Katana signed Kyushu Higo Doutanuki MATAHACHI with) Urumi-nuri coating moist brown lacquered scabbard Satsuma Koshirae

Momoyama period (Tensho era/circa 1588-) Higo
Length of cutting edge 69.4cm Curvature 1.5cm Width of base 33.4mm Width of Yokote 27.7mm Thickness of base 8.6mm

NBTHK(Hozon) certificate

with) Urumi-nuri coating moist brown lacquered scabbard Satsuma Koshirae

Blade construction : Shinogi-zukuri with a bit on higher side Iori-mune, high in Shinogi-ji and extreme thick in Kasane with abundant volume of Hiraniku. Mihaba is wide and scarce degree of tapering from base to point leading to elongated large Kissaki, which was the major trend created by Doutanuki school in the Momoyama period holding a rugged style with the most supreme sharp cutting performance.
Horimono(engraving): Altar fitting "Sanko-ken" with Sanskrit character "Bonji" in front and the other side has a pair of parallel grooves "Goma-bashi" as the incarnation of guardian deity "Fudo-myouou".
Forging(Hada) : Hada is obvious flowing Itama-hada with Mokume ware. Speckled with whitish sparkling Utsuri appears over the Hira-ji.
Temper(Hamon) : Hamon is a bit on dimmer side, Nioi-based, undulating Notare where varies in shape such as small Gunome, tassel-shape Choji or Togari-ha. Isolated Tobiyaki overflows into the Hiraji to create like chain of islands.
Temper of tip(Boshi) : Boshi is intensive Hakikake indication like a blaze.
Tang(Nakago) : Nakago is UBU original, slanting left Katte-sagari filemarks. Flat back ridge with greatly slanting left filemarks. The bold and amusing style of signature is inscribed in Shinogi-ji, starting with the place of work Kyushu Higo 九州肥後, school name Doutanuki 同田貫 and name of smith MATAHACHI 又八.

Sword makers in Doutanuki 同田貫 school were said as the descendants of Enju 延寿
(note) who were invited by the famed feudal lord Kato Kiyomasa 加藤清正. He came to Kumamoto in Tensho 16 (1588) and equipped Kumamoto Castle with armed swords, spears and Naginatas made by Doutanuki school. Their swords, spears and Naginatas have been highly rated as "the most supreme sharp cutting performance" and had been used for battles of Japanese invasions of Korea (1592-98), Battle of Sekigahara or Siege of Osaka. Therefore many of existing Doutanuki works have been worn down due to the usage and repeated polish. Most of equipped katana, wakizashi, yari or naginata were made unsiged and equipped in Kumamoto Castle marked with proof number.
However some of the katanas made to executing orders using special care under the patronage of feudal lord Kato Kiyomasa 加藤清正 were made and signed by skilled makers such as KIYOKUNI 清国, MASAKUNI 正国, HEIBU 兵部, UEMON, 右衛門 or MATAHACHI 又八 like this example.

This most heroical Katana ever seen that overwhelms what you see, was made prepared for continuous battles as the most powerful weaponry. Surprisingly heavy on hands and no marks of using up to hold an almost original shape and abundant volume. Further the original engraving with scrupulous care proves the strong faith in God and Buddha to perform distinguished military service and to pray for life that would never be known tomorrow in battle ages.

with) Urumi-nuri coating moist brown lacquered scabbard Satsuma Koshirae
(click HERE for entire Koshirae and HERE for each fitting)
  • Fuchi/kashira : depicting Chidori birds and waves, Yamagane copper ground, Sukibori engraving, executed as Shakudo inlays in high relief
  • Menuki : Sasaro dewdrops on bamboo leaves and boar design executed as Shakudo Katabori engraving and gold inlay
  • Tsuba : Irregular fist shape Myoga and Chu-mon emblem in high relief, Iron ground, unsigned attributed to a work of HOUAN 法安 (Hozon certificate)
  • Tsuka : White rayskin, dark blue silk cord Moro-Tsumami-maki style lozenge wrap
Yamagane original Habaki collar (some aged dents appears on surface), Preserved in a Shira-Saya plain wood mounting.
Good old polish/Condition scale: mint - excellent (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor)

(note) : Kumamoto, Higo domain used to be prosperous as traditional steel manufacturing using foot bellows since the Middle Ages. In the end of Kamakura 14th century, a founder of Enju 延寿 school - Rai KUKNIMURA 来国村 had been invited from Yamashiro, Kyoto to provide against Mongol invasions of Japan. However during Nanbokucho period as powerful clan Kikuchi 菊池 declined in power, sword makers in Enju school had disappeared or scattered away.