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Masame Hada Sword Search - Finally Over


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It's been a long way to get here. I am sure I have bugged many members here with my posts/questions/PM's about masame hada swords. Thanks to all for being so kind and helpful, it's appreciated.


For 8 months I have worked on finding a masame hada sword that would teach me things and be worth the wait and cost. As few of these works are usually available at any one time, there is not a large body of items to compare or choose from. Nihonto is a SLOW hobby and patience can be hard to maintain at times.


When I went away on vacation in early May, I made a deal with myself; 4 candidate swords in final list and I would make a decision when I returned. 


New sword is a katana by the Shinshinto era Mito smith Suifu Ju Katsumura Norikatsu. If you have the "Art and the Sword" books there is a nice write up in volumes 5+6 about Norikatsu works. This is another article that has some cool info about half way down on this page:




Nagasa: 70cm

Width at hamachi: 3.08cm

Width at kissaki: 2.16cm

Kasane: 0.77cm

Sori: 1.4cm

Boshi: hakikake work that I have not been good at photographing, but the masame lines finish through the "beard" and curve back. Nie is speckled throughout

Polish: high grade polish in my opinion

Tokubetsu Hozon by NBTHK 1998


I have had a hard time capturing the masame hada using my phone which I did not think was going to be the case. The masame "runs" through the sword, and under light in hand you can follow the undulating lines from start to finish. There is nie all over the blade (looks like someone cracked pepper all over it) and the nie concentrates in some areas forming dark islands. It's a stunner in hand. The hamon is a gently moving suguha, with thick sungashi throughout that looks like it was painted on, it's that heavy in places.  Gold foiled double habaki and new shirasaya finish the package. I am very pleased and have already blown 3+ hours with the lighted magnifying glass on this sword in study. 


Please forgive my picture work. I have included a section of the contrast scan and a suguta photo as well.












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Wonderful sword. I also applaud the way you have keep a clear focus on your goal (in the face of so much temptation). My congratulations :)

Thanks Ray, there were a few that were hard to pass on (Ippo, Den Shizu, and your Tomohide about had me sold) so it's very hard indeed.

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Congratulations and well done! You must be happy.


I shall note that waiting 8 months for the right sword is actually a very short time in our hobby. I waited for 6-7 years for a blade by a smith I wanted and which I could afford. We all learn patience with our hobby.


But your efforts are beautifully rewarded in the end.

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The sword bag this one came with had what looks like an old shirasaya wood piece as a tag. I can't make it out, may only say Norikatsu as a label. Also the shirasaya seems brand new, and has burned on marks, I imagine this is from the maker as his type of signature?:





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Fantastic sword Jeremiah!  Sorry I put my photos here - I confused this thread for the one in which you were looking for masame examples.  Gomen nasai!  Anyway, yours is a true thing of beauty and I hope you enjoy it for years.  Cheers, Bob

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