ROBUST KATANA BY NIDAI MOTOHIRA
The first generation Motohira was one of the most famous sword smiths of the late Edo period working directly for the Shimazu Daimyo and other high-ranking Samurai of Satsuma province. Motohira along with Masayoshi were the top Satsuma sword smiths that strived to work under the traditions of Soshu den. Motohira worked primarily in a distinctive Shizu group technique that featured a nie based gunome midare hamon. His son, the nidai or second generation, primarily followed in his father's footsteps as far as sword style was concerned. The major difference, however, is that his swords tended to be more subdued and this is an excellent example of that difference. While it is a very wide and robust sword, the overall working as are somewhat quieter than those of his father.
This katana has a cutting edge of 26 3/8 inches or 67 cm. and a width at the habaki of a full 1 1/2 inches or 3.8 cm. This is a wide sword. The jigane is typical for the Satsuma school in that it is a densely forged ko-mokume with dark lines known as Satsuma gane. These dark lines are tiny areas of ji-nie that turn dark against certain light. The hamon starts out at the yakidashi is a midare pattern becoming o-midare done in a course nie-deki pattern. The large boshi is o-maru with a moderate turn-back reaching the yokote.
The blade is signed Satsuyo Shi Oku Taira Motohira. The ura has the date the December of the third year of Keio (1867). He died in the seventh year of Meiji or 1874.
Satsuma Samurai were renowned for their bushi spirit and they liked swords that reflected that "Samurai spirit". This katana certainly qualifies along those lines. It comes with NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon papers which attest to its high quality and the authenticity of the maker.
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