A Juyo Token Kamakura Kokubunji Sukekuni Katana

Jūyō-tōken at the 61st jūyō shinsa held on October 20, 2015
katana, mumei: Kokubunji Sukekuni (国分寺助国)
nagasa 70.8 cm, sori 1.6 cm, motohaba 3.0 cm, sakihaba 2.0 cm, kissaki-nagasa 3.4 cm, nakago-nagasa
18.9 cm, nakago-sori 0.1 cm
Keijō: shinogi-zukuri, iori-mune, wide mihaba, noticeable taper, relatively narrow shinogi-ji in
relation to mihaba, rather high shinogi, deep sori, chū-kissaki
Kitae: standing-out itame that is mixed with mokume, that tends overall to nagare-masame, and
that features plenty of ji-nie, chikei-like elements, and a faint midare-like utsuri, the steel is
Hamon: chū-suguha-chō in ko-nie-deki with a wide and rather subdued nioiguchi that is mixed with
ko-gunome, ko-chōji, some togariba, ko-midare-like elements in places, ashi, yō, and fine kinsuji and
sunagashi, the ha also displays some hazy sections
Bōshi: sugu-chō with a ko-maru-kaeri
Horimono: on both sides a bōhi that runs as kaki-nagashi into the tang
Nakago: ō-suriage, kirijiri, katte-sagari yasurime, two mekugi-ana, mumei
There was a Kokubunji Sukekuni (国分寺助国) active in Bizen, and one that was active in
Bingo province, although the theory exist that this was actually the same smith. Among others,
dated works from the eras Genkō (元亨, 1321–1324), Gentoku (元徳, 1329–1331), and Kenmu
(建武, 1334–1338) exist, which shows prominent Yamato features and which are similar to KoMihara (古三原) works from Bingo province. There are also blades, however, which are
reminiscent of the style of the Un (雲) group from Bizen province, which feature a jifu-utsuri and
a suguha-based hamon, and we also know of works that are hardened in a flamboyant midareba
that is mixed with chōji and/or gunome.
This blade has a high shinogi, a thick kasane, and displays a kitae in a standing-out itame that is
mixed with mokume, that tends to nagare all over the blade and to masame towards the ha, and that
features plenty of ji-nie and a midare-like utsuri. The hamon is a ko-nie-laden chū-suguha-chō with a
rather subdued nioiguchi that is mixed with ko-gunome, ko-chōji, ko-midare-like elements, ashi, yō,
kinsuji, and sunagashi. The ha displays some hazy sections and so we recognize overall a mix of
the Bizen and Yamato traditions that reflects the characteristic features of Kokubunji Sukekuni.
The yakiba is rich in variety and the blade is of an excellent deki.