NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon papered Katana attributed to Ko-Uta (~654 years old)

Ko-Uta Katana



Tokubetsu Hozon


Ko-Uta Katana

NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon papered Katana attributed to Ko-Uta

Koto Nanbokucho period (Teiji era/circa 1362-) E'chu
Length of cutting edge 69.5 cm, Curvature 1.4 cm, Width of base 29.0 mm, Width of Yokote 18.3 mm, Thickness of base 5.3 mm

Blade construction : Shinogi-zukuri, Iori-mune shallow curved. Kasane is a bit on thinner side and less volume of Hiraniku that shaved off toward the back ridge of Mune. There is less degree of tapering from base to tip leading to a medium Kissaki.

Forging (Hada) : Jigane steel is a bit on darker side. Hada is outstanding Itame and entwined flowing Masame grain marks appear on both quenching side and Hiraji surface. Profuse martensite crystals Ji-nie appears against well refined Jigane to generate profuse black gleaming lines of Chikei all over the surface even into the quenching boundary line.

Temper (Hamon) : Deep and thickly covered with abundant martensite crystals Nie, shallow wavy of Notare and large Gunome. Boundary belt forms frequent fray of Hotsure and double or triple indication from base to the tip. Interior of temper is frequently active with darkish lines of Nie Kin-suji and Sunagashi. Some splashes into Hiraji to form patches of Ji-ne Yubashiri and spot of Tobiyaki.

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

Tang (Nakago) : Ō-suriage substantially shortened to be Mumei. Upper the Nakago indicates Katte-sagari (shallow slanting left) file marks and lower shows Ō-sujikai (greatly slanting left). Two Mekugi-ana (retaining holes). The heel is shortened to be horizontal Kiri.

Uta-school sources to founder KUNIMITSU 国光 who came from Uta-gun, Yamato in Bunpo (1317-) era to E'chu domain during Kamakura period. Representative makers KUNIFUSA 国房, KUNIMUNE 国宗 and KUNITSUGU 国次 were active during Nanbokucho period and their descendants had been prospered by end of Muromachi period.
For those works on before Nanbokucho period are named for Ko-Uta 古宇多 and the ones from Muromachi period are called Uta 宇多.
For the reason of their origin from Yamato school, their workmanship mostly features Yamato tradition. However Soushu technique rose in power to be a major majority, they learned Soushu-den from NORISHIGE 則重 - one of the 10 genius makers who belonged Masamune and some of their swords followed the workmanship of SANEKAGE 真景 or TAMETSUGU 為継 in the same school of NORISHIGE 則重.

This katana shows key features of flourishing Soushu technique and major character of Yamato traditions as well that results in an attribution of Ko-Uta work by NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon certificate, whereas the judgement of Sayagaki by Dr. Kanzan is SANEKAGE 真景 in the same age and region.

This katana comes with refined mounting of Inro-kaizami notches scabbard Uchikatana koshirae :

White rayskin black silk cord Tsumami-maki style lozenge wrap hilt
Fuchi/Kashira : A sage bamboo design, Shibuichi copper alloy, Polish surface, Kebori, Gold/silver inlay, signed : Kikuchi Tsunemitsu (seal) 菊池序光(花押)
Menuki : Gourd design, Shakudo copper alloy Yobori
Tsuba : Cross rectangular Inome-sukashi design, Copper ground, polish surface, Shakudo Fukurin rim, unsigned
Kougai : Dragon design, Suaka copper ground, Nanako-ji surface Shakudo Takabori carving, unsigned
Scabbard : Inro-style notches, Stone wall design lacquered, Kurikata of Sakura flower design Copper ground Ishime-ji surface, silver inlay

Gold foiled double layer Habaki, preserved in Shirasaya plain wood mounting (Sayagaki written by Dr. Kanzan to say SANEKAGE 真景).
Recent polish/Condition scale: excellent-very good (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor)

Price: SOLD!

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