Katana signed Yamashiro-no-kami Fujiwara KUNITSUGU with) Black Ro-iro Sendan-stripes scabbard Uchikatana Koshirae

Shinto Early Edo period (Kanbun era/circa 1661-) Echizen/Bushu
Length of cutting edge : 68.2cm Curvature : 1.2cm Width of base : 31.1mm Width of Yokote : 20.6mm Thickness of base : 6.7mm

NBTHK(Hozon) certificate for sword

with) Black Ro-iro Sendan-stripes scabbard Uchikatana Koshirae

NBTHK(Hozon) for tsuba

Blade construction (kengyo) : Shinogi-zuruki, Iori-mune. Machi-okuri Suriage shortened on about 2-sun (6cm). Thick in Kasane, ample volume in Hiraniku. There is shallow center pointed curve leading to an elongated medium Kissaki, Shinogi-suji ridge is high massively heavy on both hands.(click HERE for high resolution of the blade photograph)
Forging pattern (kitae hada) : Kitae hada is fine Itame with Mokume burl and flowing Masame hada is perceived along Shinogi-ji surface.Crystallized thick Ji-Nie (hard metal granules over the surface) sparkles clearly against thick lines of Chikei (darkish Nie lines) activity.
Tempering pattern (hamon) : Hamon makes up undulating Notare mixing with Gunome and Choji clove outline that ranges 2 or 3 regularly. Hamon boundary line activates with a bit on stronger side Nie and isolated activities of TOBIYAKI appear here and there. The interior of temper is filled with deep NIOI mist with activities of thick Nie-Ashi. Muneyaki isolated quenching temper appears on the middle of back ridge.
Temper of tip (boshi) : Temper of Boshi forms Suguha then medium circle turns back deeply to form upper Muneyaki.
Tang (Nakago) : The Nakago was shortened SURIAGE on about 2-sun (6cm). The heel of Nakago was horizontal KIRI. The original Yasurime is greatly slanting left (Ō-sujikai) file marks whereas the shortened area makes up horizontal KIRI. Back ridge of Nakago is flat with horizontal Yasurime filemarks. Three Mekugi-ana peg holes (the third hole is filled with lead. The inscription signature in front is seven character that starts with the official district title of Yamashiro-no-kami 山城守, the name of clan Fujiwara 藤原 then smith name KUNITSUGU 国次.

The founder smith KUNITSUGU 国次, real name Yamada Shichirobei 山田七郎兵衛 in Echizen (now Fukui pref.) belonged to Shimosaka school 下坂派 where turned out the most superior talented smith Yasutsugu 康継. He learned from Masanori 正則 in Yasmashiro tradition or Kanenori 兼法 from Mino school tradition to obtain the through grasp of the art of sword making.
The first and second generation enjoyed Yamashiro-daijo 山城大掾 title and the second generation KUNITUGU 国次 enjoyed 16 petals of KIKU-mon granted by the Imperial Court.
The subject maker, the 3rd generation KUNITSUGU 国次 who succeeded to professional name Yamada Shichirobei 山田七郎兵衛, obtained the title of Yamashiro-daijo 山城大掾 in Kanbun 1st (1661) then promptly got ahead to the most upgraded title of Yamashiro-no-kami 山城守 and moved to Bushu Edo (now in Tokyo) by order of the lord of Echizen clan Matsudaira family 松平家. The record of his extant works with date of year ranges from Kanbun 2nd (1662) to Enpo 2nd (1674).

This katana although it is shortened, still remains ample thickness in Kasane and wide in Mihaba, massively heavy on hands.Jigane steel sparkles with bright Ji-Nie where darkish line of Chikei in different carbon content appears.

with) Black Ro-iro lacquered Sendan-stripes scabbard Uchikatana Koshirae (click
HERE in front / HERE in other side for entire Koshirae / HERE for each fitting)
  • Fuchi/Kashira : Mikawa Manzai comic dialogist design, Shibuichi ground, Polish surface, Takabori carving, Gold/silver and Suaka copper Iroe, signed Shozui 政随
  • Menuki : A toad and snake design, Suaka copper ground, Katabori carving, Gold Iroe
  • Tsuba : Bamboo leaves design, Iron ground, Mokko cross rectangular shape, Gold inlay, unsigned judged as Shonai work (NBTHK Hozon certificate)
  • Tsuka : White rayskin,Black silk Hosoito cord Kumiage-style lozenge wrap
Shakudo Habaki collar, Preserved in Shira-saya plain wood mounting
Recent polish/Condition scale: very good (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor).
reference data : Honma Kunzan / Ishii Masakuni NINONTO MEIKAN Yuzankaku, 1975