Important Cultural PropertyLong sword signed Kunikane

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  • Kobizen Kunikane
  • 1 piece
  • blade L77.3 Curvature4.5
  • Heian period/12th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • F-19832

Among the swordsmiths of Bizen-no-Kuni, those before the Ichimonji school established in the early Kamakura period are called Ko-Bizen swordsmiths. Tomonari and Masatsune are particularly well known among Ko-Bizen swordsmiths. Although Kunikane is also regarded as a swordsmith of the Ko-Bizen group, very few of his works now exist. This sword is thin with a sharp koshizori (a type of a blade curve where the deepest part of the curve is near the tang) and gives the impression of stableness and old elegance characteristic of the swords of the late Heian period. While the hamon shows komidare and kochoji, which are often found among Ko-Bizen swords, this one particularly features a rough nie (a larger crystal formation visible to the naked eye that makes up the hamon) and slight variations in the blade, which can be characterized as a "busy" style.