Takahashi Noboru (1909-2000)
Mei : Hokke Saburo Nobufusa
Nagasa : 64.2 cm
Sori : 0.8 cm
Hada : Ko-mokume with masame in shinogi
Hamon : Saka-gunome midare in nioi-deki with ashi extended to the ha.
Boshi : Ko-maru
This sword is Bizen tradition and made in early Showa period by the 7th generation Nobufusa (Takahashi Shohei, 1885 - 1958), but it is well known that blades of Hokke saburo Nobufusa at this time are mostly dai-saku or made together with his son, the 8th generation Nobufusa (Takahashi Noboru, 1909 - 2000). He devoted himself to reviving the Yamato tradtion postwar and won a number of awards in Shinsakuto Den. He became a Mukei Bunkazai (Intangible Cultural Asset) of Miyagi Prefecture in 1967 and selected as a Mukansa in 1981. He is also rated as a 2.5 MY smith in Toko Taikan.
This sword reminds a Keicho shinto and good sugata gives the impression that it would be an effective weapon in battlefield. It is also in good state of polish which enables it to be fully appreciated. The jihada is so healthy and compact that homogenous ko-mokume is well developed without flaws or ware. A distinct feature of this sword is the many ashi that are present, mostly slanting and in many cases reaching right down to the ha. These, like the rest of the hamon, are formed of nioi and for the most part are very thick. They form many slanted gunome, which in a few cases appear more like choji.
The hamon reminds the kataochi gunome of Kanemitsu or the saka-choji of the Fukuoka Ishido school and is skilfully constructed and controlled whilst still giving a natural and unaffected impression. The nakago is well formed and has sujikai yasurimei that are finished in a kesho style. The inscription, which is in a semi-cursive style seems to have been confidently carved with a fairly wide chisel. Good shirasaya and brass habaki.
If you want to find more about this smith, please visit the Hokke Saburo Nihonto Tanrensho Website.