Katana signed Minamoto MORITAKA with) Gold foiled Byakudan-nuri lacquered scabbard Owari-style Uchikatana Koshirae

Koto End of Muromachi period (Eisho era / circa150 -) Chikuzen
Length of cutting edge 68.0cm Curvature 2.3cm Width of base 31.5mm Width of Yokote 20.0mm Thickness of base 7.5mm

NBTHK(Hozon) certificate for Katana

with) Gold foiled Byakudan-nuri lacquered scabbard Owari-style Uchikatana Koshirae

NBTHK(Hozon) certificate for Koshirae

Blade construction: Shinogi-zukuri, Iori-mune in low, Mihaba on base is wide standing firmly on base holding "Funbari" and Shinogi-ridge is high. There is less degree of tapering from base to point of Yokote holding a deep waist pointed curvature while the rest is nearly straight leading to an extended medium tip "Kissaki". The entire blade creates a heroic atmosphere during the Warning States period. (click HERE for higher resolution image of the entire blade)
Forging(Hada): Forging is fine Itame-hada while quenching area is created with an indication of conspicuous Masame-hada. The entire Hiraji-surface is covered in Ji-nie that generates reflecting whitish Utsuri effect over the surface.
Temper(Hamon): Hamon is a bit on stronger side of sparkling Nie hard metal granules base, created in Suguha with slightly undulating Notare indication in which created in an archaic Hotsure or Uchinoke activities and frequent small Ashi that radiates to the cutting edge.
Temper of tip(Boshi): Boshi forms Suguha, medium circle turns back.
Tang(Nakago): Nakago is in UBU original. One peg retaining hole. slight Katte-sagari (slanting left) filemarks. Back ridge of Nakago is flat. The Nakago is relatively short for it's long cutting edge, V-shaped heel mark so called "Stopa" from Sanskrit word.
The inscription signature in front is located in Hiraji below Mekugiana that starts with the name of clan Minamoto 源 then a name of smith MORIKUNI 盛国.

Kongōhyoue MORITAKA 金剛兵衛盛高 was a monk swordsmith of the Tendai sect Yamabush priest who operated from the late Kamakura period to the late Muromachi period.The first generation MORITAKA 盛高 was the son of MORIKUNI 盛国 and its' floruit of the MORIKUNI 盛国 lineage overlaps with that of the SAMONJI school 左文字. It is said he was the grandson of RYOSAI 良西 who would become the founder of SAMONJI 左文字 and was considered a stepbrother with SAIREN 西蓮.

Under the patronage of
Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine 太宰府天満宮, MORITAKA 盛高 forged swords from the time of the Mongol invasions, and thereafter,its' monastery flourished for a long time, numbering four hundred.
The origin of this school is in the Yamabushi of
Kamado Shrine 竈門神社 located on Mt. Hōman, which corresponds to the northeastern quarter demon seal direction of Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine 太宰府天満宮. He took the name "Kongōhyoue" 金剛兵衛 based on the title "Kongō" 金剛 of Kamado Shrine 竈門神社, and there is also a stone monument inscribed with "Origin of Swordsmith Kongōhyoue Minamoto Moritaka" 刀工金剛兵衛源盛高発祥乃地 in the shrine.

This work has a longer dimension with a deep waist curve that was designed the suitability for quick drawing. The blade features a typical Yamato traditional method with a "moist texture" characteristic of the Saikaido Kyushu Inland region which is described as "gummy" or "Nettori" in Japanese. Also it's tang of Nakago heel creates a triangular shape reminiscent of a "stupa".
It is accompanied by a rare koshirae formerly owned by the Owari Tokugawa family's vassals and also it's protective leather scabbard cover is well-preserved, making it an excellent piece both Katana and Koshirae.

with) Byakudan-nuri gold foiled lacquered scabbard Owari-style Uchikatana Koshirae (click HERE for Koshirae and HERE for each fitting)
  • Fuchi/Kashira : AOI arabesque and ivy design, Shakudo Nanako-ji surface, Gold Iroe, unsigned
  • Menuki : Triple AOI crest of Tokugawa clan, Shakudo Katabori carving, Gold Iroe
  • Tsuba : Single wheel openwork design, Iron ground, hammered surface, signed Yoshu-Matsuyama-ju Shoami MORIKATSU 豫州松山住正阿弥森勝
  • Tsuka : White layskin, Gray Indigo-blue Nando color silk cord Morotsumami-style lozenge wrap (some fray due to age)
  • Saya-fukuro : scabbard protective leather bag
Old double layers Habaki color (lower copper, upper silver), preserved in Shirasaya plain wood mounting
reference :
Fujishiro Yoshio, Fujishiro Matsuo, Nihon Toko Jiten, Fujishiro Shoten, 1975
Honma Kunzan, Ishii Masakuni, Nihonto Meikan, Yuzankaku, 1975
note: It is said that the appearance of Mt. Hōman resembles the shape of a hearth "KAMADO" and it is constantly shrouded in clouds and mist, which gives the impression of smoke rising as if cooking and boiling at the hearth. Since the medieval period, the faith of ascetic practitioners has become widespread, and many Yamabushi have admired the steep yet beautiful appearance of Mt. Hōman, undertaking rigorous training. National ceremonies for the peace of the world and the protection and blessing of the people have been conducted for the sake of disaster prevention and blessing.