A katana by the shinsakuto smith, Higo Kikuchi ju Koretada, in very good conteporary buke zukuri mounts with Edo jidai tsuba and menuki.
Nagasa: 73.5 cm (28.9")
Motohaba: 33 mm Sakihaba: 25 mm
Motokasane: 7 mm Sakikasane: 5 mm
Nakago: Ubu kuri jiri with kiri yasuri. One mekugi ana
Katana mei: 肥後菊池住惟忠 Higo Kikuchi ju Koretada
Katana ura: Hinoe inu nen kyu gatsu kitsu jitsu (Year of the dog, 9th month, an auspicious day. September, 2006).
Higo Kikuchi ju Koretada (肥後菊池住惟忠) is an active sword smith in Kumamoto. His given name is Otsuka Koretada. He lives in Kumono town, Oaza, Kikuchi-city. He has been recognized thirteen times in the annual NBTHK Shinsakuto contest at the Yushu, Doryoku, and Nyusen levels.
This blade is a well-formed, graceful shinogi zukuri katana with torii zori, okissaki, narrow shinogi ji, raised shinogi, and iori mune. The steel is forged in a fine running itame showing some chikei. The hamon is a gentle notare-based gunome midare in nie with profuse nie, ashi, and running kinsuji and inazuma. The pattern of the hamon continues into the boshi ending in komaru. The bohi on both sides runs into the koshinogi and ends in kaki nagashi about an inch below the machi.
The buke zukuri mounts include a pristine polished black lacquer saya with horn kojiri, koiguchi, and kurikata. The tsuka is wrapped in gold silk itomaki. The menuki appear to be Edo period and are in a floral pattern in shakudo and gold leaf. The fuchi-kashira appear to be contemporary and are a floral pattern on an ishime ground. They appear to be lacquer over copper or brass. The mumei mokko iron tsuba appears to be mid to late Edo with a delicate floral pattern carved along the rim. The slightly raised body is finished in ishime. The plate is densely forged and there are profuse bones along the rim. The patina is a deep chocolate brown (the photos do not do it justice. It is a quality tsuba). The seppa are new and gold-plated. The contemporary sageo is a handsome black and white geometric weave in silk, and sets the rest of the koshirae off nicely. The habaki is one-piece, solid silver in a nicely made pattern.
In short, this blade and koshirae are aesthetically pleasing, nicely balanced, and should appeal to both the collector of shinsakuto and the martial artist.