Kanemoto late koto: wakizashi

KANEMOTO, late koto period;

mei: “Kanemoto”;
sugata: shinogi-zukuri, shallow tori-zori, chu-kissaki, iori-mune.; moto-haba 2.9 cm:
nagasa: 21.5 cm, slight uchi-zori;
nakago: suriage, 2 mekugi-ana (one filled), okuri-machi;
hamon: nioi-deki, togari-gunome, nie-kuzure;
boshi: slight notare, ko-maru and a short kaeri;
kitae: itame-gokoro;
[Mino-to p.58 & 179; Supplement p. 21,22 & 25]
[To-ken Society of Great Britain, sword #26, permission of Clive Sinclaire]

Comments by Clive Sinclaire: Sword has been shortened in the nakago but retains 2 character mei and has machi moved approximately 7cm. It still josun (correct length) for wakizashi. The Jigane itself has a noticeable whitish colour and is shirake-like. The jihada is quite large and loose but becomes tighter towards the monouchi area. The Hamon at first glance appears to be a typical sanbon-tsuji but it will be seen that there are many gunome mixed in with the togari-ba and it is far from a regular sanbon-tsugi style of Hamon. This particularly applies at either end of the blade although in the middle the togari are more pronounced. The hamon is formed in nioi with deep clusters in the tani (valleys) with many short sunagashi. The Boshi, with its notare begins to look like jizo boshi, but like the sanbon-tsugi, is not fully developed. The hamon is strong and clear throughout and there is strong masame in the Shinogi-ji. This sword is Sue Koto in Mino-den and has the famous Kanemoto 2 character signature. The Shodai Kanemoto worked in Seki in Mino province and is believed to have been the son of either Kanekuni or Kanemune and he was active around the end of the 15th century. His son is known as Magaroku Kanemoto and is therefore known as the Nidai Kanemoto or Shodai Magaroku (Kanemoto). It is this Magaroku Kanemoto, who lived in Akasaka in Mino, who established a high reputation for the Kanemoto name and is rated as Saijo-saku and Saijo Owazamono by Fujishiro. He is also credited with inventing the sanbon-tsugi hamon although few of his works show the fully developed style and they are more akin to this swords’s togari-gunome-midare and it may have been later generations who are most commonly seen with this style of hamon. In the works of the Sandai Kanemoto (Nidai Magaroku) the sanbon-tsugi was fully developed. This popular style of hamon was used throughout the Shinto-Seki school and into the Shin-Shinto era by swordsmiths working in Mino-den. I am sure that the present sword is not by the Shodai Magaroku, as there are distinct variations in the mei, I hesitate to attribute it to a particular generation and would rather say that it is either the Nidai Magaroku Kanemoto (Sandai Kanemoto) or a later generation of the Sue Seki smiths of this name. This sword, with attractive Han-dachi Koshirae is ex Carlo Monsini collection.

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