This beautiful O-Wakizashi (long wakizashi) is presented in shira saya and was forged by Nagamitsu. Nagamitsu is one of the most famous names in the history of Japanese sword making and several smiths have shared the name. The most famous of them worked in Bizen, although swordsmiths by this name are recorded as having worked in Satsuma, Yamato, Yamashiro and other locations.
The signature on the tang (Nakago) is simply 長光 (Nagamitsu) giving no additional indication of the maker or period of the sword. The colour and condition of the tang indicate that the blade is old. This O-Wakizashi was sold to me in Japan as having been made in the Muromachi period (1336-1573).
The blade is in a good state of original polish with marks consistent with age and use. The blade is long for a Wakizashi, having a cutting edge (Nagasa) of 53.3cm (533mm). Wakizashi of this length were typical of the late 15th and early 16th Century Osafune School. The curvature (Sori) of this blade is 2.2cm (22mm), which is again typical of blades of this period.
There were four major historical periods of Japanese sword production, Koto (700-1596), Shinto (1597-1876), Gendai (1877-end of World War II), and Shinsaku (the modern period). This O-wakizashi belongs to the Koto period.
This is a beautiful example of an o-wakizashi (long wakizashi) probably dating to the Muromachi Period. The name on the tang is that of a renowned maker. NBTHK assessment of this blade should confirm its maker and age and the resulting certification will greatly increase its value.
This O-Wakizashi is offered for sale for the first time outside Japan and comes with official Japanese registration papers.
Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai (NBTHK), the Society for the Preservation of Japanese Art Swords, was founded in 1948, and remains a highly trusted organization responsible for screening and certifying Japanese swords. When a sword is submitted to the NBTHK (known as “shinsa”), the organization reviews and then places a judgement on the piece in question. The process is a serious (and costly) one and never taken lightly. It can take anywhere from 3 months to over a year in some cases to receive a verdict.
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