(branch Cherry tree pattern) Tatsukoyama junin MASAHIRA saku

period Modern : Autumn 1986
shape wakizashi : Hira-zukuri, mitsu-mune, wide and light curvature
length 36.0cm / 1shaku 1sun 8bu 8rin
curvature 0.4cm / 1bu 3rin
basis width 3.2cm / 1sun 5rin
basis thickness 0.6cm / 1bu 9rin
mekugi hole 1
accessory Shirasaya / Silver Habaki
price sold out

About 670 years ago, the imperial court in Japan was divided into two, the south and the north, and it was like a civil war between the samurai classes of both sides. It is the Nanbokucho period.
In such a situation, the social climate called Basara arose. Basara people completely denied old authorities and values and preferred showy and magnificent styles for everything instead. Since this trend influenced their swords, they became bigger and more splendid. About hamon (temper patterns), Hitatsura (all over the face) was invented by Hiromitsu and Akihiro, great swordsmiths in Sagami. This style features hamon covering the whole blade like innumerable stars in the universe. Its power and elegance are never to be followed. However, only a few swordsmiths mastered how to make this hamon at that time and the duration that the swords were actually produced was very short. Therefore, they are the object of envy to sword lovers because the number of great swords is limited.

Masahira Fujiyasu, a swordsmith. He lives in Tatsukoyama, Fukushima. I do not know any person as talented as him regarding making things today. Needless to say about sword making, he is as good as masters of their fields such as carpentry, metalworking, sculpture, calligraphy and sewing. Masahira says, I can learn by just watching. It is just amazing though we know that he is highly endowed. Masahira started working to revive Hitatsura in the beginning of 1980 and finally made a masterpiece in 1986. That is this ko-wakizashi titled “branch cherry tree pattern by Masahira, inhabitant in Tatsukoyama.”

Shape of the sword is the same as the ones produced during Enbun and Jouji eras in the Nanbokucho period. The blade is wide, long and has sori (curvature). On the ji (steel surface), there are clear itame (wood grain), slight chikei (short, curvy lines of nie grains) and fine ji-nie (individually discernible grains lining the overall grain patterns on the steel surface or ji). Hamon is perfect Hitatsura. With big choji (clove shape) as the base, hamon especially features tobiyaki mixed with juka-choji (multiple choji) and gunome (zigzag). Also, hamon keeps wide on the blade as it gets close to the cutting point and has yo (leaves), kinsuji (gold streaks) and deep nioi and konie. If describing like this, it is completely the same as the swords made by Hiromitsu and Akihiro. Is anyone can see that this sword was created in the world of today by just watching it? Probably, all people will think that the sword was made during the Nanbokucho period.

What a great vitality, coming up from inside the sword as if breaking through hamon! This is the special feature of this sword. Power of the sword transfers into a body of person who sees it and the feeling of excitement from the bottom of body is the same when you look at an old great sword. There is no distinction between old and new things that move people’s hearts. This ko-wakizashi is back to the world again after 25 years. We should honestly appreciate it. Masahira Fujiyasu, who never flatters to the world, just pursues to make great swords with all his energies.
This sword is a challenge from Masahira to the world of modern swords.
It is really a great sword.

                       KANSHOAN, 7 / January / 2012

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nakago (tang) mei (signature) yakidashi koshimoto (base) fukura (curve) boshi (part of the point) kissaki (point) boshi (part of the point) fukura (curve) monouchi (cutting point) nakahodo (midpoint) nakahodo (midpoint) koshimoto (base) nakahodo (midpoint) monouchi (cutting point)