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KATSUIYE OF KAGA

 

 

Katsuiye is considered to be a smith of the Sanekage school of Kaga Province. He worked around the Eisho Era (1504-1521). The founder of this school was Sanekage who came from Etchu Province. He was the student of Norishige of Etchu Province. Sanekage worked around the Enbun Era (1356). Other well known smiths from this school are Kagemitsu, Kunitsugu, Iyetsugu, Katsuiye, and Kunikane. This school is considered to be a Wakimono or "side school" that could be considered an offshoot of the Soshu school.

 

While the works of the early smiths like Sanekage, Kunitsugu, and even some works of Iyetsugu closely resembled the works of the Soshu school, it is generally agreed that most of the works from Iyetsugu onward (say after 1500) tended to resemble another of the Kaga schools, the Fujishima school. Katsuiye would fall into this catagory. Therefore I think it is appropriate to discuss the characteristics of the Fujishima school at this point.

 

The Fujishima school is also considered to be Waki-mono or Majiwari-mono. The characteristics of the swords of the Fujishima school tend to combine the traits of two or three of the Gokaden (five main schools). It follows that certain of the Fujishima smiths and the later Sanekage school smiths worked in one or more of the basic traditions and incorporated several of the characteristics of these schools into their work. Thus we tend to say that so-and-so worked in the Soshu and Yamashiro traditions, etc. Katsuiye worked in the Mino and Bizen tradition.

 

 

 

SUGATA: There are both Torii sori and Saki sori blades. Also there are both chu-kissaki and ko-kissaki boshi. The mihaba is ordinary, the shinogi is high and the shinogi-haba is narrow. Iroi mune is the most common.

 

JITETSU: Generally itame kitae is the most common and there is a hint of masame in sections close to the shinogi-ji. There are many that have a hint of shirake in the ji which looks like utsuri. With Katsuiye you will find large mokume hada in which the grain will stand out considerably.

 

 

 

 

HAMON: Gunome midare is the most common but there are some with a mixture of togari ba (pointed), and there are some with a uniform shallow hako-ba. There is a hint of hakkake in the ha, and shimame (stripes) appear in the habuchi (area between the ji and the ha). Swords made after the middle of the jidai will have a hint of togari in the ha, the yaki gashira will have strong light reflections and there is a hint of clumping in the nie.

 

BOSHI: The boshi returns in a ko-maru with togari. It is midare with deep yakisage and many become muneyaki.

 

NAKAGO: The nakago shape is generally refered to as Katasogi or Kashu Nakago. The yasurime is yoko or sujikai and as for the mune, there are both ko-niku and kaku.

 

 

MEI: His swors are generally signed Katsuiye Saku.

 



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