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Bizen Morisuke



A late Kamakura / early Nambokucho tanto signed, Bishu Osafune Morisuke.  Hawatare:  8 bu 8 sun (26.6659 cm or 10.4984").  Hirazukure, uchizori, mitsumune.  Nioi deki saka gunome with deep and wide ashi.  In the front on the omote the gunome are flattened on the top as might be seen in Kanemitsu or Motoshige. There is very fine small ha nie and small kinsuji.  The hamon differs toward the point; slightly shimiru from the base and then becoming stronger and more clearly defined.  The jihada is itame, slightly nagare, packed with ko nie.  There is a bo utsure.  There are chikei and gifu.  The ji nie is especially strong and beautiful near the mune about one third of the way up on the ura.  This tanto has been extensively polished and the kurikara dragon horimono is all but gone.  The jigane has suffered as well.  Sayagaki by Tanobe Michihiro Sensei dating this tanto Kemmu gurai (around) (1334 - 1336). NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon kanteisho.  Japanese polish & gold foil habaki. 

Looking at the date in the Meikan, this would be early work the shodai Morisuke. The Meikan lists all five generations Morisuke with a double circle,  and Nihon Toko Jiten rates the Shodai as 7,000,000 yen and the nidai at 6,500,000.  However, Shibata associates the shodai with Hatakeda, while the Meikan lists Hatakeda Morisuke as a lesser smith who worked twenty-five years earlier, in Enkyo (1308 - 1311).  In Nihon Toko Jiten - Koto Hen  Fujishiro Sensei, in discussing the work of the nidai, wonders if there could be a relationship to Moriiye, and comments that these characteristics are seen in Kozori and Yoshii as well as O-Kanemistu.