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Heian Jidai Ko Senjuin Ken



An extremely rare and important Ko Senjuin ken tanto from the Heian period.  Hawtare: 8 sun 2 bu (24.85 cm 0r 9.78").  The jigane is primarily masame with itame mixed in.  There are fine chikei and jinie.  The hamon suguba ko-notare, ending in yakiotoshi,  is packed with ko nie and ashi iri.  There is a sayagaki by Homma Kunzan Sensei attributing it to Ko Senjuin, and stating that it is a product of the Heian jidai (a very important notation). 

Traditionally the Senjuin school is dated as starting around 906, as is listed in the Nihon To Koza.  However, some later scholarship dates the beginning of the school in later Heian jidai.  This must remain a point of conjecture.  Since Homma Sensei ascribed to this latter school of thought, the fact that he dates this piece to Heian jidai, places it at the beginning of the school.  So just perhaps, it is indeed 1,100 years old instead of a mere 950.        

Old NBTHK green papers, and recent NBTHK Hozon kanteisho, both attributing this to Senjuin, and the Hozon certificate specifying Ko Senjuin.  This was submitted for juyo token shinsa in 2006, but it did not pass.   Mounted in shirasaya with Homma Sensei sayagaki, and an excellent old Mon gold foil habaki.