Period: Shinshinto, dated 1862.
Jigane: Ko-itame with ji-nie forming chikei, strong masame throughout shinogi-ji and along mune.
Hamon: Nie-deki ko-notare with ko-gunome, large amounts of sunagashi, kinsuji, inazuma and ashi.
Boshi: Ko-maru with hakikake.
Tachi-omote mei: Bunkyu ni-nen hachi-gatsu hi (A day in August, 1862) – Oshu Sendai Tashiro Hyakuryushi Nagashige Tsukuru Kore (Tashiro Hyakuryushi Nagashige of Sendai in Oshu district made this).
Tachi-ura mei: motome ni ouji Sakaino Akihiro kun kitaeru kore o mono nari (Commissioned by and forged for Sakaino Akihiro kun)
This is a sword I polished recently, it’s by a relatively unknown Sendai smith named Hyakuryushi Nagashige who was active from Koka 1844 – Meiji 1877.
It has been forged with Yamato-den in mind, perhaps influenced by the most famous line of smiths to work in Sendai, the Kunikane group who were well known for their Yamato utsushimono.
Though this blade doesn’t contain masame in the ji, there is pure masame in the shinogi-ji and along the mune which mixes with muneyaki to create interesting streaking activities. Meanwhile the hamon is full of hataraki such as sunagashi, kinsuji and inazuma, all reminiscent of the great Yamato schools of old.
The steel is well forged, very tight for the most part, the jigane has a fine glossy texture that comes from an even coverage of lively ji-nie. There are many fine chikei hovering about and occasionally long thick chikei streaking out from the hamon into the ji.
The sugata also shows traits of Yamato-den with a high shinogi and wide shinogi-ji. Overall the sugata is especially slim and graceful for the period, it creates more of a koto period image than most shinshinto blades are able to produce.
The nakago has been finished very well, the yasurime and mei have been executed with great skill. The inscriptions on the nakago are highly detailed and done in sosho script, which makes it difficult to read, the owner of this blade has had many differing translations. The translation I’ve written above is a combination of many people’s opinions including my own and I feel it’s quite accurate, but am open to corrections.
Overall, this is one of the best Yamato utsushimono of this period I’ve seen, it’s not often a blade of such high quality is produced by a smith of such small reputation.