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It's Mondonosho Masakiyo.

I bought it without papers but obviously I saw the signature... which is btw not the most typical for him, so I was happy it papered - and possibly despite couple of kanji being a bit off... well, he did change the writing somewhat over the years and right before he went to the Shogun, so probably its from this time


My take is that there are couple of things here. First there are well defined "gaps" in nie right in the middle of hamon. This is something popularized by Inoue Shinkai and after him a lot of Soshu style works tried to do this. But Shinkai would have dense, Osaka-style jigane. Here the jigane has almost koto feeling, with wide elements, somewhat rough and darkish, with ara nie. We'll see this jigane a lot in shinshinto but with much more ara nie... Its Satsuma.

So its a top quality shinto work in Soshu style with Satsuma jigane.... Masakiyo.

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Tough one, being honest im very unfamiliar with the name and would only have got this if id owned or looked into buying one of his swords.


Was surprised when you said Shinto, as you mention the jigane looks earlier. Was hoping the shot at Inoue Shinkai was one of those swords that dont quite fit, like when you come across top Hizen smith blades that are not typical Konuka hada.


Again, the amount of big names and Ko-itame that was around on searches for swords of this period stood out like a sore thumb


Good to learn about this particular smith, interesting and fine blade.



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I had no idea and looked up a few things but Inoue Shinkai would have also been my best guess but with this Jigane i was sure i would be wrong. 

I would have loved to had the time to do more research but im sure now, knowing the answer i wouldnt be successfully. Thanks for showing this interesting blade.

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I can't be sure, but:

I think the shape was popularized by Kotetsu so you don't really see it before him (there is related late Momoyama shape, but quite different still), Inoue Shinkai did his usual waki-sticks... Maybe he wanted to disproof everyone believing that the first sign of great sword is great sugata.

After Kotetsu it was practiced quite often by Satsuma (maybe since they were effectively the only conistantly competent smiths in the 18th century) and through them got to Suishinshi Masahide who produced a lot of works in this sugata.

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19 hours ago, Toryu2020 said:

The "Kinsuji" are the giveaway - Inoue Shinkai would come to mind but he never made this shape. Very nice find, Kirill. I hope you'll bring it to our "Satsuma" meeting next year...



Unfortunately I don't know what are the topics for this or following months, and its unfortunately a long drive. Satsuma is such a wide definition - does it include the objects from the sale, Naminohira or just the late smiths etc.

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