Katana signed Seshu-ju Senji MASASHIGE with) Blue pearl of inlay Black lacquered Taneshino-stripe Koshirae

Shinto Early Edo period (Kanbun era/circa 1661 -) Ise
Length of cutting edge 72.6cm Curvature 2.6cm Width of base 32.5mm Thickness of base 7.5mm

NBTHK(Tokubetsu Hozon) certificate for Katana

with) Blue pearl of inlay Black lacquered Taneshino-stripe Koshirae

NBTHK(Hozon) certificate for Koshirae


Blade construction: Long Katana of Shinogi-zukuri, Iori-mune. Kasane is thick and Mihaba is wide. There is rather on deeper side in Sori curvature and less degree of tapering from base to elongated Kissaki and cutting edge is fully swelling out. The blade construction is suggestive of a Tachi which is plump in well proportion, massively heavy on hands.(click HERE for higher resolution image of the entire blade)
Forging(Hada): Jigane forging is Itame-hada with an indication of partial Masame ware that appears mostly along both side of boundary quenching line. The surface shows sparkling beauty of Ji-Nie to generate gleaming lines of Chikei.
Temper(Hamon): Hamon is Nie hard metal granules base, undulating Notare with small Gunome and Togari-ha. The entire temper line of both sides are matched in general. Boundary line of Habuchi works with partial Ni-ju-ha and Hotsure-ha and interior of temper gives off gleaming lines of delicate Sunagashi and thick lines of Kinsen.
Temper of tip(Boshi): Boshi forms irregular Midarekomi then medium circle turns back deeply.
Tang(Nakago): Nakago is in UBU original. Tanago-bara (Fish belly) shape. One peg holes. Shallow Katte-sagari (slanting-left) filemarks. Back ridge of Nakago is flat with Katte-sagari filemarks and V-shaped (kengyo) heel shape. The signature in front is seven character that stars with work of place Seshu-ju 勢州住, school name Senji 千子 and name of smith MASASHIGE 正重.

Here is a quite rare extant work of MASASHIGE 正重 who belonged to Senji 千子 school in Ise (now in Kuwana city) during Kanbun era (1661-).

MASASHIGE 正重 is said as a son, son-in-law or pupil (not been proven yet) of 1st gen. MURAMASA 村正. The 1st gen. MASASHIGE 正重 was active in Eisho(1504-1520) and 2nd gen. was activate during Tenbun(1532-1554).
The workmanship of 2nd gen. of MASASHIGE, in compare with ones of MURAMASA in the same age, Blade is usually larger in size, Hada is wildly forging and Hamon is full of variety and Extravagant shape of tang "Fish-belly" in fully swelling with emphasized V-shape heel. The peculiar signature manner by fist character MASA 正 is extremely right-up. A successors MASASHIGE played the major role of Senji school to meet with increasing demands from powerful clans.
The subject Katana is one of the most superb works of MASASHIGE with an original Koshirae mount. It's workmanship proves that MASASHIGE to become the head of Senji school in Shinto period. Most of his extant works shows long character such as Seshu-ju Senji MASASHIGE 勢州住千子正重 whereas ones of Koto period shows two or three character MASASHIGE 正重 or MASASHIGE-saku 正重作.
The entire Katana is quite healthy holding massive Hiraniku and heavy on both hands. Nakago holds excellent traste of patina with clear chisels of filemarks in the passage of 360 years history to maintaiin powerfully engraved inscription of singature Seshu-ju Senji MASASHIGE 勢州住千子正重.

This is the monumental work of MASASHIGE that comes with a holy mount of Koshirae in excellent condition and it's Menuki of a family crest Tsuta-Kashiwa design to prove that this MASASHIGE used belonging to a Shinto priest.

with) Blue pearl of inlay Black lacquered Taneshino stripe Koshirae
HERE for higher resolution images and HERE for the entire image of koshirae fitting)
  • Fuchi/kashira : Silver ground of Sumon plain design polish surface, unsigned
  • Menuki : Tsuta-Kashiwa family crest design of Gold ground Yobori carving
  • Tsuba : Amaryu a pair of Dragons design, Iron ground, Sahari/Gold inlay, unsigned
  • Tsuka : White layskin, Gray indigo blue silk cord wrap (Hilt base with Samagawa is recently restored using fresh silk cord)
Gold plated Tachi-style Habaki. Preserved in a Shira-Saya plain wood mounting.
Recent good polish/Condition scale: mint-excellent (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor).
reference data:
Honma Junji/Satou Kanichi, NIHONTO TAIKAN KOTO-HEN 3 Otsuka Kogei sha April 15, 1969
Kuwana-city Museum, MURAMASA -Isekuwana Sword makers-, 2016