Hasebe Kunishige (長谷部国重) has long been considered to be a pupil of Masamune (正宗) (Masamune Juttetsu). His oldest remaining dated work is dated Bunwa 4 (1355) and his latest is Kôan 1 (1368). Most of his dated works are from the Enbun era (1356-1361). Given the fact that his working dates appear to be somewhere around twenty years after Masamune (正宗), this connection can be considered to be somewhat dubious. There are also opinions that based on the surname Hasebe (長谷部), that his native place was Yamato (大和). However, Kôzan Oshigata and other authorized synopses list the name Hasebe (長谷部) as having been used also by Shintogo Kunimitsu (新籐五国光) and his sons, Kunishige (国重) and Kunihiro (国廣). This seems to indicate that the Shintôgo (新籐五) and the Hasebe (長谷部) were consanguineous.
Therefore, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that it was the first generation Kunishige (Shintôgo Kunishige (新籐五国重) who was the direct student of Masamune (正宗) since he belonged to the Shintôgo (新籐五) school that descended from the teachings of Shintôgo Kunimitsu (新籐五国光), one of Masamune’s (正宗) teachers. That theory would make more logical sense when we consider the working period of the smith we know as Hasebe Kunishige (長谷部国重). The relationship between Hasebe (長谷部) and Shintôgo (新籐五) has not been clarified definitely. It is obvious, however, that both groups bear strong Sôshû characteristics in both the ji and ha sections of their works.
This wonderful blade is accompanied by its Edo period koshirae that is absolutely exquisite. The photos below clearly show the quality of the soft metal (shakudo) work which is tastefully decorated with the family mon (crest) of its former owner.