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Rai utsuri in imitators


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I have to admit to being puzzled by one matter and hope to be enlightened.

In later Rai imitations one often sees much effort being expanded to create strong, vivid, high quality bo utsuri. You see this well done in Kanesada, not really in Hizen I think, but also present with a lot of other people who worked in Rai style after the demise of Rai lineage per se.
In Kunitoshi-Kunimitsu lineage, and maybe the blades I've seen were "wrong" for this feature: if utsuri is wide it had somewhat uneven upper edge and was not as pitch black/high contrast as when executed by Kanesada.


Is this true, and then basically later works differ in that they put such an accent/effort on creating very strong and very straight utsuri? Never mind multi-layered black and white utsuri as per the example below - its extremely beautiful but probably unique.




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Ok, continuing along the same lines - some Kanesada and other late works appear to be in o-maru boshi, plus the nagare close to ha is relatively strong.

Could it be that with their bo utsuri they were copying Enju rather than Rai?

I don't think they distinguished the two well enough until relatively recently.


Kirill R.

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I have seen a Nosada Uchigatana in Rai style with stunning utsuri at the DTI 2019 which like you describe, was near pitch black in contrast and could be seen from a mile away. In fact Nosada's copies of Rai are so convincing that it happens, once and a while, to see a mumei "likely Nosada" posing as Rai with old papers. One of the signs to distinguish between both is that Nosada often added a subtle little blob in his otherwise perfect suguha Hamon as his trademark. 


Little blob in Suguha + pitch black Utsuri point to Nosada.


The high quality of Rai imitations are in my experience limited to Nosada and not further generations, where the nie becomes much more faded and the metal ressembles more and more what we traditionally associate with Seki. 

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