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An aiguchi by Bizen Sukemitsu. Ubu, hirazukure, uchizori, iroi mune. Bizen Kuni Ju Osafune Sukemitsu Saku, Eiroku hachi nen hachi gatsu kichijitsu (a lucky day in August 1565). Hawatare: 9 sun 3 bu (28.18 cm or 11.09"). Elongated gunome in nioi deki, fine ha nie, the valleys between the gunome have increased nioi and ko nie, kinsuji, nado. Lively moist itame nagare, mokume mixed in, slightly hada tatsu, abundant chikei, nado. Motohaba: 9.39 cm. Kasane: 2.19 mm. The work reminds me of Kozori Bizen Nariiye. According to the Meikan, there were three Sukemitsu whose primary work period was Eiroku (1558 - 1570), one being Kozori Bizen. The Nihon Toko Taikan states that there were several generations of Kozori Bizen Sukemitsu working in Eikyo (1429 -1441), Onin (1469-1487), Eisho (1504-1521), Daiei (1521-1528), Temmon (1532-1555), Eiroku (1558-1570), and Tensho (1573-1592), a span of 163 years.
The Kozori Bizen worked in the Soden Bizen style of O-Kanemitsu. According to Nagayama Kokan, the defining features of the group are unclear, and it appears that the smiths did not belong the main school. They were active toward the latter part of Nambokucho and into Muromachi. The work of the group illustrates how tachi were gradually changing to katana, something also seen in the Kanemitsu school. While all schools tended to decline in quality through time, "--some of the swords produced by the kozorimono are as excellent as Morimitsu's or Yoshimitsu's."*
The aiguchi koshirae is en suite, well patinaed red copper with silver san go san kiri mon is silver takazogan. The menuki could be Hosokawa mon with kirimon in each of the seven circles. The kozuka is silver with a gold kirimon in takazogan, and incised stylized birds. Very nice, intact red lacquer saya.
In fresh polish. Niju gold and silver foil habaki, NBTHK Hozon kanteisho.
Bizen Kuni Ju Osafune Sukemitsu Saku
Eiroku Hachi Nen Juhachi Gatsu Kichijitsu
NBTHK Hozon Kanteisho