An Important Juyo Higo Hosokawa Daimyō Mitsunao Enju Katana presented to the Nagaoka family Chief Retainers of the Hosokawa

This  very important sword was an heirloom of the Nagaoka family, Presented to them by the fourth Higo Hosokawa Daimyō Mitsunao, and that the Nagaoka were chief retainers of the Hosokawa.

Jūyō-tōken at the 50th jūyō shinsa held on October 15, 2004
Katana, mumei: Enju (延寿)
Gunma Prefecture, Yokosuka Yasuhiro (横須賀康宏)
Measurements
nagasa 70.8 cm, sori 1.9 cm, motohaba 3.35 cm, sakihaba 2.25 cm, kissaki-nagasa 3.7 cm, nakagonagasa 17.5 cm, nakago-sori 0.15 cm
Description
Keijō: shinogi-zukuri, iori-mune, wide mihaba, noticeable taper, thick kasane, relatively deep sori
that tends to toriizori, chū-kissaki
Kitae: rather standing-out itame that is mixed with mokume and nagare and that features ji-nie,
fine chikei, jifu-chō in places, and a shirake-utsuri
Hamon: ko-nie-laden chū-suguha-chō with a bright and relatively wide nioiguchi that tends to a
gently undulating notare in places, that is mixed with ko-gunome in the monouchi area of the ura
side, and that displays a few ko-ashi, some small hotsure on the ura side, and fine sunagashi
Bōshi: sugu with an ō-maru-like kaeri and hakikake, the omote side shows a relatively brief kaeri and
the ura side a wider kaeri
Horimono: on both sides a bōhi that runs as kaki-nagashi into the tang
Nakago: ō-suriage, kirijiri, gently slanting katte-sagari yasurime, three mekugi-ana, mumei
Explanation
The Enju (延寿) School of Higo province was founded by Tarō Kunimura (太郎国村), who is
said to have been a grandson (from a daughter married into another family) of the Yamashiro
master Rai Kuniyuki (来国⾏). The school then flourished from the end of the Kamakura to the
Nanbokuchō period in the town of Waifu (隈府), which was located in the Kikuchi district (菊池
郡) of Higo province. The school gave rise to many skilled smiths, for example Kuniyoshi (国吉),
Kunitoki (国時), Kuniyasu (国泰), Kunitomo (国友), Kunisuke (国資), Kuninobu (国信), and
Kunitsuna (国綱). The workmanship of these smiths is very similar and it can be said that the
Enju style basically resembles the style of the Rai School with the difference that Enju blades show
a more prominent amount of masame in the kitae, a shirake-utsuri, a hamon with a somewhat
subdued nioiguchi, calmer hataraki within the ha, and a bōshi with a relatively large and round kaeri
that runs back in a brief manner.
This blade shows a rather standing-out itame that is mixed with mokume and nagare and that
features ji-nie, fine chikei, jifu-chō in places, and a shirake-utsuri. The hamon is a ko-nie-laden chūsuguha-chō with a relatively wide nioiguchi that tends to a gentlu undulating notare in places, that
is mixed with ko-gunome in the monouchi area of the ura side, and that displays a few ko-ashi, some
small hotsure on the ura side, and fine sunagashi. The bōshi features an ō-maru-style kaeri which
runs back in a brief manner (on the omote side). Thus, the interpretation of the jiba clearly reflects
the typical characteristics of the Enju School. Particularly noteworthy is the ko-nie-laden and
suguha-based hamon with its bright nioiguchi and that the blade is with its relatively deep sori,
whose appearance suggests that it has been originally a toriizori, wide mihaba, and thick kasane
very healthy and of a powerful shape. According to tradition, this blade was once presented by
the fourth Higo Hosokawa Daimyō, Mitsunao (細川光尚, 1619–1650), to the Nagaoka (⻑岡)
family, which were retainers of the Hosokawa

 

Jūyō No 12033
Certificate
katana, mumei: Enju (延寿)
Measurements: nagasa 70.8 cm, sori 1.9 cm
Shape: shinogi-zukuri, iori-mune, wide mihaba, thick kasane, relatively deep sori that tends to
toriizori, chū-kissaki
Kitae: rather standing-out itame that is mixed with mokume and nagare and that features ji-nie,
fine chikei, jifu-chō, and a shirake-utsuri
Hamon: ko-nie-laden chū-suguha-chō with a bright and relatively wide nioiguchi that tends to a
gently undulating notare in places, that is mixed with ko-gunome in the monouchi area of the
ura side, and that displays a few ko-ashi, some small hotsure on the ura side, and fine sunagashi
Bōshi: sugu with an ō-maru-like kaeri and hakikake, the omote side shows a relatively brief kaeri
and the ura side a wider kaeri
Horimono: on both sides a bōhi that runs as kaki-nagashi into the tang
Nakago: ō-suriage, gently slanting katte-sagari yasurime, three mekugi-ana
According to the result of the shinsa committee of our society we judge this work as authentic
and rank it as jūyō-tōken.
October 15, 2004
[Juridical Foundation] Nihon Bijutsu Tōken Hozon Kyōkai, NBTHK
[President] Hashimoto Ryūtarō (橋本⿓太郎