Overview (Photos follow Description)
An eye-catching wakizashi signed by Masaie from the latter stages of the Muromachi Period.
The hamon (temper line) is a striking o-gunome midareba (large wavy semi-circular formation) and a Jizo boshi (a sword tip representing a statue of the priest Jizo).
This hamon is rare for the Mihara school from Bingo province (modern-day Hiroshima) which were traditionally known for their suguha (straight) temper lines.
The beautiful koshirae (sword fittings) carry a unique story…On the kashira (pommel) depicts a kamakiri (praying mantis). On the fuchi (collar) is a bell cricket.
The brave mantis within the insect world is a predator and at the top of the food chain. The role of the mantis is to protect crops from harmful insects, such as the cricket.
And so these fine shakudo-nanako works of art signed by Kuwamura Katsuhisa (circa early 1700s) represent the elite-class of Samurai protecting their farmers in the Edo Period.
Further notes on the fittings include a saya (scabbard) is sprinkled with several layers of crushed mother-of-pearl on its surface and a formidable tsuba (guard) in the Kinai tradition depicting a ginko leaf.
Of particular appeal is a kozuka (utility knife) of a pine and a person carrying an umbrella signed Inoue Izumi no Kami Kunisada.
This sword has two NTHK Kanteisho certificates
(Society for the Preservation of the Japanese Sword) – one for the blade and one for the koshirae. This sword was sold to a European gentleman.
*All photos taken professionally by Eric Bossick
for Unique Japan
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