A77641(S1899)

Katana signed Bizen-koku-ju Osafune SUKESADA-saku Auspicious day in the 8th month, Tensho 9th with) Gold pearl of inlay scabbard Uchikatana Koshirae

Koto Endo of Muromachi period (Tensho 9 / 1581) Bizen
Length of cutting edge 69.3cm Curvature 1.8cm Width of Base 28.9mm Width of Yokote 19.5mm Thickness of base 6.8mm

NBTHK(Hozon) certificate

with) Gold pearl of inlay scabbard Uchikatana Koshirae

Blade construction: Shinogi-zukuri, Iori-mune in low, Machiokuri - shorten it's cutting edge on about 3cm. Shinogi-suji is high that is shaved off toward the back ridge of Mune. There is well-harmonized degree of tapering from base to tip also has a highly defined curve near the base while the upper Fukura area has a bit on deeper curve leading to an extended medium tip Chu-Kissaki. The entire blade creates a heroic atmosphere during the Warning States period. (click HERE for higher resolution image of the entire blade)
Forging(Hada): Forging is fine Itame-hada in general, mixing with some indication of flowing ware here and there. The entire Hiraji-surface is covered in speckled Ji-nie that generates speckled whitish reflection of Midare-Utsuri over the surface.
Temper(Hamon): Hamon is Ko-Nie hard metal granules base, a bit on tighter side in Nioi boundary line, large surge of Notare mixing in undulating round-head Gunome and small tassel Choji pattern and Togari-ha where works with deep sparkling-Nie toward Hiraji-surface. Some of Nie splits over the Hiraji to generate speckled Midare-Utsuri. Some splashes over the surface to be an isolated Tobiyaki. The interior of temper is full of activities such as ASHI and YOU. The entire quenching scene is full of vigor with rich activities from Nie and Nioi.
Temper of tip(Boshi): Boshi forms irregular undulating Gunome medium circle on front and the other side URA forms small circle turns back.
Tang(Nakago): Nakago is in UBU original. Machi-okuri shorten the cutting edge on about 1-sun (approx. 3cm). Two peg retaining holes. Katte-sagari(slightly slanting left) filemarks. Back ridge of Nakago is flat with Katte-sagari filemark. Double-bevelled heel mark so called Kurijiri . The inscription in front is located next to the original Mekugi-ana on Shinogi-ji, starting with the place of work Bizen-koku-ju Osafune 備前国住長船 then smith name SUKESADA-saku 祐定作. The other side is chiselled with the date of year Auspicious day in the 8th month, Tensho 9th 天正九年八月吉日 (1581).

Here is a stirring Katana from the Wartning States disturbance period dated 1581 (Tensho 9th) by the famed swordsmith SUKESADA 祐定.
Powerful clans or generals in Warring States Period to the Azuchi Momoyama state required the heavy, massive volume and thick in kasane with high shinogi-ridge holding well-proportioned deep curve. Heavy on hand to form solid durable construction, showing a brave Samurai spirit for practical active use.
Swordsmith SUKESADA 祐定 in Bizen Osafune is one of the most distinguished swordsmiths of the same ranks as KATSUMITSU 勝光 and TADAMITSU 忠光.
A name of SUKESADA 祐定 appeared on Meiou era (1492-). Among SUKESADAs' atelier with the skilled chief with secular names of Hikobei-no-jo 彦兵衛尉 first and Hiko-saemon-no-jo 彦左衛門尉 then Yoso-saemon-no-jo 与三左衛門尉 did too.
On after latter half of Tenbun era (1540-), starting with Genbei-no-jo 源兵衛尉, Jiro-Kuro 次郎九郎 and Hiko-saemon-no-jo 彦左衛門尉 have been highly celebrated no matter with or without secular name especially the works with date of year during Tenbun (1532-54) generally shows higher skill and upper rank of artistic level than other ages.
The subject sword, although without secular name, uses finer steel with special care in executing, is longer than moderate works to convince that this katana was custom made for the famed general warrior who belonged to a Warlord in the disturbance period.
The truly powerful shape is rather longer than standard holding gracefully deep curve, which is the shape during the transition from Tenbun(1532-54) to Tensho(1573-91) - it stands firmly on wide base, holding abundant volume of Hiraniku, high Shinogi-suji ridge holding well-proportioned deep curvature - entire shape holds awe-inspiring power of elegance in full of brave Samurai spirit. The elaborate made filemarks and courteous chisels of inscription, Nakago remains excellent taste of patina holding an excellent condition over almost 470 yeas history.
This katana has been treasured over hundreds years in really many generations from the middle ages and now presents you the typical workmanship of SUKESADA 祐定.

with) Gold peral of Inlay scabbard Uchikatana Koshirae (click HERE for entire Koshirae and HERE for each fitting)
  • Fuchi/Kashira : Shishi lion design, Iron ground, ploshed surface, Shakudo inlay, Gold Iroe, unsigned
  • Menuki : triple AOI crest design, Shakudo ground, Katabori carving, Gold Iroe
  • Tsuba : Bamboo/Shishi lion design, Iron ground, Hammered surface, Sukibori carving, Gold inlay, Shakudo Iroe, unsigned
  • Tsuka : White rayskin, gold-brown silk ord lozenge wrap
Copper ground gold plated single layer Habaki, preserved in Shira-saya plain wood mounting

Old good polish/Condition scale: excellent - very good (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor).
reference data : Osafune-Cho-shi Token-zuroku edition Osafune-cho 1998

note) The latter half of Medieval Muromachi period, starting with The Onin War (応仁の乱 Onin no Ran) / (1467-77), the length and style of Japanese swords had changed - Eisho-Daiei(1504-27) it was generally 2.0 - 2.1 shaku(60-63cm) which was suitable for one-hand grip, Kyoroku-Tenbun(1528-40) it had become a bit longer to 2.2 shaku(66cm), then Ganki-Tenso(1570-91) it became further longer to 2.3 shaku or even more(70cm) and Nakago(tang) became getting longer accordingly which was designed in the style of both hands grip.