H123491(W7593) Wakizashi signed Harima-daijo Fujiwara SHIGETAKA Echizen-ju NBTHK(Hozon)  
Shinto Early Edo period (Kan'ei era/circa1624-) Echizen
Length of cutting edge 53.7cm Curvature 1.6cm Width of base 29.3mm Width of Yokote 20.0mm Thickness of base 6.0mm
Blade construction: Shinogi-zukuri Ō-wakizashi of Iori-mune that holds a reasonable curve leading to a middle point of Kissaki. The shinogi-suji is remarkably high to have massive volume of Hiraniku.The blade tapers less from base to a medium Chu-kissaki referred to as Kan'ei-shinto-sugata which is in a period of Bushido transition from cut to thrust. (click HERE for super sized image of entire blade)
Forging(Hada): Steel gives off darkish blue impression and Kitae is conspicuous Itame-hada. The entire skin of Hiraji shows sparkling martensite crystals of Ji-nie to generate black gleaming lines of Chikei activity. Shinogi-ji shows flowing Masame-hada. It is entirely and splendidly active with conspicuous forging mark.
Temper(Hamon): Hamon of visible hardening pattern starts with Koshi-ba of small Gunome on base, medium Suguha that consists small Gunome. Hamon is rather on stronger side Ko-Nie based and boundary line is accumulated thickly with Nie of sparkling martensite crystals. The interior is filled in of mist-like Nioi. Short lines of Nie feet frequently activates toward the cutting edge and white clouds of YOU appears here and there. The entire hamon is rich in activity with sparkling Nie and misty Nioi.
Temper of tip(Boshi): Hamon of Boshi forms Suguha straight circle boundary lines along Fukura, medium circle turns back deeply.
Tang(Nakago): UBU in original. One mekugi-ana retaining hole. Shallow Katte-sagari shallow slanting left filemarks. Shallow Kurijiri double-bevelled heel. Back ridge is flat with greatly slanting left Ō-sujikai filemark.
The signature on Hakiomote starts with an official title of Harima-daijo 播磨大掾, name of clan Fujiwara 藤原 and the name of smith SHIGETAKA 重高. The other side inscribed the place of work Echizen-ju 越前住.

At the dawn of the Shinto Age in Echizen province (now Fukui pref.), Azuchi-Momoyama period in the 1570s, Native sword smiths in Seki, Mino domain such as KANETANE 兼種, KANENORI 兼則 had moved or MASANORI 正則 was invited from capital Yamashiro to Fukui, Echizen domain.
Furthermore AOI crest was bestowed on YASUTSUGU 康継 of Shitahara school from the Lord Tokugawa and 16 petals KIKU crests were bestowed from the Imperial Court on KUNIKIYO 国淸 of Kunihiro school. They strived with another in skill for performance or strength and beauty of martial spirit upon increasing demand from Samurai.
The smith SHIGETAKA 重高 with the official title of Harima-daijo 播磨大掾, had come from Iida, Shinshu domain then moved to Seki, Mino to become a disciple of KANENORI 兼則.
SHIGETAKA 重高 had moved to Ichijōdani, Echizen to accept and invitation to work for Asakura clan along with his master KANENORI 兼則.

The subject was made by 1st generation SHIGETAKA 重高 who acquired epoch-making technique of Shinto-era to emerge from the medieval Koto period.
Advance early Edo period, it has been the main current that forging the pure steel from TATARA furnace that is adopted with different ratio of carbon content in Itame structure, resulted in durable construction and better cutting performance. His katana lived up it's reputation as Wazamono Supreme Sharp Cutting Performance.
The subject wakizashi was designed to make a preparations for filed operations manner with full of the Samurai martial spirit. It's Nagasa at Ō-wakizashi interpretations in a highly harmonious manner being designed for one arm operation to unsheathe fast for both cut and thrust.
Wide on base with thick in Kasane holding massive volume of hiraniku - healthy heavy weight to show the typical shape during Kan'ei (1624-) period.

Gold foiled single layer copper Habaki collar, preserved in Shirasaya plain wood mounting (Sayagaki written by Dr. Sato kanzan in 1974)
Old good polish/Condition scale: very good (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor).
reference data : Honma Kunzan/Ishii Masakuni, Nihonto Meikan, Yuzankaku, 1975
Wakizashi signed Harima-daijo Fujiwara SHIGETAKA Echizen-ju
Wakizashi signed Harima-daijo Fujiwara SHIGETAKA Echizen-ju
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