MOUNTED KATANA BY MASAYUKI
Masayuki was a very good swordsmith who worked in the early Edo Era. His full signature reads Hoshu Ju Fujiwara Masayuki. He worked in Bungo province around 1684. This is a beautiful sword with many of the fine forging characteristics that we look for in a blade. The Bungo smiths were well known for the cutting ability of their swords and some feel that the smiths sacrificed some of the finer hataraki characteristics, i.e. kinsugi, chikei, etc. to achieve this well known cutting ability. This may be true in some cases, but equally true is the fact that we do find fine Bungo blades such as this one that transcend mere cutting ability to present us with hours of viewing pleasure enjoying the very active and vivid activities we seek in fine blades. This blade is pristine with a hada of very fine itame. The hamon is a robust gunome midare mixed wiht areas of choji and notare. There is profuse ji nie on and just above the ha. We also find nijuba, sunagashi and a myriad of other fine activities that will give hours of viewing pleasure.
This blade has a cutting edge measuring 27 7/16 inches or 69.7 cm. It is in perfect polish and comes in a full koshirae from the middle of the 19th century. The entire koshirae is done with fittings from the Hizen area in Kyushu. The tsuba is very large measuring 3 3/8 inches or 8.5 cm by 3 1/4 inches or 8.2 cm. It is an excellent example of a Hizen tsuba with dragons carved in high relief on one side and Shishi lions and jewels carved on the reverse. The fuchi and kashira are also of Hizen design with dragons and jewels. They are signed Hirado Ju Kunishige. This artist worked in Hizen around 1700 so they are very close to being contemporary with the blade. The menuki are very large gold colored ken-maki-ryu or dragons wrapped around a ken sword.
This is a beautiful sword with and excellent koshirae. It has not been submitted for papers, but at least Hozon papers are guaranteed should the new owner submit it.
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