Wakizashi signed Hōki-no-kami Fujiwara NOBUTAKA

Shinto Early Edo period (kan'ei 10 - Kanbun 2/circa 1633-62) Owari
Length of cutting edge 53.9cm Curvature 1.1cm Width of base 32.4mm Width of Yokote 23.1mm Thickness of base 7.2mm

NBTHK(Hozon) certificate




Blade construction: Shinogi-zukuri, Iori-mune with harmonious ratio of curvature to Nagasa. Kasane is thick and Mihaba is rather on wider side on base with less degree of tapering to point leading to a medium Chu-kissaki. There is extremely deep edge at Hamachi on cutting side to prove that blade remains almost original shape. The entire blade is massively heavy on hand with full of brave spirits, strengthened and honored for the Owaza-mono (the best cutting performance award). (click HERE for super sized image of entire blade)
Forging(Hada): Forging mark is fine Itame wooden grain using excellent choice of fine steel. Hiraji surface is covered with uniform sparkling Nie glitter so called Chikei crystallized area.
Temper(Hamon): Hamon starts with straight with minute irregular pattern of short Yakidashi then forms undulating Notare mixing with Gunome, Box-like pattern or Notch of an Arrow. The entire temper shape of both sides are well matching. Sparkling Nie glitter accumulates thickly along temper boundary line and some overflows to the Hiraji to generate Ni-ju-ha like-Yugashiri sparkling area. There shows only a few Muneyaki of quenched marks on the back ridge. In the interior of temper it is full of crystallized mist with Nie-Ashi feet and floating YOU activity.
Temper of tip(Boshi): Boshi is straight with minute irregular pattern of Niju-ha indication, medium circle turns back deeply to the back ridge.
Tang(Nakago): UBU, One peg hole. Greatly Slanting left Ōsujikai filemarks. Uneven U-shape bottom heel. Round back ridge in full with Ōsujikai filemarks. The signature on Hakiomote starts with the official title of Hōki-no-kami 伯耆守, name of clan Fujiwara 藤原 and smith name NOBUTAKA 信高.

The 2nd generation NOBUTAKA was born in Keicho 8, (1603) as a legitimate child of 1st generation NOBUTAKA 慶遊信高 in Seki-kaji town Kiyosu, Owari domain. He had moved to Seki-Kaji town Nagoya (now in
Marunouchi 3 chome, Naka-ku, Nagoya) in Nagoya castle relocation , the 2nd month, Keicho 15 (1610).
He obtained official district title of Hōki-no-kami , in the 29th day, 8th month, Kanei 10 (1633) when he was 31 years old and then exclusively worked for
Tokugawa Yoshinao 徳川義直 and the vassals of the Owari Tokugawas with as much as a one hundred koku stipend.
He once announced his retirement in Kanbun 2 (1662), at 60 years old in order to abdicate in favor of his son officially but he still remained to the stage with the additionally signed monk name [Nyudō入道] at the end of his signature or add [Zenpakushu 前伯州] title on top. Passed away in the 27th day, 9th month, the 2th year of Genroku (1689), was 87 years old.
The 3rd generation NOBUTAKA, Kawamura San-no-sho NOBUTAKA, who was born in the ninth year of Kanei (1632) in Nagoya, Owari, enjoyed Hōki-no-kami title when he was 34 years old at the fifth day, third month, the fifth year of Kanbun (1665). Also he was nominated in the fifth month, the same year, to work for the domain of Owari Tokugawa exclusively by the second feudal lord
Tokugawa Mitsutomo 徳川光友.
During Kanei/Enpo period in the middle of 17th century, there was large demand of swords from Samurais, who preferred stout and best cutting performing blades especially in Owari where Bushido was very vigorous. The smith Nobutaka proudly worked for a Bushido instructor of Owari Tokugawa, Yagyu Renya Shigekane(1625-1694) 柳生連也厳包.
This wakizashi that would be made in his earlier age, is created in a brave and lively style to show peculiarity of Nobutaka who closely worked for Bushido master Yagyu Renya Shigekane 柳生連也厳包 and have been prized by Samurais from long ago for their cutting ability as Ōwaza-mono (the best cutting performance).

This is a typical example of the works which had been produced by Bushido master Yagyu Renya Shigekane 柳生連也厳包 and has been treasured by Owari Samurais holding brave spirit and it is understood that smith Nobutaka was particularly skilled to meet with their requirement.
Nakago holds a good taste of patina, remains clear filemark and chisel of signature.
Yamagane copper habaki collar, Preserved in a Shira-Saya plain wood mounting.
Good old polish/Condition scale: excellent-very good (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor).

In reference to the other wakizashi signed [San-ami Mappa Houki-no-kami Nobutaka saku, Owned by Taira-uji Shigekane, kanbun 7, Autumn, Cut a Ichino-dou body with thigh at once, Two bellies cut through at once over a few SUN down into the ground] possessed by The Kuwana City Museum 脇指 『三阿弥末派伯耆守信高作 平氏厳包所持之、寛文七秋一之胴奥大桃灯一刃 二津胴快裁落之入平地数寸也』.

reference data:
Iwata Atou Owari Tōkōfu 1985 Publisher : Nagoya city Board of Education
Kato Hiroshi Token Bijutsu vol.357 1986 Japan Sword Preservation Society
Wakizashi signed [San-ami Mappa Houki-no-kami Nobutaka saku, Owned by Taira-uji Shigekane, kanbun 7, Autumn, Cut a Ichino-dou body and thigh at once, Two bellys cut through at once over a few SUN down into the ground] possesed by The Kuwana City Museum 脇指 『三阿弥末派伯耆守信高作 平氏厳包所持之、寛文七秋一之胴奥大桃灯一刃 二津胴快裁落之入平地数寸也』