blade length 52.6cm, thickness at the base 7mm, width 3.0cm
This is a wakizashi what is made as tachi or katana in its original. Then the blade is so much shortened that the original tang is cut off completely.
Steel has a spotted steel with wood grained steel and very compact grained steel.
Hamon is a straight pattern made of small particles. It includes some natural activities, like ashi and so. The hamon in kissaki is wide with sweeping patter on the obverse side, and narrow with sweeping pattern on the reverse side. Around the part between the blade and the tang, the hamon is vanishing running into the tang. It is the proper way of shortened blade.
Utsuri also appears clearly. But it is not simple, since it includes some influence by the spotted steel. It is interesting to watch the activities of utsuri.
Free-hand hamon sketch of kissaki
The hamon in kissaki looks wild with the sweeping pattern made of large hamon particles. It is called "kaen" in Japanese, what means flame.
The manner of shortening work is very proper. It may be shortened in 16th century.
This is a shortened blade, so it is impossible to know the smith. But the first smith or school what this blade reminds us is Aoe school. The spotted steel is typical for them. And other characters also suggest it. What is more, the tang illustrates that the original signature was put on the reverse side as tachi blade. It also match to Aoe school in Kamakura period (13th century).
If we try to find another possibility of smith, Mihara school. Some of them are very similar to Aoe blades. If we look for more smiths, Kiyomitsu in Osafune also comes up. But his kissaki is a little longer than this, and we are not sure if his blades also have this kind of steel.
Anyway this is a simple and honest weapon from the Koto period. We can see the mysterious activities of steel and utsuri.
Yamaguchi prefecture No.1594. Showa 26 year (1951) March 31
This is not important information, but the registration in Showa 26 (1951) is the start of the registration system. So some people appreciate such an old card so much. Because some of the swords with such old registration are from collection of Daimyo. Of course we don't know if this is so. But the previous owner appreciated this card very much.
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