Wakizashi signed Rai KUNIHARU

Shinto middle of Edo period (Shotoku era/circa 1711-) Owari
Length of cutting edge 47.5cm Curvature 0.9cm Width of base 32.7mm Width of Yokote 23.5mm Thickness of base 7.4mm

NBTHK(Tokubetsu Hozon) certificate

NBTHK(Tokubetsu Kicho)

Blade construction: Wakizashi of Shinogi-zukuri, Iori-mune. Kasane is thick and impressively wide in Mihaba, shallow curve holding less degree of tapering from base to swelling upper Fukura area leading to the pronounced extended medium Kissaki. The entire blade is particularly massive and heavy on hand, nakid blade weights 576grams w/o Habaki. (click HERE for higher resolution image of the entire blade)
Forging(Hada): Forging is conspicuous Itame-hada with an indication of streaming ware on Hiraji whereas Shinogi-ji shows outstanding Masame-hada.
Temper(Hamon): Hamon is a bit on coarse sparkling Nie-deki, undulating Notare mixing with Gunome, Tassel Choji and Togari-ha that varies in height and shape in different angles. Some quenching overflows onto Hiraji to form isolated Tobiyaki. In the interior of temper, there works with Noi mist-like crystalline area, floating YOU appears and thick Nie-Ashi emits toward cutting edge where short lines of Nie Sunagashi and thick lines of Kinsuji is perceived. The entire quenching scene shows abundant activity of Nie in full of rustic beauty.
Temper of tip (Boshi): Boshi forms irregular Midarekomi wide undulating Gunome with intensive Hakikake blaze-up indication.
Tang(Nakago): Nakago is in UBU original. One large Mekugiana peg hole. Greatly slanting left (O-sujikai) and upper KIRI (horizontal) Kesho dressed filemarks. Iriyama (single bevelled V-shape) heel. The back ridge of Nakago is fully contoured where O-sujikai filemark is perceived. The signature in front is located on Shinogi-ji, below Mekugiana punch, 3 small charactar as Rai KUNI HARU 来国治.

The subject stirring supplemental sword is full of Samurai dandysm spirit that was supposed to be equipped by a proud Owari Samurai

Rai KUNIHARU 来国治, an official swordsmith for the Owari clan, originally had come from his home town Kouzuchi 上有知 in Mino province. He had belonged to the "Tokuin-ha" 得印派 school and then relocated to Inuyama, Owari Province.
He was a son of the smith HIROTOKI 広辰 and named himself signed as HIDETOKI 秀辰 in his early age.
He moved to Owari castle town and resided in Nagoya Fukuromachi town (now Nakaku, Nishiki 2nd and 3rd streets) started as a disciple under Sagamino Kami Masatgsune 相模守政常 and received the title of Yamashiro-no-Kami 山城守 then moving to Osaka to devote himself diligent study of elegant Osaka-shino swords.
In his matured age, he returned back to Nagoya castle town to become a student of "Tanaka Nigorou Rai-Kuniyoshi" 田中弐五郎来国善 who reporteadly said as an apprentice of "Nakashima Rai" 中島来 in Nanbokucho period and changed his name to "Rai KUNIHARU" 来国治.

He is said in his later age, as an official swordsmith for the Owari clan, his forging studio was relocated in the area known as "Shitaomifuke Oniwa" 下御深井御庭 in the vicinity garden of Nagoya Castle (present-day Nagoya Castle's north side in Meijo Park), he became known as "Ofuke KUKNIHARU" 御深井国治 and made a remarkable reputation for his sharp cutting performance "Wazamono" 業物 and also it's most splendid quenching patterns Hamon as well. He reporteadly moved to work in Edo (present-day Tokyo) in his later years.

Examining his early works when he signed as HIDETOKI 秀辰, it can be seen the major influence of the Mino tradition with a distinct Hamon whereas his workmanship in his mature age shows the influence of the Osaka Shin-to style to express rather on deeper side sparkling Nie granules furthermore graceful Hamon like this example.

In preference of martial Owari Samurais in full of militaristic spirits, compared to the powerful upper section of the blade, the Nakago is a bit on neatly thinner and shorter side that is designed for one-hand grip to furnish durable and sturdy wooden hilt which is a distinctive feature of Owari sword.
This wakizashi is so solidly built that is not easily to handle with one hand, truly exemplifying the strength of the Owari Shin-to blade.
Good old polish/Condition scale: excellent - very good (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor).
Original copper Yamagane single layer Habaki, preserved in Shirasaya plain wood mounting
reference data : Iwata Atou, Owari Toukou-fu, Nagoya board of education, 1984