Kinju (Kaneshige), early koto period

KINJU (KANESHIGE), early koto period;

mei: “Kinju”; said to be nidai
sugata: large tanto in Nanbokucho style, hira zukuri;
nagasa: length not know, but estimate around 30 cm
nakago: funagata shape, ha-agari tip, one hole, ni-ji mei
hamon: small notare with midare;
boshi: long Jizo, midare komi style, with long kaeri;
kitae: itame o-hada (coarse grained);
[Mino-to p.35]
[oshigata from Nippon No Bijutsu 10, 1977, No.137, #73]
There is some confusion about these early Kinju and whether there were two generations. There may have been a shodai working in the 1300’s and a nidai in the mid-1300’s. The above reference describes Nidai Kinju (Kaneshige) as being from Echizen Atsuga and moving to Seki. His father was Motoshige from Kyushu (ref. Meikan). Most of his known works are nijimei hirazukuri wakizashi, and the style is very much like Soshu Sadamune and Hasebe Kunishige. According to the Meikan, a tanto exists with a date of Oan 2 (1369).
Shodai Kinju: (Mino-to p. 29) the work of the shodai is different from the nidai, it has a wider mihaba, sori, thinner forging and mitsu-mune (3 faces). It is in Nanbokucho style and has coarse itame hada (see Mino-to p. 174 for example). There is no doubt a link with later Seki kanji and Soshu-den; at this earlier stage Mino-den was still developing as a style.
Other generations: This reference notes shodai Kinju (Kaneshige) had a son called Kaneyuki [relationship to nidai Kinju is unclear]; it notes that the daughter of Kaneyuki (granddaughter of shodai) adopted a child who took the name Kanenaga (great grandson of shodai) after moving to Seki. Kanenaga had a son named Kanemitsu (great great grandson of shodai). Work of Kaneyuki is said to be very similar to Kinju, but not as good.

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