abolishing the wearing of swords after the Meiji Restoration.
The subject double edged Moro-ha-tsukuri Tanto is a masterpiece in his early years, as a reproduction of the most practical Bizen work from Muromachi period.
This tanto was made when he was prime of 25 years old after his independence right before Haitōrei Edict. He would attempt to complete one of the most difficult issues of Moro-ha-tsukuri which are almost perfect reconstruction of practical shape, super fine Mokume-hada forging using fine steel of Tamahagane, superb quenching process performance and an elaborately made Nakago filemarks.
Gold foiled habaki collar, preserved in Shira-saya plain wood mounting
Recent polish/Condition scale: excellent - very good (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor).
reference data :
Kawaguchi Wataru, Shinto Koto Taikan, 1930
Yasuhiro ABE, Researches of deaf sword smith Takahashi NAGANOBU in Unshu-domain, Kuroshio-sha, 1988
Honma Kunzan/Ishii Masakuni, Nihonto Meikan Yuzankaku, 1975