Katana signed Kashu-ju Fujiwara TOMOSHIGE In the 2nd month 3rd year of Shouhou with)Arabesque flowers Brocade wrap sheath Uchikatana Koshirae

Shinto early Edo period (Shouhou 3/1645) Kaga
Length of cutting edge 70.5cm Curvature 1.8cm Width of base 29.8mm Width of Yokote 19.7mm Thickness of base 7.0mm

NBTHK(Tokubetsu Hozon) certificate

with)Arabesque flowers Brocade wrap sheath Uchikatana Koshirae

Sugata(configuration) : Shinogi-zukuri, Iori-mune. Mihaba is wide and Shinogi-suji ridge is dignified high holding massive Hiraniku in volume. The blade is heroically-proportioned holding an original shape that was aspired in the air during early Edo Kanei-Shohou (1624-47) period. (click HERE for higher resolution)
Kitae(forging pattern) : Kitae-hada is fine Ko-Itame (wooden grain) generally where Hiraji surface is covered in speckled Ji-nie and generates darkish lines along Ko-Itame grain so called CHIKEI activity.
Hamon(tempering pattern) : Hamon is wide Suguna outline where interior is filled in silky Nioi, boundary line indicates slight undulating "Notare", "Niju-ha" and "Hotsure" activities.
Boshi (tip): The temper of tip becomes medium circle turns back.
Nakago(tang) : Original UBU with one Mekugi-ana retaining hole. Katte-Sagari (slightly slanting leftward) file marks. Ha-agari Kurijiri (uneven U-shape) heel.
The signature in front is long character that starts with the place of work Kashui-ju 加州住, name of clan Fujiwara 藤原 then smith name TOMOSHIGE 友重, the other side is chiselled with the date of year In the 2nd month 3rd year of Shouhou (1645) 正保三年二月日.

During the Shin-to period, around the Keicho era in Kaga province, the 2nd lord,
Maeda Toshinaga 前田利長, highly recommended the appointment of KIYOMITSU 清光 in Fujishima-school and Katsuie 勝家 or Ieshige 家重 in Darani-school also Kanewaka 兼若 who had immigrated from Mino province at that time was endorsed.
They competed with each other in skill, and it is said that by the Shohou to Kanbun eras (1644-72), more than 20 sword artisans were counted in the heyday of Kaga's Shinto sword craft.

The subject Katana by Tsugubei TOMOSHIGE 次兵衛友重 of the mainline Fujishima-school who had been passed down continuously from the Ko-to period, bears precious age inscriptions In the 2nd month 3rd year of Shouhou (1645).
"Tsugubei TOMOSHIGE" lived in city of Kanazawa from the early Kanei era to the Enpo era (1624-73). Initially, his inscription signature bears the surname "Fujiwara," 藤原 but from the Enpo era onwards,he generally carried the name "Fujishima."藤嶋.

Among the 22 Katanas which had been dedicated to the Maeda family's memorial temple, "
Zuiryu-ji" 瑞龍寺, there is one of his works that reads "Offering to Zuiryu-in for the dedication, by Kashju Fujiwara TOMOSHIGE, On the auspicious day, the 8th month in the 3rd year of the Jouou" (1654) 瑞龍院為御寄進依仰奉作之 加州住藤原友重 承応三年八月吉日.
The Nakago heel construction of TOMOSHIGE 友重 during the Shin-to period is different from the unique traditional single-bevelled heel shape so called "Ha-agari Katakezuri" but changed featuring to either ordinal Ha-agari Kurijiri (uneven U-shape) or Kata-yamagata (single bevelled) heel.
It's said that TOMOSHIGE 友重 took on the next generation around the Jyoukyo era(1684-) but later shifted to another profession.

with)Arabesque flowers Brocade wrap sheath Uchikatana Koshirae (click
HERE in front and HERE for the other side / HERE for each fitting)
  • Fuchi/Kashira, Kojiri : Dragonfly, butterfly design, Stone surface Oborogin silver ground, Sukisage carving, unsigned
  • Menuki : Shishi design, copper ground, Katabori carving, Gold plated
  • Tsuba :AOI shape, Copper ground Stone surface, Gold Iroe Mimi edge, Large Seppa in pair Shiho-Inome openwork, copper ground, Gold Iroe, unsigned
  • Scabbard : Arabesque flowers design brocade, Kojiri Dragonfly, butterfly design, Stone surface Oborogin silver ground, Sukisage carving, unsigned
Upper gold plated, lower silver foiled double layers copper Habaki collar, preserved in Shirasaya plain wood mounting
Recent polish/Condition scale: very good (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor) condition.
note) The 1st TOMOSHIGE 友重 in Fujishima school was a leading disciple or said a son of smith RAI KUNITOSHI 来国俊 during Kenmu(1334). He moved to Fujishima 藤嶋 in Echizen province and became the founder of the Fujishima 藤嶋 school. Along with SANEKAGE 真景 who was a disciple of NORISHIGE 則重, two of them relocated to the neighboring province of Kaga.
reference data :
Honma Kunzan/Ishii Masakuni, Nihonto Meikan, Yuzankaku, 1975
NBTHK Ishikawa branch, Kashu Shinto Taikan, 1973