NBTHK Hozon papered Katana attributed to Ietsugu (~484 years old)

Ietsugu Katana

Ietsugu Katana 2


Ietsugu Katana

NBTHK Hozon papered Katana attributed to Ietsugu

Koto End of Muromachi period (Tenbun Era/circa 1532-) Kaga
Length of cutting edge 78.5 cm, Curvature 2.4 cm, Width of base 30.0 mm, Width of Yokote 22.0 cm, Thickness of base 7.2 mm

Blade construction : Shinogi-zukuri, Iori-mune. Kasane is thick at Shinogi-suji ridge with abundant volume of Hiraniku and shaved off toward the back ridge of Mune. Width on base is wide standing firmly on base with appropriate tapering to point leading to an elongated middle point. There is a bit on deeper side koshi-zori curve on base and saki-zori upper point curve as well.

Forging (Hada) : Jigane is a bit on darker side. Hada is combination of outstanding Itame and entwined flowing Masame grain marks appear mostly on both quenching side and Shinogi-ji surface.

Temper (Hamon) : Hamon is combination of small roundish element Gunome and small clove Choji-ha, bright martensite crystals appears on boundary lines incorporating splendidly active feet of Ashi that projects to hardened edge and floating YO with delicate short lines of Sunagashi activity. Some splashed Tobiyaki hardening pattern appears here and there.

Temper of tip (Boshi): Large roundish Gunome, almost Iachi-mai state then turns back deeply to Muneyaki on back ridge.

Tang (Nakago) : Ubu (unaltered) with Sensuki (shaved) file marks, two Mekugi-ana (retaining hole), the second hole are stud with brass for ornamental "Sun and Crescent moon" and decorative "Triple Star" punches on bottom. The shape of heel is Ha-agari Kurijiri(un-even U-shaped).

Here is a long katana holding harmonious ratio of Mihaba to Nagasa, Kasane and Fukura leading to an elongated Chu-kissaki from Muromachi period early 16th century. In the Nanboku-cho period (the Northern and Southern Courts period), spanning from 1334 to 1392, the founder Tomoshige 友重 who was a pupil of Rai Kunitoshi from Yamashiro and Sanekage 真景 in Norishige lineage had emigrated to Kaga domain, now in Ishikawa pref.
Those descendant makers mostly prospered throughout the battle ages of Muromachi to meet with increasing demands from powerful clans.
The subject Katana is attributed to a work of IETSUGU 家次, a son of Kunitsugu 国次 who belonged Sanekage 真景 lineage.
IETSUGU 家次 and his descents are called Hashizume 橋詰 school as they lived in Hashizume-town in Kaga. Also they had been prized by warriors from long ago for the name of smith IETSUGU 家次 that means "Inheritance of a House" and also has been called as "Kaga-AOE" 加賀青江 because they adopted the name of IETSUGU 家次 that originated from the IETSUGU 家次 in Aoe school 青江 from Kamakura period 13th century.

The base is a bit on wider side and is deeply curved that reminds us of a graceful Tachi comparatively to common style of katana. This katana still remains ample thickness with abundant volume of Hiraniku and clean overall for it's age.
"Sun and Crescent moon" and "Triple Star" on the tang prove how deeply Samurai believed in faith of religion to pray for divine protection with natural worship.
This Katana comes with a Double layer gold foiled Habaki collar, preserved in a Shira-Saya plain wood mounting.
Good old polish/Condition scale: very good - good (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor)
note) : net weight 876 grams / Habaki 37 grams

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