Katana "Fujiwara Masayuki"

blade length 62.3cm,  curvature 1.4cm,  thickness at the base 8mm,  width 2.75cm
 

"Fujiwara Masayuki"
 
Fujiwara Masayuki is a smith in Takada school in Bungo province. In books his working period was around Jokyo era (1684 - 1688).
 
The steel is a wood grain layer pattern, and the colour is bright.



 
The hamon pattern is Gunome made of nie and konie, and the particles are bright. There are some hamon also on the back.








 
The habaki is silver foiled. It is an original from the Edo period. The silver foil is damaged, but the habaki still keeps good fit against the tang.
 
 
The smith Masayuki in Takada school is not very famous, and this katana is not a masterpiece. There is no tricky appearance on it, but the steel is bright and so is the hamon. That suggests its quality. The brightness of steel and hamon is the real beauty of swords, the patterns of steel layer or hamon is secondary to appreciate blades. This blade is a very good quality in Shinto period. Such a blade is The weapon that samurai's trusted their lives in battle field. Of course it is not a piece in Daimyo collections, but sometimes a Daimyo could fight with such a blade in his young days.
Quality is more important than beauty for eye.
 
The polishing is very honest Hadori style, no tricky technique like acid. And the shaping work is very good. The cutting surface has full surface meat, and some old rust dimples are left. It is an excellent work by the craftsman who polished this blade. Probably, this blade was rusted in the past, but the polishers didn't remove all the rust to think about the meat of the blade. It was a correct decision. A good shape is far more important than no dimples.
 
The dimples of old rust on the back.

The last owner had this blade polished and made shirasaya about 30 years ago. He has been taking care of this blade since the time. Recently he died. When we study this sword, we understand how he loved it. He has not peeled the paper off on the shirasaya, and the blade is kept clean without scratches. He liked the original habaki, though he could re-foil it with silver or gold.
He wanted to put this sword on his dead body. To put a edged weapon on a body is a custom in Japanese funeral.
The smith, the polisher, and the owner. The policy of the persons around this katana is a beauty of old Japan, they respect swords and samurai spirit. We feel happy to take this sword in our hand.
This sword is a very good example to study what Japanese sword is.
 
The shirasaya and the bag.

 

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