Wakizashi signed Bishu Osafune NORIMITSU In the 2nd month,Eikyo 3rd with) Ni-bu interval Nothces Black lacquered Kairagi Ray-skin polish surfacescabbard Chi-sa Katana Koshirae

Koto Early Muromachi period (Eikyo 3/1431) Bizen
Length of cutting edge 38.9cm Curvature 0.5cm Width of base 27.0mm Thickness of base 6.8mm

NBTHK(Tokubetsu Hozon) certificate

with) Ni-bu interval Nothces Black lacquered Kairagi Ray-skin polish surface scabbard Chi-sa Katana Koshirae

Blade construction: Hira-zukuri Ko-wakizashi, Iori-mune in low. A bit on wider side in Mihaba and thick in Kasane, Nagasa is long in proportion to the Mihaba width holding a slight curve which is assumed that this geometry in early Muromachi was due to new preferences in swordsmanship as supplement usage for a long Tachi.(click HERE for higher resolution image of the entire blade)
Forging(Hada): Forging is fine Mokume burl mixing with Itame-hada. The surface shows moistened beauty of jet-black luster of Chikei along Mokume and Itame hada against fine sparkling mottled Utsuri reflection in full of an archaic beauty with a sense of austerity and antiquity..
Temper(Hamon): Hamon is uniform Ko-Nie hard metal granules base, slight undulating Notare on base and some indication of slanted small Gunome and sharpened up Togari-ha in different angles. Boundary line glows softly with brilliant fine Ko-Nie and the interior is filled with dense mist of Nioi.
Temper of tip(Boshi): Temper of Boshi is sharpened-up in Togari then turns back shortly in good manner.
Tang(Nakago): Nakago is in UBU original that is short in proportion to the length. Kurijiri (double-bevelled) heel shape. One peg hole. Katte-sagari (slanting left) filemarks. Back ridge of Nakago is flat with Katte-sagari mark. The signature in Sashi-omote front starts with place of work Bishu-Osafune 備州長船 then smith name NORIMITSU 則光. The other side is inscribed the date of yearIn the 2nd month, Eikyo 3rd (1431) 永享三年二月日 that remains vividly clear for the age 590 years in excellent taste of patina.

Ouei era in early Muromachi period after the period of Northern and Southern Dynasties Nanbokucho, some master-hand artisans appeared to look up dignified style workmanship in times of peace in Kamakura period.

According to the reference Nyotebikisho 如手引抄, legitimate Osafune smith NORIMITSU 則光 is reportedly a son of MORIMITSU 盛光. His floruit was Eikyo to Kansho era (1429-65) in the same age of 2nd generation MORIMITSU 盛光. From it's posthumous work which is dated Bunmei 9 at age of 72 years 文明九年七十二歳, he was born in Ouei 12 (1405).

The subject blade with the date of year Eikyo 3 (1431) was made at the tender age of 26. The Entire forging and quenching workmanship shows typical features of NORIMITSU to hold legitimate Osafune workmanship which is certainly a good example as a historical materialis to hold excellent condition remaining fine taste of panina, actively sharp chisels of inscription and clear filemark in Nakago for the age of 590 years.

This Ko-wakizashi bears historic Koshirae set of mouont : (click HERE for entire Koshirae in front and HERE for reversed side / HERE for each fitting)
with) Ni-bu interval Nothces Black lacquered Kairagi Ray-skin polish surface scabbard Chi-sa Katana Koshirae
  • Fuchi/Kashira : Plovers design, Iron ground, Go;d/silver inlay, unsigned
  • Menuki : Ichihiki flower basket design, Shakudo Nanako-ji ground, katabori carving,Takabori Iroe inlay
  • Tsuba : Katsumushi Dragonfly design, Iron fround, Gold Suke-mon style inlay, unsigned
  • Kozuka/Kogai : bearing the crest of family 丸に中陰十の木紋, Silver ground, Takabori, unsigned
  • Tsuka : Black lacquered ray-skin, black silk cord logenze warp
Gold foiled double layers habaki, Preserved in Shirasaya plain wood mounting
Excellent old polish/Condition scale: excellent (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor)
reference data :
Osafune-cho Osafune Cho-shi, Otsuka Kogeisha, 1998
Hon'ma Kunzan/Ishii Masakuni Nihonto Meikan, Yuzankaku, 1975