- Period: Late Edo (around 1858)
- Certification: Old Tokubetsu Juyo Token
- Inscription (front): Bizen no Suke Munetsugu Yaki no Dōshū Ichirō Kaji
- Inscription (back) : the day of the second month of the fifth year of the Ansei era
- Blade Length: 71.6 cm
- Curvature: 2.1 cm
- Motohaba (Base Width): 2.9 cm
- Motokasane (Base Thickness): 0.7 cm
- Sakihaba (Tip Width): 1.9 cm
- Sakikasane (Tip Thickness): 0.5 cm
- Weight: 651 g
- Sugata: The blade features an exciting and dynamic Bizen Den style, renowned for its wild patterns.
- Hamon: The tempering line showcases Choji Gunome Midare, a leading characteristic of the Bizen tradition, intertwined with Sunagashi (streams of hard, white martensite in the hamon) and vibrant, crisp nioi lines. Very bright and clear Nioiguchi.
History & Background:
This katana is a rare masterpiece, a collaborative effort between Munetsugu and his son, rendering it truly unique. Munetsugu forged the sword while his son tempered / refined it.
Munetsugu's birth name was Koyama Sobei. Born in 1802 in the Shirakawa domain in Mutsu province (today’s Fukushima prefecture), Munetsugu learned sword-forging techniques under the tutelage of Kato Tsunahide and further refined his skills with Chounsai Tsunatoshi, Tsunahide's younger brother. He served the Shirakawa Matsudaira clan as a retained swordsmith (Hanko) before transitioning to the Kuwana domain in present-day Mie prefecture.
By 1845, Munetsugu had settled in Edo city, working under the Matsudaira clan of the Kuwana family. It is believed this blade was crafted during this period in Edo city. The same year he relocated to Edo, Munetsugu received the distinguished title of Bizen no Suke. His work primarily mirrors the Bizen Den, one of Japan’s esteemed traditional sword-forging techniques. Among the Bizen traditions, Munetsugu exhibited exceptional proficiency in forging blades with the Choji Gunome Midare tempering line.
Towards the end of the Edo period, Munetsugu's fame surged. His swords, renowned for their sharpness, frequently passed the rigorous Tameshigiri (test cutting) process. Throughout his career, Munetsugu ardently researched sword-forging, aiming to produce blades of unparalleled sharpness, suitable for real combat situations. He collaborated with seventh-gen Yamada Asaemon, a Tameshigiri master, and Owazamono's author, to enhance his swords' sharpness. His clientele often included feudal lords and other notable figures of his era.
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