This Katana has been attributed to the Owari Seki School and dates to the Jōkyō period (1684-1688). Mumei (unsigned). Shinogi zukuri shape. Ubu (unaltered). This sword is not in polish; however you can still see some activity. The hada is itame and the hamon is gunome. The blade features bo-hi (wide straight groove) and soe-hi (thin groove) horimono on both sides and is nicely executed. This sword is in good condition and would look great after a polish.
At the end of the Muromachi period a number of swordsmiths migrated from Mino province to Owari (Bishu) as part of the great dispersal of Mino talent across the country. This group became known as the Owari Seki school.
Two of the most famous warlords of Japan’s Sengoku Period, Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, were natives of Owari Province, as was Katō Kiyomasa. Nobunaga held Kiyosu Castle in Kiyosu for some time. After the battle of Sekigahara, Tokugawa Ieyasu established the Tokugawa Shogunate at Nagoya Castle in Owari and placed one of his sons (Tokugawa Yoshinao) in charge. Owari was an important province for the Tokugawa family and they held it right up until the Meiji Restoration.
School: Owari Seki
Paper: NBTK Shinteisho
Period: Jōkyō (1684-1688)
Nagasa: 69.1 cm
Sori measurement: 2.3 cm
Kasane (thickness): 8.0 mm
Width at ha-machi: 30.0 mm
Width at yokote: 20.3 mm
Nakago condition: Ubu
Nakago shape: Standard with kuri jiri
Nakago length: 18.4 cm
The koshirae for this sword is very nice and features a brown ito wrapped tsuka and black lacquered saya.
The fuchi is made of shakudo and features a design of children’s toys (hobby horse and denden daiko drum) done in gold and copper. The kashira is matching shakudo and features a design of Daruma doll, bird and denden daiko drum. Very nice nakago ground for both. The fuchi is signed Teruhide (Kao). Teruhide (1730-1798) was the nephew and student of Terumasa, who established the Omori school. He ended up as the third master of the school and studied painting and metal work with Terumasu and was influenced by the Yokoya school. He was to set-up his own business after the death of Terumasa in 1772 and had many students and followers. Haynes Index H 09566.0.
The menuki are also made of shakudo and feature Jurojin (god of longevity) and Hotei (god of happiness). Jurojin is featured with his staff and fan; while Hotei has his head back (laughing perhaps?) and is carrying his sack. The workmanship is very nice and I suspect these are Ko-Goto.
The tsuba looks like it was made by a later generation of the Akasaka school and is quite large and thick. It features a design of grasses or reeds and has unusual shaped hitsu ana. Length: 7.9 cm. Width: 7.8 cm. Thickness: 0.65 cm. Everything fits together well and it is nice and tight.
This is a nice sword and it just needs some money spent on it to bring out its true beauty. Nice ubu condition with one menuki ana. Well worth the investment to get it polished.