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WHEN "KANEMITSU WAS INVITED TO STUDY WITH, AND BECAME A STUDENT OF "MASAMUNE", IN "GEN-O" 1319, AT THE AGE OF "42" YEARS. "MASAMUNE" WAS THE MOST FAMOUS MAKER OF HIS DAY.  IT IS HIGHLY UNLIKELY THAT "KANEMITSU" WAS AWARE OF THE SIGNIFICANT POSITIVE IMPACT THAT THIS WOULD HAVE ON THE ART OF SWORD MAKING. THESE STUDIES RESULTED IN HIS BECOMING THE "HEAD OF THE "SODEN BIZEN" GROUP. THE OTHER LEADERS WERE; "CHOGI" - NAGAYOSHI ( ALSO A STUDENT OF "MASAMUNE" ), AND "KANENAGA" - NENCHO. THE SCHOOL FLOURISHED DURING THE "YOSHINO-CHO" ERA.
"MASAMUNE" WAS CONSIDERED BY THE "ENTIRE NATION", TO BE UNQUESTIONABLY THE FINEST SWORD MAKER IN JAPAN, AND ONE OF THE GREATEST MAKERS WHO EVER LIVED. FOR A "LIVING ARTIST" TO ACHIEVE THIS STATUS, NATIONWIDE, IS PERHAPS THE GREATEST HONOR THAT COULD HAVE BEEN BESTOWED UPON HIM. THE PRESENTATION OF ONE OF HIS BLADES, WAS CONSIDERED TO BE THE MOST SIGNIFICANT GIFT THAT COULD BE PRESENTED, BY "EMPERORS", AND "SHOGUN'S".

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THIS BLADE IS BY "KANETOSHI" OF THE  YAMATO TEGAI SCHOOL, IN THE
"NAMBOKUCHO" PERIOD. TEI-JI 1362 ERA IS CONSIDERED TO BE KANETOSHI'S
"AVERAGE WORKING DATE". HE SHARES THE NAME KANETOSHI WITH THE FOUNDER OF
THE "YAMATO TEGAI SCHOOL", "KANENAGA" ( A NATIONAL TREASURE MAKER ), WHO
ALSO USED THE NAME "KANETOSHI" EARLY IN HIS LIFE.

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MUSASHI YOSHITAKE, WHOSE FAMILY NAME WAS "KAWADE ICHIDAYU", WAS OF THE KUNIHIRO MON, OF THE "HORIKAWA" SCHOOL. HIS AVERAGE WORKING DATE WAS 1681 AD., THE TEN-WA PERIOD. THIS PIECE IS BELIEVED TO BE ONE OF HIS "EARLY WORKS" DONE IN APPROX. 1660 AD.! HIS FATHER "KUNITAKE" WAS ONE OF THE FIRST LINE OF KUNIHIRO'S STUDENTS. HE BEGAN TEACHING HIS SON AT AN EARLY(MOST BEGAN THERE STUDIES AT APPROX. 12 YEARS OF AGE) AGE. HE WAS ALSO KNOWN AS "HOTETSU NYUDO", HIS BUDDHIST MONK NAME. YOSHITANE, BECAME A RENOWNED SWORD SMITH, HIS WORKS ARE CLASSIFIED AS "JO-SAKU" ( UPPER CLASS )!
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SUKENAGA (b.1795, d.1851), WAS THE SECOND SON OF *SUKEHIRA, WHO WAS A STUDENT OF *MOTOHIRA.  SUKENAGA WAS CONSIDERED THE SECOND GREATEST SMITH OF THE YOKOYAMA SCHOOL, (FIRST BEING KOZUKE DAIJO SUKESADA), BUT WAS KNOWN AS THE BEST DURING THE SHIN-SHINTO PERIOD.  SOMETIMES SIGNING AS THE 56TH GENERATION, DIRECTLY DESCENDING FROM TOMONARI (c-987), AND FOUNDER OF THE BIZEN TRADITION.  TOMONARIS’ FATHER SANEMORI WAS THOUGHT TO BE THE FOUNDER OF BIZEN BUT NO WORKS FROM HIM EXIST, THUS MAKING TOMONARI THE ORIGINATOR SINCE WORKS FROM HIM HAVE BEEN PRESERVED AND AUTHENTICATED. YOKOYAMA SCHOOL WAS THE ONLY SCHOOL IN DIRECT GENEALOGICAL DECENT FROM KO-BIZEN, SANZAEMONJO-NO-JO- SUKESADA IS CONSIDERED THE FOUNDER OF THE YOKOYAMA BRANCH OF THE BIZEN TRADITION, WHICH HAS ROOTS DATING BACK TO THE 14TH CENTURY.
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"NOBUYOSHI // MASAKUNI", WAS THE SWORD SMITH TO "KATO KIYOMASA" (ONE OF JAPAN'S MOST FAMOUS GENERALS, C - 1570 AD.)!!! HIS FIRST SIGNATURE WAS "NOBUYOSHI", UNDER WHICH HIS POPULARITY AND FAME FOR PRODUCING "SUPERB BLADES" FLOURISHED! HE WAS THEN RETAINED BY "KATO KIYOMASA" (SEE BELOW).

