Ko-tachi signed MORIMITSU with) Yoshino cherry tree Tin pearl of inlay Nashiji sprinkled Gold/Silver foilsraised Taka-Makie work Itomaki Tachi Koshirae

Koto Early Muromachi period (Ouei era / circa 1394-) Bizen
Length of cutting edge 60.1cm Curvature 1.8cm Width of base 25.2mm Width of Yokote 15.3mm Thickness of base 5.0mm

NBTHK (Tokubetsu Hozon) certificate

with) Yoshino cherry tree Tin pearl of inlay Nashiji sprinkled Gold/Silver foils raised Taka-Makie work Itomaki Tachi Koshirae

Blade construction: Shinogi-zukuri, Iori-mune. Moderate Mihaba and Kasane, highly Koshi-zori dignified curve in harmonious proportion. There is well-harmonized degree of tapering from base to a middle tip so called Chu-Kissaki. The shape is created in an archaic style in early Muromachi period.(click HERE for higher resolution image of the entire blade)
Carving (Horimono): Full-up Bo-hi grooves that end in round above Habaki collar
Forging(Hada): Forging is Itame hada with partial Mokume-hada with an indication of sparkling Ji-Nie granules attaches on surface and darkish lines in different state of carbonate so called "CHIKEI" wells out. Entire Hiraji emits sparkling reflection of irregular Midare-Utsuri.
Temper(Hamon): Hamon is based on tassel shape Choji-midare and angled Gunome in a bit on stronger side fine Nie granules. The abundant quenching activities such as Ashi, YOU, short lines of Sunagashi or long lines of Kinsen appear along quenching boundary area that gives off vividly bright light. Upper the blade, Hamon becomes calm small tassel shape of Ko-Choji.
Temper of tip(Boshi): Temper of Boshi forms undulating irregular Midare-komi then sharpened up small circle turns back.
Tang(Nakago): The tang is UBU original holding moderate curve to form deep waist-point curve. Three peg Mekugina punches. Yasurime is slanting left Sujikai. Kurijiri round bottom heel. The back ridge is a bit contoured where Sujikai file-mark appears. The Tachi-style inscription signature in two character MORIMITSU 盛光 appears in the middle of Nakago, located in Mune-side.

First generation MORIMITSU 盛光, said reportedly a son of TOMOMITSU 倫光, or a grand son of KANEMTSU 兼光 in legitimate Osafune maker appeared in the period of Northern and Southern Dynasties Nanbokucho. In the next generation Ouei era in early Muromachi period or after, some master-hand artisans appeared to look up dignified style workmanship in times of peace in Kamakura period.

In the early Muromachi period of early 15th C., The famed 2nd MORIMITSU 盛光, YASUMITSU 康光 and MOROMITSU 師光 are called "Ouei-Bizen Geniuses" or "Bizen Trio of Experts" appeared to meet with requirement either from Imperial Court or Samurai class in these peace days to revive modeling ancient idiom Kamakura style but creating unique style like this example as well.

The subject MORIMITSU 盛光 rates high "Above Superior Made (Jou-jō-saku)" as one of the most distinguished maker among these Trio of Experts and designated as an National important cultural properties in two Tachi and one Naginata also one Tachi is designated as an Important art object.

There subject item, here is a legitimate masterpiece of Ko-tachi by the 2nd generation MORIMITSU 盛光 with a prefix the name of Shuri-no-suke 修理亮. His workmanship shares into two different styles, one models flamboyant idiom of Fukuoka Ichimon-ji like this example whereas the other imitates simple quiet beauty of AOE style.
Among entire Osafune workmanship, such noticeable Mokume-hada so called Ouei-moku is highly admired as one of the most archaic beauty unlike the other Osafune works in later ages.

The subject Tachi, supposed the order of a special demand from Imperial Court, surprisingly remains an original shape in UBU with the passage of 630 years or more history and surely has been treasured in two or three decades of generations that comes with a praiseworthy Yoshino Cherry Tree in full bloom scene Itomaki-style Koshirae mount.

with) Yoshino cherry tree in blooms Tin pearl of inlay Nashiji sprinkled Gold/Silver foils raised Taka-Makie work Itomaki Tachi Koshirae
HERE for entire Koshirae / HERE for higher resolution iamge)
  • All metal fitting (Kabuto-kane, Saru-te, Fuchi, Ashi-kanamono, Kashiwa-ba and Ishizuki) : Sakura flower design, Shakudo Nanako-ji surface, Takabori, Gold Iroe inlay, unsigned
  • Menuki : Triple Cherry flower design, Shakudo, katabori carving, Gold Iroe inlay
  • Tsuba : AOI shape, Shakudo Nanako-ji surface, Gold Iroe Mimi edge, Large Seppa in pair Sakura flower design, Shakudo Nanako-ji surface, Takabori, Gold Iroe inlay, unsigned
  • Scabbard : Tin pearl of inlay Nashiji Sprinkled Gold/Silver foils raised Taka-makie lacquered work
  • Hilt (Tsuka) : Brocade Nishiki fabric covered, Purple silk cord Hira-maki style lozenge wrap
Old gold foiled Tachi-style Habaki collar, preserved in Shirasaya plain wood mounting
reference data : Osafune-cho, Osafune-cho-shi, Otsuka Kougeisha, 1998