Wakizashi signed KANENARI-saku

Koto end Muromachi period (Tenbun era/circa 1532-) Mino
Length of cutting edge 40.6cm Curvature 0.3cm Width of base 30.6mm Thickness of base 6.4mm

NBTHK(Tokubetsu Hozon) certificate

Sugata(configuration) : Hira-zukuri broadsword Wakizashi, Iori-mune. The cutting edge measures as long as 1-sun 3-sun 4-bu (40.6cm). Wide in Mihaba, thick in Kasane with harmonized slight curvature of which this broadsword geometry appears with the latter half of Muromachi period to perform the most supreme cutting performance.(click HERE for higher resolution image)
Horimono (carving) : Buddhist altar fittings of "Sanko-ken" and a precious orb of "Houju" in front and the other side has Goma chopsticks" 護摩箸 with it's Sanskrit character "Bonji" and a pedestal "Rendai" for a lotus.
Kitae(forging pattern) : Kitae forging pattern is outstanding Itame wooden hada generally with the indication of Mokume ware and streaming Masame ware appears mostly along the back ridge of Mune.
Hamon(tempering pattern) : Hamon quenching state is a bit on tight side "Nioi-deki", starting with short slanting Yakidashi at Hamachi on base then it becomes triangular shape "Togari", large "Gunome" in twos, box-like "Hakoba" and combined large "Gunome". Upper the blade, stronger the "Nie" granules and deeper the "Nioi" mist enlivened with powerful quenching scene.
Boshi (tip): Wide in temper at boshi tip which is created in like a surge of flame then turns back deeply. There are some indication of isolated temper "Muneyaki" along the back ridge "Mune".
Nakago(tang) : The Nakago is original UBU of which shape is a bit curved Funazoko ship-bottom shape and double bevelled U-shape heel. File marks on the tang is checked "Higaki" and the back ridge of Nakago is created in slanted left "Katte-sagari". Two Mekugi-ana (one is filled with lead) retaining holes.The entire Nakago preserves an excellent taste of patina from early 16th C. The broad-minded inscription signature in front located a bit on back ridge side, three characters KANENARI-saku 兼成作.

The subject swordsmith 兼成 is read as "kanenari" or "kaneshige". According to the reference Nihonto Meikan, The KANENARI "兼成" is considered to have its first generation during the Tenbun periods (1532-54) and followed by the Tensho period (1573-), assumed the second generation who had moved to the Suruga region (now Shizuoka prefecture), a territory of the Imagawa clan, and carried inscriptions like "駿州住兼成" (Resident in Suruga, KANENARI).
This wakizashi was made by the swordsmith KANENARI "兼成" of the Tenbun era (around 1532 - ). His extant works with the date of year ranges between the 2nd and the 7th year of the Tenbun era. The subject broad Wakizashi has an exceptionally wide and robust hira-zukuri shape with a swelling pointed edge of upper Fukura area, and the hamon on both sides is consistent and well-executed. The yakiba (temper pattern) extending from the upper half to the tip is even broader, showing a strong, vivid activity.

It is likely that this sword belonged to a prominent clan in Mino Province, where Saito Dozan 斎藤道三 held authority as the provincial ruler. The three-pronged vajra-hilted sword, a symbol of Fudo Myo-o, is considered an esoteric Buddhist ritual implement for warding off evil influences. The a precious orb of "Houju" jewel held by the "Nyoirin Kannon Bodhisattva" 如意輪観音菩薩 is believed to grant various wishes. The "Goma chopsticks" 護摩箸 with a Sanskrit character of Fudo Myo-o 不動明王 above a lotus pedestal is considered to invoke his protection. These carvings are not only showcase of their decorative beauty but also reflect a deep sense of devotion to esoteric Buddhism.

Gold foiled single layer Habaki, preserved in Shirasaya plain wood mounting
Old polish/Condition scale: mint - very good (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor)

notes :
As the latter half of the Muromachi period began, Japan entered an era of warring states marked by the O'nin War (1467-1477), stemming from the weakening of the Ashikaga Shogunate and political instability. During this turbulent time, the demand for Japanese swords as effective weapons rapidly increased.
Swordsmiths in the region formed an autonomous organization known as the "Kaji-za" 鍛冶座 to create a stronghold for swordsmiths in the area and relocated the ancestral deity of swordsmith the "Toso-jin" 刀祖神 from Kasuga Taisha Shrine in Nara to a branch Kasuga Shrine in Sek.
Additionally, they established and coordinated the "Seki Shichi-ryu" or "Seven Seki Schools," 関七流 which included the Zenjo school (Kaneyoshi), Muroya school (Kanezai), Ryoken school (Kaneyuki), Nara school (Kanetsune), Tokunaga school (Kanehiro), San'ami school (Kanesada), and Toku'in school (Kaneyasu). This brought their prosperity and marked the peak of their influence as they received commissions from prominent clans and feudal lords.
Not only in Seki, but also in Mino Province, various swordsmiths known as "Sue-Seki" 末関 produced swords in places such as Hachiya (Mino Kamo City), Sakakura (Sakahogi Town), Akasaka and Shimizu (Ogaki City).
The Seki swordsmiths in Mino, which thrived as Japan's premier sword-producing region, rivaled the size and reputation of Osafune. However, their prosperity declined when Tokugawa Ieyasu emerged victorious in the Battle of Sekigahara in the fifth year of Keicho (1600), leading to an era of peace under the Tokugawa Shogunate. The demand for swords rapidly declined and these swordsmiths dispersed to the major castle towns of influential feudal lords to take up the production of new swords in the following Shinto period.

reference data :
Tokuno Kazuo, Minoto Taikan, Token kenkyu Rengokai, 1975
Suzuki Takuo/Sugiura Yoshiyuki, Muromachi-ki Mino Toko-no-kenkyu, 2006
Honma Kunzan/Ishii Masakuni, Nihonto Meikan, Yuzankaku, 1975