Morihisa was a member of the Edô Ishidô school of sword smiths. His given name was Hachizaemonnojô. He was the first generation Morihisa and he worked around the Keian and Kanbun periods (1648-1673). Later in life when he took the tonsure and became a lay priest, he changed his name to Hata Tôren. In fact, this sword is signed with that name. The full signature reads Musashi (no) Kuni Ishidô Hata Tôren. Since this is the name he took later in life, we can assume that this sword was made during the Kanbun period of 1661-1673.
The overall shape of this blade also bears this out as the sugata (shape) is typical of what we call a Kanbun Shintô sugata. Relatively straight with a shallow torii sori and a somewhat stubby bôshi. The nagasa (length) of this sword is 28.25 inches or 71.7 cm. The moto-haba (width at the base) is 1.27 inches or 3.22 cm and the saki-haba (width at the point) is 0.92 inches or 2.34 cm. The kasane (thickness) of the blade is 0.26 inches or 0.66 cm and the sori (curvature) of the blade is 0.60 inches or 1.52 inches.
This blade is fairly typical of the Edô Ishidô school except that the sugata of this smith is not quite as elegant as that of the more famous smiths of this school like Mitsuhira or Munehiro. His jigane, however, is quite elegant and comprised of a ko-itame mixed with masame becoming a more pronounced masame in the shinogi-ji. There is beautiful utsuri for which this school and this smith are famous. The hamon is this smith’s typical small dimensioned tight chôji midare comprising the nioi based and tight nioi-guchi. The nioi is accompanied with ko-nie and the nioi-guchi is thick.
The bôshi is almost ichimai having a pointed feeling that turns back abruptly into a kaeri that returns down the mune slightly over two inches. The nakago ends in a kuri-jiri and the yasurime are sujikai.
The smiths of the Ishidô school who lived in Omi province moved to and prospered in various locales during the early Shintô period. Among these, one group, led by Musashi Daijô Korekazu, moved to Edô and was called the Edô Ishidô school. Morihisa was one of those smiths who arose from that school. This group was good at chôji midare in the Bizen tradition, and its masterpieces remind one of the Bizen Ichimonji blades of the Kamakura period. Their style of workmanship was handed down to later generations through the end of the Edô period.
The blade offered here is a prime example of one of the Edô Ishidô smiths who came along some fifty years after the school was founded. This blade is very typical of his style of workmanship and it is an excellent example because it has not been shortened or changed in any way since it was made. It comes in a shirasaya with a very nice set of Edô period koshirae. The theme of the koshirae is dragonflies. The saya is a lovely ribbed saya done in a reddish-brown lacquer. The shirasaya has a sayagaki written by Tanobe sensei and it is translated as follows:
Musashi no Kuni Ishidō Hata Tōren
Hachiji-mei ari kore, dōkō Morihisa dōnin hatashite nendai Kanbun goro nari. Honsaku wa dōkō no tenkeiteki kasaku narite, chōji ga ko-moyō katsu fukuzatsu ni midareru ten ni kare no kosei o meiji deki yoroshii. Hachō ni-shaku san-sun roku-bu yo ari kore Koretoki kanoto-udoshi kisaragi
Tanzan Hendō shirusu + kaō
Ishidō Hata Tōren from Musashi Province
This blade bears an eight-character signature, goes back to the same smith who also went by the name Morihisa, and dates around Kanbun (1661–1673). It displays the smith’s typically small dimensioned and masterly hardened chōji, that appears overall as a complex midareba. The work is of an excellent deki and truly reflect’s Tōren’s personality.
Blade length ~ 71.2 cm
Written by Tanzan Hendō [Tanobe Michihiro] in April of the year of the hare of this era (2011) +monogram.
This sword comes with NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon papers attesting to its quality, authenticity and excellent condition. It is a big sword with no problems or flaws what-so-ever.