Important Cultural PropertyKnife signed Mistukane

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  • Lai Mitsukane
  • 1 piece
  • L24.5, inverted curvature
  • Kamakura period/14th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • F-19993

Mitsukane was a disciple of Rai Kunitoshi who was a swordsmith of the Rai school in Yamashiro no Kuni. He was also called Chudo Rai Mitsukane since he used to forge swords in Konponchudo (main hall) of Enryakuji Temple in Omi no Kuni. This short sword has fine-grained (itame) ground metal with nie-utsuri (a spotted reflective pattern in the ground) and the hamon (literally "blade pattern," which is a visual effect created on the blade by the hardening process) is of konie-deki (a blade with predominantly small nie hamon) chusuguha (a medium-sized straight hamon) type. It shows a decent style that resembles the style of his master Rai Kunitoshi. Generally, it is said that compared to Rai Kunitoshi and his son Rai Kunimitsu, swords forged by Mitsukane are thicker and the kaeri (part of boshi turning back toward the tang) of boshi (the hamon formed in kissaki, the tip of a sword) is longer. This short sword demonstrates these characteristics. It was handed down to the Matsudaira family in Echizen.