KANEHIDE (BIRTH NAME: NAKADA ISAMU WAS FROM MINO PROVINCE (GIFU PREFECTURE), SEKI CITY, WAS BORN IN TAISHO THE 2ND YEAR (1913) ON AUGUST 24TH. HE BEGAN HIS PROLIFIC CAREER AS A STUDENT OF THE FAMOUS KAWASHIMA MASAHIDE AND HIS SON 12TH GENERATION  MASAHIDE, THEN STUDIED UNDER KANENAGA (WATANABE). HE DERIVED HIS NAME BY USING THE KANE FROM KANENAGA AND THE HIDE FROM MASAHIDE.

HE WAS A MASTER SWORD MAKER PRIOR TO THE WAR AND WAS INVITED TO JOIN THE ARMY BLADE DEPARTMENT IN 1941 (SHOWA 16). HE PRODUCED HIGH QUALITY CUSTOM BLADES FOR HIGH RANKING OFFICERS. HIS WORKS ARE MARKED IN THREE PLACES WITH TESTING AND APPROVAL STAMP’S. THE STAR STAMP AND VERY SMALL (SEE PHOTO) SEKI PROOF MARK ON THE URA SIDE OF THE NAKAGO. THE SAME SMALL SEKI PROOF CAN BE FOUND ON THE NAKAGO MUNE. IT IS HIGHLY UNUSUAL TO FIND A BLADE THAT IS PROOFED THREE TIMES. TO MY KNOWLEDGE, KANEHIDE IS THE ONLY SWORD SMITH THAT DID THIS. WHILE STILL IN THE EMPLOY OF THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT HE WAS MADE PRESIDENT OF THE “RYKUGUN GUNTO ASSOCIATION”.

PRIOR TO 1945 HE USED A RATHER ELONGATED  FORM OF KANE IS HIS SIGNATURE. IN 1945 HE CHANGED HIS STYLE OF THE KANE  CHARACTER (AND SLIGHTLY TO OTHER CHARACTERS) TO THE FORM THAT HE USED UNTIL HIS PASSING IN 1989 (HEISEI 1ST YEAR) AT 75 YEARS OF AGE. THROUGHOUT HIS CAREER THERE ARE SEVERAL CHANGES IN HIS STYLE FORMING HIS KANJI CHARACTERS AND YASURI-MEI (FILE MARKS)

IN 1954 (SHOWA 29) HE WAS INVITED TO RESUME SWORD MAKING FOR THE PRESENTATION OF THE ART.  HIS SKILLS CONTINUED TO IMPROVE AND EXPAND. HE WAS THE HEAD MASTER OF THE (TAN REN JYUKU) (ART SWORD PRODUCTIONS STUDIO). KANE HIDE WAS ELECTED AS PRESIDENT OF THE “DAI NIPPON TOSHI KYO KAI KAICHO”, IN 1959 (SHOWA 1934). HE WON THE DORYOKU SHO AWARD FOR HIS HIGHLY TECHNICAL SWORD MAKING SKILLS, IN 1961 (SHOWA 36) FOR THE  HIRAZUKURI (FLAT SIDED) TANTO ILLUSTRATED IN GENDAI TOTO MEIKAN (SEE PHOTO). HE WENT ON TO WIN 12 ADDITIONAL  AWARDS FOR HIS WORK’S AND THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE ART. HIS CIVILIAN WORKS ARE SELLING IN THE $20,000 PLUS USD RANGE.

 

HE PREFERRED TO WORK IN THE STYLE OF KUNIMITSU ~ KUNITOSHI, SADAMUNE, SHIZU, KANENAGA, NAGAYOSHI, MITSUTADA, HORIKAWA, IPPO AND KIYOMARO.

HIS AVERAGE WORKS ARE MADE WITH SHIHOSUME METHOD (KITAE), THIS IS WHERE THREE REPEATEDLY FORGED SHEETS ARE TURNED BACK ON THEMSELVES UNTIL THE DESIRED AFFECT IS ACHIEVED. THE HADA STYLES ARE DEPENDANT ON THE TYPE OF WORK HE IS EMULATING. THIS CAN BE "KO-MOKUME" (SMALL BURL), "ITAME" (NORMAL WOOD GRAIN), "MASAME" (STRAIGHT WOOD GRAIN) AND OCCASIONALLY "O’-HADA" (LARGE GRAIN) IS USED. HE USED ONLY THE FINEST PURE PINE WOOD CHARCOAL.

HIS MOST FREQUENTLY ENCOUNTERED HAMON IS SUGUBA/GONOME. THERE IS KO-NIE AND SOME NIOI (MARTINSITE CRYSTALS), SUNAGASHI, KINSUJI (GOLDEN LINES OF NIE) AND YO (FOOT PRINTS) PATTERNS OF ASHI (VERTICAL AREAS OF FINE NIE)

THIS BLADE IS DEFINITELY A CUSTOM ORDER AS IT IS EXTRAORDINARILY WIDE (MOTOHABA) 3.5 cm. ~ 1 3/8” THE NAGASA LENGTH IS 63.5 cm ~ 25 INCHES, THE SORI (CURVE) IS 1.8 cm. ~ ¾ INCH.

THE HADA IS VERY FINE MOKUME WITH A BIT OF ITAME. THERE IS ONE SMALL OPENING IN THE HADA THAT CAN BE REPAIRED. THERE IS SOME LIGHT CHIKEI (GREY LINES FLOATING UNDER THE SURFACE).

 

THE SUGUBA HAMON IS KO-NIE/NIOI BASED, THERE IS GONOME/MIDARE (IRREGULAR BEAD PATTERN) WITH IN. THERE IS ABUNDANT ACTIVITY WITH ASHIM YO, INAZUMA AND KINSUJI.

 

THIS IS A POWERFUL WIDE BLADE WITH A O-KISSAKI (LARGE POINT) IT IS MADE WITH SHIZU (SCHOOL) INFLUENCE. THE FITTINGS ARE WW-II MARINE CORE OFFICERS AND IS IN EXCELLENT CONDITION (I HAVE SEEN VERY FEW THAT ARE BETTER). ALL COMPONENTS HAVE MATCHING SERIAL NUMBERS THAT ARE THE SAME AS THE BLADE AND WRITTEN (WRITTEN ON THE TANG). THE LOCKING CATCH HAS BEEN MODIFIED TO FACILITATE RAPID DRAWING OF THE BLADE.

 

 

IN SUMMARY, THIS IS A FINE GENDAITO'S BY A WELL KNOWN MAKER, WHO WORKED WELL INTO THE 1980'S. IT IS IN APPROX 95%+ POLISH (I WOULD NOT HAVE IT RE-POLISHED). THIS IS ITS ORIGINAL POLISH (AS WHEN PRODUCED) AND IS UBU (ALL OF THE ORIGINAL TANG INTACT). IT IS TRULY A WONDERFUL GENDAITO IN FINE FITTINGS WHICH IS PRICED BELOW $5000. USD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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