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Bizen Harumitsu Wakizashi

S0390

An ubu wakizashi signed, Bishu Osafune Ju Harumitsu.  Shinogizukure, iroi mune, chu-kissaki.  Hawatare: 1 shaku 5 sun 1 bu 5 rin (46.12 cm / 18.1875").  Motohaba:  2.78 cm.   Sakihaba:  2.19  Kasane:  6.8  mm.  Nioi deki sugub ko-notare midare, koshiba, well controlled bright habuchi, small koichigaiba, and small hotsure.   The jigane is a tight itame, slightly hadatatsu, bo utsure.  The boshi is komaru. 

Lovely koshirae, golden tan tsukamaki over good same.  Shakudo and gold menuki, of a New Year theme.  Fuchi-kashira are shakudo nanako with gold bamboo in takazogan.  The kozuka/kogai are shakudo nanako, in Goto style.  Gold takazogan mon on the kogai, and a sprig of leaves and stems in shakudo on the kozuka in takazogan with gold highlights.  The kozuka is missing its koguchi.  Slight damage to the kozuka, as shown.  The large round Nagoyamono tsuba in nanako, with gold leaves.  The nanako  is fine and even, the leaves well rendered.  Because gold was so expensive to obtain, the artists in Nagoya would sometimes lacquer the copper plate to simulate shakudo.  This worked fairly well on the nanako plate, but was obvious on the seppadai, as is the case in this tsuba.  The high quality black saya has red coral in the lacquer.  High quality gold foil habaki. 

There were eleven smiths from Bizen signing Harumitsu during Muromachi, of which eight are noted as being especially skillful.  Only two are illustrated in Fujishiro, and this is not either of them.  That the work is so good, would seem to rule out any of the lesser four smiths. 

For some unknown reason, only the tsuka was submitted for shinsa.  It would have made more sense to submit the entire koshirae, as well as the blade. 

It is unfortunate that the sword was given to an American in the Midwest, who has a very nice website, and claims expertise in polishing, but has little understanding of what he is doing.  So while this is clean and much is visible, it requires a another polish by a qualified togishi.  This is the reason that pictures of the blade are not better.                                           $7,500

 

 Itame Hada & Bo Utsure.

 

Bishu Osafune Ju Harumitsu

 

                                                    

Mismatched Goto Style Good Quality Kozuka & Kogai.

Kozuka is missing the koguchi. 

 

Nagoyamono Tsuba.  Decent work, but lacquered black to imitate shakudo.  The necessary 3% to 5% gold for shakudo was hard to come by. 

NTHK Kanteisho

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