This sword is by the 1st generation Yukihiro of Hizen province. Yukihiro, born 1617, is the younger brother of 1st generation Masahiro, eldest son of Yoshinobu and grandson of 1st generation Tadayoshi. Yukihiro's first work was produced in Kan'ei (1639) at age 23. He received the title of "Dewa Daijo" in 1648. This smith also received the title of "Dewa no Kami" in 1663. During Keian 3rd (1650) Yukihiro traveled to Nagasaki to study Dutch forging techniques (Oranda = Dutch) under Yakushiji Tanenaga and Hisatsugu. After this date many of his works display the mei "Oranda-Gitae-o-Motte". It is said that Yukihiro also studied the Bizen Ichimonji techniques under Noriyoshi. Some if his signed work display the "Ichi" character or "Ichimonji-Dewa-no-Kami" as displayed on this sword. Yukihiro became the retained smith of the Nabeshima clan and moved to Nagase to produce swords. He also lived in Geishu Hiroshima for a time and produced swords there. Yukihiro passed away May 27th, 1683 - 3rd year of Tenna. He was succeeded by 6 generations bearing his name.
This sword displays a very active notare-gunome-midare hamon. Deep nioi can be seen throughout. The hada is ko-Itame with ji-nie.
This sword has a few flaws worth noting. Two small openings and a very small speck of rust on the ha on the omote side close to the ha-machi.
Signature reads: Ichi Hishu Dewa no Kami Yukihiro
Hawley's rating: 90
Fujishiro rating: Jo-Saku (Superior work)
Toko Taikan rating: 5.5 Million JPY
This sword has recently been professionally polished in Japan, issued Hozon papers by the NBTHK (Nihon Bijutsu Hozon Kyokai) and is stored in a new quality shira-saya.
Asking price: $6,500 USD plus shipping.
Open to reasonable offers.