This is a very nice katana with koshirae from the Shintô era. It was made by the Kaga smith, Hirotaka who worked around 1681. The blade is signed Kashû Jû Fujiwara Hirotaka (賀州住藤原廣高). As noted, he worked in the Kaga Province which was ruled during the Edô period by the Maeda Daimyo.
The overall sugata (shape) of the blade is fairly wide which exudes a feeling of strength. The nagasa (cutting edge length) is 26.5 inches or 67.3 cm. The moto-haba (width at the base) is 1.19 inches or 3.02 cm and the saki-haba (width at the point) is 0.77 inches or 1.91 cm. The blade has a fairly shallow torii sori (curvature) of 0.60 inches or 1.53 cm. The bôshi is slightly extended with a solid hamon in a ko-maru (small turn-back) with a short kaeri. The hada (grain of the steel) is a ko-itame done in a very tight and beautiful pattern. There is a darkness to the steel which is indicative of swords made in the “north” such as this one. The hamon (temper line) is ko-nie based and is a very shallow notare based on suguha (straight temper). This is a very difficult hamon to make and it was felt to give the best resilience when cutting. The nakago is very slightly machi-okuri and has two mekugi-ana.
The overall condition of this sword is excellent and it has no problems or flaws of any kind. It is in good polish with no rust. This sword comes with a nice set of koshirae (mountings) with a brown, ribbed saya (scabbard). The fittings are made of shibuichi and are carved in the form of waves crashing on the rocks with bits of gold sea spray incorporated. The tsuba is of a Higo design and is made of shakudo that has been delicately carved depicting rain and clouds.
This sword comes with NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon papers attesting to the validity of the signature and the quality and condition of the blade. This sword wold be a great addition to an existing collection or a great beginning to a new collection.