AFTER A BRIEF PERIOD, "KATO KIYOMASA" (OUT OF APPRECIATION AND ADMIRATION FOR HIS WORK), GAVE HIM THE PRIVILEGE OF USING THE CHARACTER "MASA", FROM HIS OWN NAME (THIS WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST HONORS, A DAIMYO COULD BESTOW ON A VASSAL)! "NOBUYOSHI" THEN CHANGED HIS NAME TO "MASAKUNI"! THE MAJORITY OF HIS WORKS ARE ONLY SIGNED "DOTANUKI KOZUKE NO SUKE" (AND IN OTHER WAYS). I WOULD IMAGINE THEREFORE, THAT HIS PERSONALLY SIGNED BLADES, WERE FOR PRESENTATION, OR CUSTOM MADE.

HE IS WELL NOTED IN MANY REFERENCES, AND CLASSIFIED AS A UPPER LEVEL SWORD SMITH, BY DR. HOMMA, AND OTHERS. HIS SIGNED WORKS ARE SELDOM SEEN, AND BLADES WITH HIS "FIRST SIGNATURE" (NOBUYOSHI), ARE VERY SCARCE.

THE HIGO DOTANUKI SCHOOL HAS A DISTINGUISHED ANCESTRY, ITS ROOTS BEGIN IN THE KAMAKURA PERIOD WITH THE FAMOUS "ENJU KUNIMURA" (PLEASE SEE BELOW)!
THE KOTO, HIGO ENJU SCHOOL PROSPERED, FOR NEARLY 300 YEARS. THE EARLY ENJU SCHOOL WAS FAVORED BY DAIMYO'S, AND ARISTOCRAT'S, IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN FAMOUS FOR SHARPNESS, GRACE, MASTERFUL QUALITY, AND DURABILITY.

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THIS KOTO TANTO IS SIGNED BY TOMOTSUGU. THERE ARE SEVERAL MAKERS BY THIS NAME, WHO WORKED DURING THIS PERIOD. THIS IS APPARENTLY THE WORK OF ONE OF THE UDA SCHOOL MAKERS, FROM ETCHU, OR KAGA ( PROVINCES ). THE SIGNATURE RESEMBLES THAT OF ETCHU TOMOTSUGU, WHO IS LISTED IN FUJISHIRO'S KOTO BOOK, AND RATED ABOVE AVERAGE. THERE ARE NUMEROUS "TOMOTSUGU'S" WORKING WITHIN THIS TIME FRAME, AND ONLY THREE ILLUSTRATED SIGNATURE EXAMPLES COULD BE FOUND. THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE SIGNATURE IS UNEQUIVOCALLY WARRANTED.

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"YOSHISADA" WAS BORN ON THE ISLAND OF "KYUSHU", CHIKUZEN PROVINCE, IN "FUKUOKA"  ( HOME OF THE FAMOUS ICHIMONJI SCHOOL ) DURING THE LATE "KOTO" PERIOD. HE IS THE SON OF ""NOBUKUNI YOSHITSUGU", AND THE FATHER OF BOTH YOSHIMASA, AND YOSHITSUGU II. HE HAD TWO GIVEN NAMES: "TSUNAROKU", AND "SUKE ZAE MON". HIS LINEAGE CAN BE TRACED TO THE SCHOOL OF THE GREAT "SA"! IN 1602 AD HE WAS MADE A RETAINED OF THE DAIMYO KURODA NAGAMASA. HIS WORK IS RATED AMONG THE FINEST OF THE PERIOD, AND HIS BLADES ARE KNOWN FOR SUPREME SHARPNESS.

