Katana signed Noushu-ju Niwa KANENOBU Hori-dosaku Auspicious day May Showa 46th

Contemporary sword (Showa 46/1971) Gifu prefecture
Length of cutting edge 73.2cm Curvature 1.6cm Width of base 33.4mm Width of Yokote 23.8mm Thickness of base 7.8mm

Important Intangible Cultural Property holder (1973)

Blade construction:Shinogi-zukuri, Iori-mune, Width of base is wide standing firmly on base and harmonized degree of tapering from base to elongated middle Kissaki. The shape is created in Osaka-shinto style that was made in Genroku to Houei era. (click HERE for higher resolution image)
Carvings(Horimono) : Tamaoi-ryu 珠追昇龍 a dragon reaching out arm to grab a ball-shape gem in front and the other side Tamaoi-kouryu 玉追降龍 a dragon bringing peace-gem to this world
Forging(Hada): Forging pattern is super fine Ko-Itame-hada using superior steel. The steel gives off sparkling martensite crystals of Ji-Nie against bluish steel of Jigane to generate gleaming lines of Chikei over the Hiraji surface.
Temper(Hamon): The most flamboyant Hamon is martensite crystals of frosty Ko-Nie based with misty-Nioi where tight boundary area shines clear and bright. Starting with straight Yakidashi on base, Large undulating NOTARE with combination of 2-3 ranging Gunome-midare some groups forms box-like shape Hako-midare. There works with minute lines of Sunagash. The entire quenching state is impressively clear and refreshing bright.
Temper of tip(Boshi): Boshi calms down at Yokote to form straight Sugu-ha with a slight indication of delicate Hakikake then medium circle turns back in good manner.
Tang(Nakago): Nakago is UBU in original. One Mekugi-ana peg hole. V-shape (Takanoha) filemark. The heel shape is Single-bevelled (Katayama-gata).
The signature in Hakiomote front starts with living place Noushu-ju 濃州住,smith name Niwa KANENOBU 丹波兼延 then own engraving 刻同作. The other side is chiselled with the date of year Auspicious day, May Showa 46th 昭和四十六年五月吉辰.

Niwa KANENOBU 丹羽兼延, real name is Niwa Shuuji 丹羽脩司, was born in April 5, Meiji 36 (1903). At the tender age of 14, He joined to his fathers' Niwa KANEMASTU (KANENOBU) studio 丹羽兼松(兼信) to learn sword making technique and devoted himself pre-post war days in almost 70 years.
He officially licensed as a traditional Japanese sword artist in June 19, Showa 42 (1967) then established his own atelier at
Kajita 768, Tomika-cho, Kamo-gun, Gifu.ref.

He performed a brilliant activities to win many prizes not only for making sword but also of great renown as the dense self-carving on the body of blade such as Tamaoi-ryu dragon catching up a gem 珠追龍 other than old Kenmaki-ryu dragon 剣巻龍, who equals to Gassan 月山. On demand of Atsuta Shrine in Showa 46 (1971), he made a replica of Wakizashi Sword Signed by Yasutsugu (Important Cultural Property) and finally he won the honor prize of Gigu Important Intangible Cultural Property in November 8, 1973 (Showa 48).

The subject sword is dated Showa 46 (1971) at age of 68 years when he offered the sword dedication to Atsuta Shrine. The blade is well proportioned in shape, wide in base and thick in Kasane and there is harmonized degree of tapering from base to elongated middle Kissaki holding massive volume of Hiraniku, heavy on hands. Extremely fine Ko-itame forging using top quality steel gives off sparkling fine and profuse granules so called Ji-nie that generates darkish Nie lines along Itame grain so called CHIKEI activity.
Hamon bears a close resembles to big surges that he does well. Temper boundary line is tight in uniform Nioi. The interior is filled in whitish Nioi-mist like crystallize area where Ashi feet works toward the cutting edge where short lines of Nie "Sunagashi" activates across the feet.
The entire hamon shows a close resemblance of Sukehiro's Toran-ha to add his own workmanship of Mino-den favor. This katana is incredibly harmonized well with the dense dragon-carving on the body on both sides to prove that this katana is remarkable achievement among his extant works.
(A dragon flying up to heaven to catch a hoju (sacred ball-shape gem) and a dragon coming back to ground holding a hoju by claw)
His traditional Mino-den sword workmanship and top skilled carving skill both are for sure handed down to his son Niwa Seigo (KANENOBU) 丹羽清吾(兼信).
Preserved in a Shirasaya plain wood mounting, Double layers Silver Habaki collar.
Excellent original polish/Condition scale: mint (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor)
Due to original polish 50 years ago, some minor stains or slight scratches appears on body that will entirely blow away by skilled polish.
reference data :
Ōno Tadahi, Gendai Touko Meikan, kougei Shuppan, 1971