Wakizashi, Mumei, (Shikkake)

blade length 40.6cm, curvature 0.9cm, width at the base 30mm, thickness 8mm
 
This is a fine wakizashi made in Yamato province in 14th century. The shape of this blade is a Shobu-zukuri style. It was born as long naginata, and then, was shortened and re-shaped to be wakizashi in old day.

The steel is fine with particles (jinie). Its layer is a large flowing pattern, but not rough.
Utsuri appears relating with the flowing large layer pattern, the appearance is very interesting.


 
The hamon is mainly made of large particles (nie), making irregular pattern in its straight outline, and it continues into the tang. The nie particles are very fine and mild, and there are many interesting appearances coming naturally. Unfortunately the hamon at the top becomes thin by wearing.
The appearance of hardening effects (hamon, utsuri, brightness of steel particles and etc.) are very fantastic. It is impossible to explain it by words or pictures. It may come from the order of cosmos, we don't feel a designing by the smith. Such a feeling is very important to appreciate masterpieces. A displayed technical skill of smith is just an obstruction to see nature in the steel.
  
  
Freehand sketch of hamon at kissaki

 
On the whole this blade keeps healthy condition, good thickness, full robust cutting surface and enough hamon width. And it has very interesting character that is typical in Yamato tradition in 14th century. Such wild and natural appearance never be seen on the blades after 16th century.
 
The original tang was cut down by shortening work in old day. A small trace of a narrow groove is left on the tang.


Habaki; gold foiled
 


   

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