HE IS CLASSIFIED AS ONE OF THE FOUNDERS OF THE "SHINTO SCHOOL" OF SWORD MAKING. HIS WORK IS REMARKABLY DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF THE LATE KOTO PERIOD. THE BLADES BY THE FOUNDING FATHERS OF THE SHINTO PERIOD ARE EXCEPTIONALLY SCARCE, AND CHANGED THE COURSE OF SWORD MAKING FROM KEI-CHO ( 1596 ), UNTIL TODAY.  THIS BLADE IS IN PRISTINE CONDITION, AND HAS BEEN RECENTLY POLISHED, & PAPERED BY THE "NBTHK".THE MATCHING KODUGU ( FITTINGS ) DATE TO THE MID-EDO PERIOD C - 1750. MATCHING FITTINGS, OF THIS QUALITY ARE SELDOM SEEN, AND QUITE RARE.
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A SHINSAKUTO A (MODERN BLADE COMPLETELY MADE IN THE "OLD WAY"). THEY ARE AS TRADITIONAL IN CONSTRUCTION, AS A BLADE MADE IN 1600 AD. THIS IS AN EXCEPTIONALLY FINE EXAMPLE, WAS MADE BY "TSUGUYASU" WHO'S LAST KNOWN ADDRESS WAS: 4-16-10 NARASHINO, IN FUNABASHI - CITY, JAPAN. HIS ORIGINAL FAMILY NAME IS: MATSUDA SHUJI, AND TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE HE STILL MAINTAINS A BUSINESS AT THIS ADDRESS, IN THE AREA OF "NARITA" AIRPORT.  
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 "MORIYOSHI" IS WITHOUT A DOUBT, ONE OF THE FINEST SWORD MAKERS OF OUR TIMES. HE SPENT HIS LIFETIME STUDYING THE METHODS, STYLES, AND TECHNIQUES OF ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS, AND SECOND IN POPULARITY ONLY TO "MASAMUNE" MASTERS "MINAMOTO KIYOMARO".
"MORIYOSHI", WAS ABLE TO PREFECT HIS SKILLS TO THE POINT WERE IT IS DIFFICULT TO DISTINGUISH HIS WORKS FROM THOSE OF "KIYOMARO". THIS BLADE IS BEYOND QUESTION ONE OF HIS MOST SKILLFUL WORKS!

THE JAPANESE BELIEVE "VERY STRONGLY" IN THE PERSONIFICATION OF THE SWORD! IT IS SAID ( I HAVE EXPERIENCED IT ) THAT WHEN SUCH A BLADE IS ENCOUNTERED, YOU CAN "FEEL THE HAIRS ON THE BACK OF YOUR NECK START TO RAISE". THIS BLADE WOULD BE IN THIS CATEGORY, AS IT IS ONE OF "MORIYOSHI'S" FINEST MASTERPIECES.
WHEN MORIYOSHI MADE A "RE - CREATION" OF KIYOMARO'S WORK, HE PERFORMED THE PRESCRIBED RITUALS, AND EXERTED HIS "UTMOST EFFORT"! THESE MASTERPIECES ARE EASILY RECOGNIZED. THEY ARE TOTALLY TRUE TO "KIYOMARO'S" FORM, THEY ARE SIGNED WITH A THREE CHARACTER SIGNATURE (  THE SAME AS KIYOMARO ), AND HAVE THE TYPICAL "KIYOMARO, "O" - KISSAKI" (  VERY LARGE POINT ) THEY ARE EXCEEDINGLY FEW IN NUMBERS.
"MINAMOTO KIYOMARO", IS CONSIDERED TO BE SECOND ONLY TO "MASAMUNE" IN ABILITY, THERE COLLECTABLE DESIRABILITY IS EQUAL. WHEN THE "NBTHK", ALLOWS ( WITHIN THE NEXT FEW YEARS, IT IS UNDER ADVISEMENT, AS WE SPEAK ) GENDAITO'S TO BE GRANTED "JUYO", I FEEL ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN THIS BLADE WILL BE AWARDED THE RATING.

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Contact Matt: at 1(815) 465-6623, Tim: at 1(608) 315-0083 any time.