Q642. Signed Papered Katana with Itomaki no Dachi Koshirae


SQ642.  Mino katana signed Kanemitsu, in shirasaya with itomaki no dachi koshirae.

Nagasa: 27 1/2″  69.7 cm.

Sori: 2.1 cm.

Moto haba: 3.1 cm.

Moto kasane: .8 cm.

Saki haba: 2.1 cm.

Saki kasane: .4 cm.

Nakago nagasa: 8 3/8″  21.5 cm.

Overall length of koshirae: 40″  102 cm.

This katana comes with a paper dated 2000 and issued by Mr. Tokuno, a respected Japanese author and authority on Nihonto. I had the pertinent section of the paper translated and learned:

As for this specific Kanemitsu’s sword. The paper claims the period was around Jokyo years 貞享, which was between 1684-1688.

Mr. Tokuno believes this Kanemitsu was from Tsuyama of Mimasaka province 作州津山の兼光

I will give you the translation of the last column, which is Mr. Tokuno’s comments for this sword

“This sword reminds me of my country’s Seki swordsmith group. It has a healthy character/condition that can also be seen on swords made by the Kanemitsu from Inaba province.”


Shinogi zukuri, suriage (partially shortened), koshi zori, iore mune, chu kissaki. The hada is itame & mokume in prominent and bright chikei (ji-nie). The hamon is a variant of sanbon suji, with gentle undulations broken by paired peaks with long ashi between them, with sunagashi and kinsuji. The boshi is quite complex: undulating with a bit of nijuba and hakkikake. It ends in ko-maru and a medium kaeri. The whole of the hamon is a bright and consistent nioi-guchi covered in ko-nie and some larger nie. The blade is in a well done polish and, other than for a few insignificant pin pricks and the like, it is flawless. It comes mounted with a lovely copper habaki and in better quality shirasaya. My pictures fall far short of doing this sword justice; it is quite nice.

Itomaki no dachi koshirae were meant for formal occasions: attending at the Imperial Court for instance. The metal fittings of this set are en suite (same design, same maker most likely) of shakudo and gold. The handle is wrapped over silk brocade rather than over same’. There are Aoi Mon (Tokugawa family crest) everywhere (I count 63). Everything is in excellent condition: handle wrap, cordage, and lacquer; there are no defects to tell you about. The koshirae is held together by a well made tsunagi (wood blade).

A very pleasant set; the 2nd guy to ask for it will be sorry he missed out. 5 pounds, 3 ounces. $6,950.

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