Designated on October 9, 1999

Juyo Token No. 49
Naginata-Naoshi Style Katana
Mei: Mumei (Attributed to Masamitsu [政光])

Nagasa: 74.0cm
Sori: 1.95cm
Motohaba: 2.95cm
Length of Nakago: 19.8cm
Curvature of Nakago: 0.15cm

Form/Shape:  A naginata-naoshi zukuri blade with mitsu-mune. Though it has a wide mihaba, its “head (tip)” is not very wide. The shinogiji has been ground to have a relatively high shinogi (i.e., the ridge). The kasane is thick and the sori is relatively shallow.

Kitae (Forging): A tight itame with running hada in some areas. Tiny particles of ji-nie and fine chikei are present along with a straight utsuri.

Hamon: A narrow yaki, in which kataochi-gunome, tsuno-gunome [i.e., a variation of togarigunome] and togari-ba are mixed, presenting generally small scale activities and small ashi. It also shows ko-nie with relatively strong nioi, kinsuji and sunanagashi, and a bright nioiguchi.

Boshi: A midare type boshi with a slightly pointy tip turning back very slightly on the omote side, and a hakikae type boshi that resembles yakizume on the ura side.

Horimono: A naginata-hi and a soe-hi carved in the kakinagashi style in the end on both the omote and the ura sides.

Nakago: An o-suriage with the kiri end. There are sugikai file marks and one mekugi-ana. There is no mei.

Description: Masamitsu was a smith in the Osafune school of Bizen province worked during the Nanbokucho period, and was a student of Kanemitsu [兼光]. The oldest era in which his existing blades are confirmed to have been made is the Enbun era (1356-1360) and the latest era is the Oei era (1394-1427) in the early Muromachi period. These clearly show when this smith was active. Just like Tomomitsu [倫光] and Motomitsu [基光],Masamitsu also followed the style of Kanemitsu in making his blades. Masamitsu’s blades show various patterns of hamon such as notare, gunome or suguha. However, a major distinctive characteristic of his
works is their generally small scale hamon. This particular blade has a tight itamewith running hada in some areas. It shows tiny particles of ji-nie and fine chikei, as well as a straight utsuri. Its hamon is of kataochi-gunome mixed with tsuno-gunome and togari-ba, in which generally small scale activities and small ashi are present. It also has small particles of nie together with relatively strong nioi. In both the ji and ha, the major characteristics of Masamitsu’s
workmanship are evident. Among blades attributed to Masamitsu, this particular one has an excellent forging with a bright nioiguchi in yakiba, and active kinsuji and sunanagashi in the ha. It is indeed a good work to be attributed to Masamitsu.


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