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A Matsuba Kunimasa
Nagasa 82 cm ~ 32″+
Rated Mukansa* – “Without Judgment”
Mukansa meaning: “without judgment”, meaning that his swords are of such a high level that they are displayed at the annual contemporary sword smith exhibition without examination of a panel of judges; no further awards will be granted, since the swords are above competition.
Master Kunimasa Matsuba (given name: Ichiro Matsuba), lives in south of Japan on Kyushu in the city of Hyuga. He has been crafting traditional Japanese swords for over 25 years and has repeatedly been awarded at the most important competition for the art of sword making in Tokyo and is thus among the best of Japanese swordsmiths. Furthermore he gives speeches dealing with his work at schools and universities. He is a master in the martial arts Aikido, Iaido and Kendo. In addition he masters a very effective style of sword combat which originates in the Jiki Shinkage-Ryu. In his opinion a swordsmith should be familiar with handling the Katana in order to know the specific requirements and to take them into account. It is this combination – master swordsmith and master of Kenjutsu – that leads to the best blades.
Master Kunimasa Matsuba loves his work. For him being a swordsmith is more than a profession, it is much more his way of life. He says: “Every new blade is a challenge to the body and the mind to produce a masterpiece”.
Born February 1959. Accomplishments: 1988- Given recognition from Agency of Cultural Affairs to begin making his for sword. 1989- given his first recognition of a artistic sword. 1990- First award from The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords (Nihon Bijutsu Touken Hozon Kyokai or NBTHK) yearly exhibit of new masterpieces. 1993- NBTHK Exhibit Award for Excellence. 1995- NBTHK Exhibit Award for Excellence. 2000- NBTHK Exhibition Award for Excellence in Tanto and Outstanding Performance in Katana category. 2001- NBTHK Exhibit Award for Effort and Award for Excellence in Tanto category. 2003- NBTHK Exhibit First Place Kanzan Award (Top 6) Katana and Excellence in Tanto category. 2004- NBTHK Exhibit Award for Effort in Katana and Excellence in Tanto category. 2005- Grand Prize at NBTHK New Masterpieces Exhibit All-Japan Chairman’s Award (Top 7) Katana category and Award for Effort in Tanto category & Grand Prize at All Japan Swordsmith Association Exhibit, Omamori-Gatana-Ten (protective sword exhibit) Governor of Okayama Prefecture Award. 2006- NBTHK Exhibit First Place Kanzan Award in Tachi and Award for Excellence in Tanto category. 2007- NBTHK Exhibit Award for Effort in Tachi and Tanto categories & Grand Prize (Top 4) at All Japan Swordsmith Association Exhibit, Omamori-Gatana-Ten Mayor of Fukuoka Award (second time). 2008- Grand Prize winner at NBTHK Exhibition/ All-Japan Chairman’s Award, Miyazaki Prefecture’s Cultural Award & Grand Prize (Top 6) at All Japan Swordsmith Association Exhibit, Omamori-Gatana-Ten (third time). 2009- NBTHK Exhibit First Place Kanzan Award (Top 3) in Tachi and Award for Excellence in Tanto category & All Japan Swordsmith Association Exhibit, Omamori-Gatana-Ten Honorable Mention. 2010- NBTHK Exhibit First Place Kanzan Award (Top 2) in Tachi and First Place Kanzan award in Wakizashi category. 2011- Grand Prize at NBTHK Exhibition/ All-Japan Chairman’s Award Winner for smaller Ko-wakizashi category. 2012- NBTHK Exhibition of New Masterpiece Swords Chairman’s Award.
2014*- NBTHK Exhibition of New Masterpiece Swords Chairman’s Award NBSK (Nihonto Bunka Shinko Kyokai, The foundation of Japanese Sword Culture for the purpose of public interest) Exhibition Gold Award in Swordmaking category All-Japan Swordsmith Association Exhibition, Reached level of mukansa or “without judgment” and will no longer be judged for awards
Classification: Shinsakuto Katana
Measurements are approx:
Nagasa (cutting edge length): 82.2 cm ~ 32-5/16″
Overall: 119.38 cm ~ 47″
Motohaba (width): 3.49 cm ~1-3/8
Sori (curve): 2.90 cm ~ 1-1/8
Signature: Nisshu, Kunimasa
Approx date of Manufacture: 2012 – *Note: This was made before Kunimasa was elevated to Mukansa*
Hamon: Soden-Bizen style Choji
Koshirae, kodogu & tsuba are modern
Handle length: 12-1/4 (extra handle length: 12″)
kissaki / tip length: 4.26 cm ~ 1.68 in
sakihaba / blade width at the yokote: 2.52 cm ~ .99″
sakikasane / thickness of the blade at the point: 5.07 mm ~ .200″
motohaba (nakago only): 2.86 cm ~ 1.13″
kasane / thickness at bottom of blade: .64 cm ~ .25″
Included: A signed (by Kunimasa) set of books, Intro to Japanese swords through pictures & Intro to Japanese swords through pictures II. We will include these with purchase! Pictured below.
extra tsuka with suede leather ito
This Sword is not available for purchase.
If you wish to purchase a Japanese Sword please view our Nihonto for sale page or contact us directly via email or contact us at 1(608) 315-0083 any time, please include specifics of what you seek, i.e.: Katana, maker, era, price range etc.
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