Koto Middle of Muromachi period (Meio era/circa 1491-) Owari
Length of cutting edge 66.8cm Curvature 2.3cm Width of base 30.0mm Width of Yokote 18.1mm Thickness of base 7.3mm

NBTHK(Hozon) certificate

Blade construction: Shinogi-zukuri, Iori-mune with a bit on larger side Chu-Kissaki, wide in Mihaba on base and rather on higher side of Shinogi-suji ridge where volume of Shinogi-ji surface is shaved off toward the back ridge of Mune to form sturdy construction. There is well-harmonized degree of tapering from base to point holding rather on deeper side curve holding Sakisori upper pointed curvature. Those character are the major trends in the middle of the Muromachi period. (click HERE for higher resolution image of the entire blade).
Forging(Hada): Forging is conspicuous Itame-hada with outstanding indication of streaming Masame ware mostly appear along quenching boundary lines as well as Shinogi-ji. Crystallized granule of Ji-nie appears on surface that emits sparkling reflection of whitish-Utsuri. Darkish thick lines of Nie so called "CHIKEI" activity appears on Hira-ji.
Temper(Hamon): Hamon is uniform "Nie" hard steel crystallized undulating Notare mixing with combination of Gunome and Togari-ha with some indication of Box-like Hakoba. Sparkling fine Nie accumulated thick on boundary line. Upper the Monouchi area there perceives clear activities of stronger Ji-Nie so called Yubashiri that emits from the summit of Togari-ha.
Temper of tip(Boshi): Temper of boshi forms irregular Midarekomi with an indication of Hakikake brushing trace like flame and turns back deeply.
Tang(Nakago): The tang is UBU original with Gyaku-Takanoha (Inverted-V) filemarks and the other side forms Takanoha (V-shaped). The back ridge of Nakago is well-contoured with Greatly slanting left (O-sujikai) filemarks. Doubel bevelled (Kurijiri) heel in full. Two mekugi-ana peg holes. The inscription signature in front is 2 peculiar character KANENOBE 兼延 that is located upper in Shinogi-ji next to the original Mekugi-ana.

Here is a splendidly heroic katana of KANENOBE 兼延 in Owari (now in Nagoya) from late 15th C. from Muromachi period.
According to an ancient record, KANENOBE 兼延 initially lived in
Oyama town in Mino domain then had moved to Shiga-town, Owari during Meio era (1492-) . It is generally known that he is the founder who laid the foundation of Owari swords and being giving a name "Shiga-Seki" 志賀関.
Generically called Naoe-shizu 直江志津 school such as Kanetomo 兼友、Kanetoshi 兼俊、Kanenobe 兼延, had established a foothold in Naoe town and flourished to meet with sharp rise in demand for the Nanbokucho period while the two courts fought for fifty years.
In the prime of Nanbokucho period, Naoe-shizu makers accomplished their own workmanship in the style of Soushu so that Soushu and Yamato techniques were integrated into Mino technique.
Just after the Muromachi era had started, there became little demand for making swords under brief peace also suffered repeated floods, sword makers who belonged to Naoe-Shizu school scattered in other areas such as Akasaka, Seki or Oyama in Mino domain.
The subject powerful katana remains the original majestic shape. It is full of Samurai spirit during the Warning States of period when major powerful clans began rise to power. It feels solidly heavy in hand holding rich volume in Kasane and powerful medium Kissaki. Hardening crystallized Nie granules sparkle vividly bright in the light and fine steel gives off whitish mist reflection of Utsuri that hangs over the Hiraji.
Deep in curve was designed for fast draw, Itame forging ware of functional mixture with hard and soft steel was resolved for durable construction. Undulating Gunome and Togari-ha tempering follows an ancient Naoe-Shizu tradition being carefully quenched for the most supreme sharp performance.
This prominent katana has been treasured by powerful legitimate Samurais in generations. The blade is admired for preservation of the original construction over the passage of 530 years even more to maintain an excellent taste of patina in Nakago and clear Yasurime filemarks as well as typical inscription of signature KANENOBE 兼延.
Single layer silver foiled Habaki collar, preserved in a Shira-saya plain wood mounting
Good old polish/Condition scale: very good (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor)
reference data :
Honma Kunzan/Ishii Masakuni, Nihontomeikan, Yuzanaku, 1975
Honma Kunzan/Sato Kan'ichi, Nihonto-Taikan/Koto 3, Otsuka-Kogeisha, 1969
Suzuki Taskuo/Sugiura Yoshiyuki, Muromachi-ki Mino-Toko-no kenkyu, Ribun-shuppan, 2006