made by who is considered one of the best swordmakers of the
Minatogawa Shrine. Masataka whose surname is Moriwaki, was taught
by some of the top Yasukuni makers such as Yasunori. In 1940,
he was appointed as master swordsmith, and given the name Masataka.
Usually, Masataka swords are signed and dated, sometimes bearing
the emblem of the “kikusui” on the tang
of the sword. However, we have seen a few examples without this
carving, but this is the first time to see one with such an interesting
special order signature and mei. On the regular mei side, usually
they just say Oite Minatogawa Jinja Masataka, but this sword has
some added characters which translate to the meaning the “he tempered
this swords edge”, meaning that he did more than usual in doing
the yakiba. According to the special writing on the tang, it translates
to: “Made for Goto-Shi (Shi meaning a very high level teacher or
someone of very high skill), with my most diligent effort respectfully”.
By understanding the meaning of this writing, one can expect that
this sword is made much better than Masataka”s average swords,
which were already very highly rated.
The blade: This sword is in what seems to be the original polish.
It is very clean, with a well done sugu-gunome midare with lots
of ashi. What is very different, however is the great abundance
of nie in the hamon, as well as it appears all over the ji of this
blade. Nie deki swords from this time period are rare, but swords
with this amount of ji nie are extremely hard to find during the
wartime period. There is actually inazuma in places, which is hardly
seen in a wartime gendaito. The boshi is done in komaru fashion,
with streaks of nie giving it almost a kaen boshi feel. This is
a very well tempered blade and shows the high skill of this maker.
In some laces it looks like there is sunagashi in the hada section
of the sword, because there is so much nie activity!!!
This sword is accompanied
with a lacquered scabbard done in mottled gold and red on black.
The tsuba is an old iron sukashi design of leaves. The handle is
in mint condition wrapped in blue silk with a shakudo fuchi with
scrolling vine design. The menuki are of centipedes and look like
they are are made of shakudo. Both blade and mountings are very good
and in nice condition .