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Kawachi no Kami Kunisuke Wakizashi
The first generation Kawachi no Kami Kunisuke. Gunome slightly midare in fine ko nie. Soft even habuchi showing good depth. Areas of larger nie at ha and drifting into the ji. Ashi iri, small gifu, kinsuji, nado. Longish yakidashi. The boshi is komaru. Tight ko mokume hada, fine ji nie and chikei, nado. Fresh polish, shirasaya, silver foil habaki. NTHK kanteisho. Rated Josaku in Nihon Toko Jiten - Shinto-Hen by Fujishiro, a double triangle in Nihon To Meikan, and valued at 7,000,000 yen in Toko Taikan by Tokuno. He has a sharpness rating of wazemono.
Wakizashi of this length were popular with the wealthy who were not of the samurai class, and therefore could not carry anything 2 shaku in length. However, with an extended saya, they could appear to be samurai without the risk of legal ramifications -- like death.
He was from Settsu. Although frequently thought of as a member of the Horikawa Kunihiro kei, the workmanship and time frame indicate that he was of the Echigo Kunitomo kei.
According to the Kaji Biko he was a mounted samurai of Sekiuji Kazumasa, the castle lord of Seishu (Ise), and after the downfall of Sekiuji, he went to Kyoto to study sword smithing under Horikawa Kunihiro. However, this occurred Kan'ei ninen jugatsu (October, 1625), ten years after Kunihiro's death.
It is unclear exactly when Kunisuke received the title Kawachi no Kami, but it was at least before Kan'ei sannen nigatsu (February, 1626). The works of the shodai Kunisuke are very few compared to those of Kunisada. The quality of his works vary greatly, the best of them being equivalent to those of Kunisada, while the worst appear to be made by an entirely different smith. This is an example of his better work, and shows well compared to the works of Kunisada.
Shodi Nidai Sandai Yondai
Nihonto Zuikan - Shinto
Nihon Toko Jiten - Shinto-Hen