N121. Katana Papered to Naoe Shizu, with Koshirae


N121. An o-suriage, mu-mei katana given to Naoe Shizu.

Nagasa: 26 3/8″ 67 cm.

Sori: 1.2 cm.

Moto Haba: 3.1 cm.

Moto Kasane: .7 cm.

Saki Haba: 2.2 cm.

Saki Kasane: .45 cm.

Nakago Nagasa: 7 11/16″ 19.6 cm.

Overall Length in Shirasaya: 36 3/8″ 92.2 cm.

The hada is tight ko itame/mokume with abundant ji-nie: nearly flawless (just a couple spots with a hint of looser grain). The hamon is a bright nioi-guchi covered in ko-nie, worked in gunome notare with ashi, sunagashi, and one spot of yo. The boshi is an irregular o-maru nicely swept (hakkekake) and with a short return. In polish and mounted with a solid silver habaki in shirasaya with sayagaki by Honami Koson. The saya-gaki says, “Noshu Naoe Shizu Kanehisa, Nagasa 2 shaku 2 sun 1 bun, osuriage mumei nari, Showa 17 Mizunoeuma (mid May of 1942), Honami Koson.” There is a paper from Mr. Kokubo, the prolific author of Nihonto books, dated 2000 and giving the sword to Naoe. 1st generation Kanehisa worked in the 2nd half of Nambokucho; later generations followed.

The koshirae includes a lacquered saya with some missing lacquer along the mune and ha. The kojiri is iron and the kurikata and koi guchi are horn. The tsuba is iron with gold and silver inlay, the fuchi kashira are iron with fine inlay of either brass or gold, and the menuki are shakudo dragons. The koshirae are held together by a tsunagi that is taped below the machi: not the prettiest but it works and who ever looks at the tsunagi anyway. The koshirae habaki is wood.

The sword smith Kaneuji began his carreer in Yamato, working in the Tegai tradition. Work of his school from this time is today referred to as Yamato Shizu. He left Yamato and is thought to have been one of the 10 students of Masamune. After parting with Masamune he moved to Naoe in Shizu and work of his school in this final period of his life is referred to as Naoe Shizu, which is what we have here. Wonderful piece; you’ll be pleased. 3 pounds, 8 ounces. $8,750.

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