By Koyama Munetsugu I (1802-1872), signed Koyama Munetsugu saku
Japan, dated 1831
The slender curved blade is hira-zukuri with omaru boshi and iori mune, both sides with well carved horimono, one a sanko-no-kurikara dragon chasing the sacred jewel and rendai lotus and the other a sankozuka-ken (ken sword with vajra hilt). The hamon is gunome-midare in nioi deki with some ashi. The hada is itame with some masame. The silver habaki with diagonal file marks and dew drops. The nakago with one mekugi-ana, the tip is iriyamagate, the front with the mei reading KOYAMA MUNETSUGU saku, the back inscribed Tempo Ninen Hachigatsu Hi (‘A day in the eighth month of the second year of the Tenpo era [corresponding to 1831]’)
NAGASA 40.8 cm and LENGTH 59.2 cm (total)
Condition: Good condition with minor wear, light surface scratches, minor blemishes, all as visible on the images provided.
Provenance: Hungarian private collection.
With a Juho token rui torokusho registration paper issued by the Educational Committee of Tokyo, registration number Tokyo-to 160039, issued on 18 February Showa 46 (1971), with the seal Tokyo-to Kyoiku Iin-kai.
Munetsugu’s given name was Koyama Sobei and he was born in 1802 in Shirakawa province in Oshu Prefecture. He was the younger brother of Koyama Munehira and Koyama Munetoshi. He was a member of the Kato Tsunahide Mon and he also studied sword making under Tsunahide’s younger brother Chounsai Tsunatoshi. Munetsugu went to Edo and worked as a retained swordsmith of Lord Matsudaira of the Kuwana family.
In the second year of Koka (1845) he received the title of Bizen no Suke. It is believed that he was given this title because of his expertise in producing swords in the Bizen tradition. True to the Bizen tradition, most of his blades display a chôoi-gunome midare hamon done in nioi deki. There are also some works that are made in suguha to emulate the Ko-Aoe style of workmanship. He produced many fine blades from around 1830 up until the beginning of Meiji. His works done in the Tenpo era (1830-1845) are considered some of his best.
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