This is a beautiful wakizashi by one of the several generations of smiths who used the name Kanefusa (兼房) during the Muromachi Era. The signature reads simply Kanefusa Saku (兼房作). These Mino smiths worked from around 1441 to 1596. The NTHK attributed this blade to around the Tensho era or 1573 and that would make this a blade by the third or fourth generation smith by this name. Later generations of smiths of this line working in the Shinto era changed their names to Ujifusa.
As with later generation Seki blades, the jihada (grain of the steel) is a beautiful itame-hada mixed mokume-hada. The hamon (temper line) is nioi deki and comprised of wide and irregular gunome midare. Kanefusa’s distinctive gunome hamon is called kenbo midare and consists of midare with round yakigashira repeated at regular intervals. The bôshicommonly resembles a Jizo and the kaeri is long. This example certainly exhibits these beautiful and flamboyant characteristics and is really eye-catching.
It has a nagasa (length) of 13.5 inches or 34.4 cm. It has a wide moto-haba (width at the base) of 1.22 inches or 3.1 cm and a saki-haba (width at the point) of 1.1 inches or 2.7 cm. It has a graceful saki-zori (curvature) of about 0.25 inches or 0.61 cm. as one would expect of a blade from this time period. There are bo-hi and soe-hi (grooves) carved on both sides. It is hira-zukuri in shape. It comes with silver wrapped copper habaki that has very intricate floral carvings. The blade is in excellent polish with no openings or flaws.
Accompanying this blade is a nice set of old Samurai koshirae that shows considerable wear and use. There are some losses and scuffs to the lacquer scabbard. The tsuba is a very attractive iron sukashi tsuba with a diamond and floral pattern. The fuchi and kashira are also iron with gold and shakudo decorations. The menuki are shakudo in the shape of wild boars.
This blade comes with NTHK papers attesting to its quality and authenticity. This sword would be a great addition to any collection.