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NOBUKUNI / SADAMUNE (MU-MEI)
EXCEEDINGLY RARE WITH 2 SETS OF PAPERS
APPROX 1.5 LBS OF SOLID GOLD
1st Generation (SHODAI)
Juyo token by the NBTHK
Jūyō-tōken at the 44th jūyō shinsa held on November 12, 1998
tantō, mumei: Nobukuni (信国)
Hyōgo Prefecture, Asao Kazuo (淺尾一雄)
nagasa 27.8 cm, sori 0.2 cm, motohaba 2.55 cm, nakago-nagasa 9.4 cm, only a hint ofnakago-sori
Keijō: hira-zukuri, mitsu-mune, wide mihaba, sunnobi, shallow sori
Kitae: itame that is mixed with mokume and towards the ha with some nagare and that features ji-nie and chikei
Hamon: nie-laden ko-notare-chō that is mixed with gunome-midare, many sunagashi, kinsuji, yubashiri, and tobiyaki
Bōshi: ko-maru-style kaeri with hakikake
Horimono: on the omote side a bonji, a lotus flower, and a suken, on the ura side a bonji and gomabashi,
Nakago: ubu, kurijiri, katte-sagari yasurime, two mekugi-ana, mumei
The swordsmith Nobukuni (信国) from Yamashiro province came from the lineage of Ryōkai (了戒) and one theory suggests that he was the grandson of Ryō Hisanobu (了久信). Traditionally, Nobukuni is also regarded as having been a student of Sōshū Sadamune (貞宗). Works dated with the eras Enbun (延文, 1356-1361), Kōan (康安, 1361-1362), and Jōji (貞治, 1362-1368) are attributed to the first generation, who was succeeded by a second generation at the end of the Nanbokuchō period. At the beginning of the Muromachi period, Nobukuni smiths with names like Saemon no Jō (左衛門尉) and Shikibu no Jō (式部丞) were active and these smiths are summarized under the umbrella term Ōei-Nobukuni (応永信国). Each generation focused on a hardening in notareba and suguha, whereas from the end of the Nanbokuchō period and Ōei onwards, the traditional repertoire of the Nobukuni School was enlarged by interpretations in gunome-chō and midareba.
This tantō has an ubu-nakago and is mumei and has the typical shape of the Nanbokuchō-period Enbun and Jōji eras. The prominently nie-laden jiba follows the typical style of Nobukuni and skillfully engraved horimono on both sides as seen here were the forte of this school as well. Therefore, this blade reflects the characteristic features of the first generation Nobukuni and is of an excellent deki.
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