Katana signed Geishu-ju Izumo-daijo MASAMITSU In the 3rd month Keio 3rd Sanjo Munechika-saku with)Black Stone surface lacqured Blue-pearl of inlay scabbard Uchikatana Koshirae

Shin-shin-to end of the Edo period (Keio 3rd / 1867) Aki
Length of cutting edge 67.9cm Curvature 1.2cm Width of base 29.9mm Width of Yokote 21.3mm Thickness of base 7.2mm

NBTHK(Hozon) certificate

with)Black Stone surface lacqured Blue-pearl of inlay scabbard Uchikatana Koshirae

Blade construction (kengyo) : Shinogi-zuruki, Iori-mune. Kasane is a bit on thicker side with an usual width in Mihaba. High in Shinogi-suji ridge that holds ample volume in Hiraniku, massively heavy on hands. There is less degree of tapering from base to point holding shallow curve leading to an elongated medium Kissaki.(click HERE for high resolution of the blade photograph)
Horimono (carving) : Parallel Koshi-hi grooves (Gomabashi) on base in URA side.
Forging pattern (kitae hada) : Kitae hada is super fine Ko-Itame-hada on Hiraji surface and Masame straight ware appears on Shinogi-ji.
Tempering pattern (hamon) : Hamon makes up Chu-suguha with an indication of undulating Notare mixing with small Gunome outline. Hamon boundary line activates with a bit on stronger side Nie. The interior of temper is filled with whitish NIOI mist with activities of Gunome-Ashi in different angles.
Temper of tip (boshi) : Temper of Boshi forms straight Suguha then medium circle turns back in good manner.
Tang (Nakago) : The Nakago is unaltered UBU original. The heel of Nakago is uneven Iriyama V-shaped (Ha-agari Iriyama). The Yasurime filemarks is greatly slanting left (Ō-sujikai) with cosmetic Kesho.Three Mekugi-ana peg holes.Contoured back of Nakago forms Ō-sujikai filemarks.
The inscription signature starts with the place of work Geishu-ju 芸州住 and an official district Izumo-daijo title granted by the Imperial Court Izumo-daijo 出雲大掾 then the name of smith MASAMITSU 正光. The other side shows the date of year In the 3rd month Keiou 3rd 慶應三年三月日 and a new line Sanjo Munechika-saku 三条宗近作
(note) in thin letters.

Hiroshima, the castle town of the Asano clan, the smith MASAMITSU 正光 - Heishichi 兵七 later changed to Hironoshin 弘之進, surnamed Ishibashi 石橋, was born in Kyowa 2nd (1802) in Takano town (now Kita-Hiroshima-cho, Yamagata-gun).
The earliest extant work with the date of year is Tenpo 5th (1834). He obtained an official district title of Izumo-daijo 出雲大掾 granted by the Imperial Court in Bunsei 12th (1829) when he was 27 years old and moved his atelier to Utsunohara town 移原
His superior skill known to the lord of Hiroshima town to make articles for presentation and became to the exclusive maker to the Asano clan in Ansei 5th (1858).
Under a disturbance in the last days of the Tokugawa government, he responded to the increasing demand. However the Meiji renovation as well as the law banning the wearing of swords made him to give up sword making. died at the age of 78 in Meiji 12 (1879).

The subject sword was made when he was 65 years old in 1867. Although the tang is crumbling and some of inscriptions are hard to make out the scrawl, upper the blade itself keeps in very good condition.

The incidental supposed original Koshirae keeps good condition.
with) Black stone surface lacquered Blue-pearl of inlay scabbard Uchikatana Koshirae (click HERE for entire Koshirae and HERE for each fitting)
  • Fuchi/Kashira : UME flower and the Phoenix design, Shakudo Nanako-ji surface, Taklabori carving, Gold/silver inlay, unsigned
  • Menuki : The Chinese sages design, Shakudo ground, katabori carving, Gold Iroe
  • Tsuba : Cross rectangular shape, a Maple leaf design, Sukisage carving, Suki-nokoshi-mimi edge signed Myochin Nori Yasutsugu 明珍紀保次
  • Tsuka : White rayskin, black silk cord Moro-tsumami lozenge wrap
Yamagane copper Habaki collar, Shirasaya NOT included.
Old polish/Condition scale: very good - good (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor).
reference data : Honma Kunzan/Ishii Masakuni, Nihonto Meikan, Yuzankaku, 1975
(note):Historice remains of Ishibashi MASAMITSU blacksmith' atelier
(note):Sanjo Munechika : lived in Nara, Yamato domain, date back to Bunka era (1804-) in generations