Morikage Katana Koto Nambokucho With NTHK NPO Certificate Made Circa 1362 – 1368
Katana Den Bizen, Osafune Morikage. nagasa 2 shaku 3 sun yo kore ari – Blade length is 69.7 cm , suriage mumei made in the shinogi-zukuri, with iori-mune. Forging is a dense itame hada . The hamon is a very active O-gunome-midare which tends to koshi no hiraita and togari . The boshi Hardening is sugu with a somewhat pointed maru-kaeri the nakago has 3 mekugi-ana one of which has been plugged ,yasurime are kiri. The blade is made around around Joji era (1362-1368). This katana is typical Morikage work and has a very heavy and powerfull feel in hand mounted in a quality shirasaya.
The Bizen Omiya School founder is said to have been Kunimori . Who was active around the Bun-o era circa 1260 during the Kamakura period. One theory says that he came from Inokuma Omiya in Yamashiro Province, Hence the school name but lso the theory exists that he went to the Omiya district of Bizen, The works of these early kamakura makers are extremely rare so swords we see nowdays from the Omiya school are mainly from the Nanbokucho period . As most of these blades being extremely long most have been shortened now are Osuriage mumei.
In Kunimoris school makers such as Sukemori , Moritoshi , Morikage, Moritsugu , Morokage, Morishige followed. Most of the swords we find today are unsigned that are attributed to a specific smith (rather than just to Den Omiya) but are often attributed directly to a maker such as Morikage, Morishige ,Morokage.due to their unique and characteristic workmanship.
Morikage is said to have been the son of Omiya Moritsugu . He worked around the Enbun era or 1356. In the Meikan, The Morikage lineage is recorded as the one who worked from Enbun (1356) through Eiwa (1375) is considered to be the shodai. The second generation worked from Eitoku -1381) through Ko-o (1389) is said to be the nidai. The last generation worked from Meitoku (1390) through Oei (1394 -) is referred to as the sandai. Since there are only thirty-eight years in total encompassed between the beginning of Enbun and the beginning of Oei there is some uncertainty about thelater generations and some believe they were possibly the same maker.
Many excellent Morikage blades are extant including a tachi from the Joji era 1362-1368 which has been designated as Juyo Bunkazai. Another tachi dated 1375 has been designated a Juyo Bijitsuhin. Morikage also made many great ko-wakizashi and Sunnobi tanto with shallow sori which were quite broad blades.
Blades by Morikage normally have a sugata that is typical of the Nanbokucho period. They are long, wide and thick with iroi-mune and the shinogi-haba is narrow. There is very little narrowing between the width at the hamachi and at the yokote. Some have slightly extended kissaki and others have an O-kissaki. The kasane will be relatively thick.His blades are commonly referred to as Enbun Joji sugata.This style of sugata was also used by Kozori smiths.
The kitae is normally itame mixed with some mokume will be relatively tight but there can also be areas of O-hada. There can be ji-nie ,chikei jifu and sometimes faint midare utsuri.
Hamon of Morikage blades will often be notare based with a mix of gunome and/or ko-choji and also a large midare-ba that has flamboyant variations. Sometimes with ashi, yo, and sunagashi in ko-nie . Blades can also be seen with a squared gunome, as well as works with suguha.
Many his blades will have a boshi that is is widely hardened midare komi with an O-maru kaeri.
Morikage sometimes carved horimono on his blades such as bohi,soebi , bonji ,san kozuka ken, dragons and sometimes budhist deities such as Hachiman Daibosatsu.