Katana signed YASUNOBU Auspicious day, May, Showa 16th

Contemporary sword early Showa (Showa 16th/1941) Tokyo
Length of cutting edge 66.9cm Curvature 1.8cm Width of base 28.8mm Width of Yokote 19.0mm Thickness of base 7.2mm

NBTHK(Hozon) certificate

Blade construction: Shinogi-zukuri, Iori-mune, Kasane is thick and created in an archaic style holding dignified curve near the base and well hamonized tapering to Ikubi style middle Kissaki. (click HERE for higher resolution image of the entire blade)
Forging(Hada): Forging is fine Ko-Itame hada whereas Shinogi-ji surface shows Masame indication.
Temper(Hamon): Hamon is a bit on stronger side Ko-nie hard metal granules base, Chu-suguha with delicate appearance of short Ashi feet toward the cutting edge and some indication of notch so called Fushi. Tight boundary lines is equally sparkling with fine Nie granules and the interior is full of Nioi mist.
Temper of tip(Boshi): Undulating Notare with large circle turns back.
Tang(Nakago): Nakago is original UBU a bit curved to create dignified Koshi-sori in 19.5cm. One peg hole Makugi-ana. Kiri (horizontal) filemarks. Back ridge of Nakago is flat where Ō-sujikai greatly slanting left filemark appears. Uneven V-shaped heel so called Iriyama. Skillful chiselled inscription signature "YASUNOBU 靖延" in Tachi-mei style and the other side shows the date of year "Auspicious day In May, Showa 16th (1941) 昭和十六年五月吉日".

Murakami YASUNOBU 村上靖延, given name Ensaku 円策 was born in Meiji 40th April 24th, 1907 in Yamagata prefecture.
He joined The Nihonto Tanren Kai foundation (NTK) 日本刀鍛練会 in December 15th, Showa 8 (1933) with his chief master smith Ikeda YASUMITSU 池田靖光. After 5 years's practice, he was given the official smith name YASUNOBU 靖延 by the War Minister,
Itagaki Seishiro 板垣征四郎 in January 11th, Showa14 (1939) and played the chief smith till the dissolution of NTK Showa 20th (1945), end of the War. Chairman awarded in the 2nd official military sword exhibition in December 21th, Showa19 (1944).

Main works :
  • Donation a sword to the Yasukuni Shrine in February 1939
  • Donation a sword to the festival that commemorated the 700th anniversary of the retired Emperor Gotoba in March 1939
The Nihonto Tanrei Kai (NTK) 日本刀鍛練会 was a non-profit organaization which functioned from Showa 8th (1933) to Showa 20tj (1945), located in the Yasukuni Shirine in Tokyo. About 30 members worked over and produced about 8100 blades. At that time there was very little tamahagane left as the last tatara smelter had shut down in January Taisho 14th (1925). Therefore the NTK constructed a tatara to produce tamahagane for their own traditional swords in the traditional manner under Japanese pure spirit.
They are supposed to follow traditional manner, no machines were used except drilling a mekigi-ana punch and mostly asked to produce Kamakura-style Bizen-to in Suguha with Ashi. They modelled Mitsutada 光忠, Nagamitsu 長光, Kagemitsu 景光, Masatsune 正恒 and Kanemitsu 兼光.
Usual length is 2 shaku 2 sun (66.7cm) and the Sori is 5-6 bu (1.5-1.8cm), in principle the Tachi-mei was used for Katana in 2 kanji character with prefis the word YASU 靖 above the mekugi-ana and the opposite side is chiselled with the date of year along Shinogi-ji. The Yasurime filemarks is horizontal Kiri whereas heel shape in YASUMITSU 靖光 tuition is Iriyama uneven V-shape like this example.
After the end of the War, sword making was forbidden resulting in a hard time for sword smiths untill the legal revival of sword making in Showa 28th (1953) after then until recently, they produces Shinsaku-to in their own home studio atelier using tamahagae from Nitoho tatara smelter.
Silver palted Tachi-style Habaki collar, preserved Shira-saya plain wood mounting
Recent polish/Condition scale: very good (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor).
reference data :
Tom Kishida, THE YASUKUNI SWORDS rare Weapons of Japan 1933-1945, Kodansha International, 2001