Katana unsigned KANENOBU with)Brushing traces-surface burgundylacquered scabbard Higo Uchikatana Koshirae

Koto Nanbokucho period (Ouan era/circa 1368-) Mino
Length of cutting edge 63.6cm Curvature 1.5cm Width of base 28.8mm Width of Yokote 20.8mm Thickness of base6.9mm

NBTHK(Tokubetsu Hozon) certificate

with)Brushing traces-surface burgundylacquered scabbard Higo Uchikatana Koshirae

NBTHK(Hozon) certificate for Tsuba

Blade construction: Shinogi-zukuri, Iori-mune, substantially shortened "O-suriage" to be unsigned. Wide ratio of Hira-ji to Shinogi-ji, thick in Kasane and less volume of Hira-niku. There is less degree of tapering from base to an elongated O-kissaki, which is the major trends in the prime of Nanbokucho period. (click HERE for higher resolution image of the entire blade).
Carving (Horimono):There is Bo-hi groove on both sides which is chiselled away to Nakago.
Forging(Hada): Forging is conspicuous Itame-hada with streaming ware of Masame hada. Crystallized granule of Ji-nie generates on surface sparkling reflection. Darkish thick lines of Nie so called "CHIKEI" activity appears from fine steel.
Temper(Hamon): Hamon is based on "Nie" hard steel crystallized, Wide Notare undulating wave mixed with Gunome boundary and Togari outline. The quenching activities such as "Sunagashi" long lines of Nie "Kinsuji" or "Inazuma" thick curved lines run along hardening boundary area.
Temper of tip(Boshi): Temper of boshi forms undulating irregular lines and medium circle turns back indication.
Tang(Nakago): Nakago is substantially shortened "O-suriage" to be unsigned and slightly curved. Yasurime is KIRI horizontal and it's heel is Horizontal KIRI cut off. Two mekugi-ana holes.

Here is a heroic katana of KANENOBU 兼延 (or pronounced KANENOBE) in Naoe-shizu school from Nanbokucho period in 14th C.
KANEUJI 兼氏 in Yamato domain, who was one of the leading 10 genius disciples of the famed smith MASAMUNE 正宗,. He moved to Shizu town in Mino domain from Yamato end Kamakura period.
His sons and disciples such as Kanetomo 兼友、Kanetoshi 兼俊、Kanenobe 兼延 established a foothold Naoe-shizu school in Naoe town (now N
aoe, Youro-cho, Yoro-gun, Gifu) and flourished to meet with sharp rise in demand for the Nanbokucho period while the two courts fought for fifty years.
According to Nihontomeikan, the first gen. KANENOBU 兼延 who was a second son of KANEUJI 兼氏 or younger brother of legitimate KANETOSHI 兼俊, was active in Ouan era (1368-) and 2nd gen. was in Meitoku era (1390-).
In the prime of Nanbokucho period, Naoe-shizu makers accomplished their own workmanship in the style which Soushu and Yamato both techniques were integrated into Mino technique.

This majestic katana is judged Tokubetsu Hozon class especially nominated as a work of KANENOBU 兼延 that belongs to Naoe-shizu school from Nanbokucho period.
Although it has been substantially shortened, it reminds us of the ancient magnificent shape. The Katana is solidly heavy on both hands holding massive volume in Hiraniku. The boundary line from hardening crystallized Nie granule sparkles impressively vividly bright under regular light.
This Katana clearly indicates an authentic Soshu tradition from Nanbokucho period with 650 years history and comes with an authentic Higo-style traditional mount of Koshirae.

with) Brushing traces-surface burgundylacquered scabbard Higo Uchikatana Koshirae
HERE for entire Koshirae in front and HERE for the other side / HERE for each fitting)
  • Fuchi/Kashira: Withered branch design,Iron ground, polish surface, Gold inlay, unsigned
  • Menuki : Dragon design, Yamagane copper ground, Katabori carving, Gold plated
  • Tsuba: Karigane goose/Sakura flower petal openwork unsigned attributed to a work of NISHIGAKI 西垣 in Higo domain (NBTHK Hozon)
  • Bashin : Iron ground Ama-ryu Dragon design, silver inlay unsigned
  • Kozuka : Brass-work, polish surface unsgined Kogatana signed Kazunari-zou 一成造 (note below)
  • Tsuka : Gold lacquered layskin, Brown silk cord Morohineri-style lozenge warp
Double layer Habaki collar (lower layer SEIKAIHA "shallow wave" is copper ground gold plated and the upper layer HATO "billow" is solid silver.
preserved in a Shira-saya plain wood mounting
Recent good polish/Condition scale: excellent (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor)
reference data : Honma Kunzan/Ishii Masakuni, Nihontomeikan, Yuzanaku, 1975
(note) : Mr. Naruki Kazunari 成木一成(rean name Kazuhiko 一彦) was born on September 10, 1931, in Nakatsugawa City, Gifu Prefecture. Around 1960, he began his research and experimentation with sword guards (tsuba) and studied under Mr. Takahashi Kaisu. Mr.Naruki Kazunari had been devoted to the restoration of iron tsuba from antient Owari, Akasaka, and Kanayama, collecting sand iron materials from various parts of the country and working on reproducing the refined local iron through his own charcoal-based iron smelting process. He also attempted to revive the traditional technique of "yakite-fusarakashi" for surface treatment of iron, and developed his own unique world of iron steel.
Residing near the Hōzan Prefectural Nature Park, he uses the artistic name "Hōzan." On July 16, 1981, he was designated as an intangible cultural heritage holder of Nakatsugawa City. In 1986, he was awarded the Medal of Honor with Yellow Ribbon. In 2009, he was recognized as a certified master craftsman MUKANSA by the Japanese Sword Preservation Society (NBTHK)