Bizen Norimitsu (fss-775)

“A beautiful and rare tanto by the Bizen smith Norimitsu”

The First generation Norimitsu began in the Tei-ji era
and continued through the late Muromachi period.
During the Muramachi period, Morimitsu, Yasumitsu and Norimitsu were quite well known
swordsmiths. At that time, Soshu style work is the rave and the Masahiro and Tsunahiro line with its exhuberant hitatsura was mimicked throughout all the schools..
This blade has an incredible jigane of itame and mokume blend with much masame and a very active and violent hitatsura hamon that jumps off this exquisite small tanto. Clear Utsuri can be seen.
There is a long signature and date which also makes this a very precious piece as we can pinpoint the generation of this line of smiths.
There is a very beautiful high grade Aikuchi style Koshirae that accompanies this blade.

Norimitsu was a student of Nagamitsu and continued for
several generations into late Muromachi period.
This tanto is very unusual with soshu influenced hitatsura.
The Jigane is marvelous with a beautiful Ji-hada of itame with mokume and masame, chikei can be seen.
The Ubu  nakago has 2 holes is signed and dated and very precious and rare.

TO NOTE: “This blade was submitted to Shinsa before polish and restoration.”

The mounts:
The koshirae is in the Aikuchi style. The mei of the fuchi reads: Hosono Sōzaemon Masanori + kaō (細野惣左衛門政守). These fitting are all matching and made by Hosono Sōzaemon Masanori. The fact that its all complete is exceptional.

The saya is finished in a red and black Ishime style lacquer. The fittings are all matching of a village scene which consists of the full accoutrement of aikuchi style mountings of fuchi, kashira, kojiri, kurikata and kodzuka with blade. The tsuka- ito is of a teal color with dark blue sageo. The samegane is an original large nodule type with a very nice patina. The menuki are of shakudo and gold in floral motif with persimmon. The habaki is very special in gold foil with a floral and stream motif which greatly enhances the finish of the mounts and blade.

The shirasaya has sayagaki by Tanobe and is papered by the NBTHK which attests to the validity of the sword.


  • Mei: Bishū Osafune Norimitsu (備州長船則光)
  • Eiroku sannen hachigatsu hi (永禄三年八月日, “a day in the eighth
  • month of Eiroku three [1560]”)
  • Date: Kote (1500s)
  • Nagasa: 8-5/8 inches
  • Width at the ha-machi: 19.5 mm
  • Thickness at the mune-machi: 5.4 mm
  • Construction: hira- zukuri
  • Mune: Iori
  • Nakago: Ubu
  • Kitae: Itame/mokume
  • Hamon: Hitatsura
  • Condition: Sashikomi polish

Click to Enlarge Image

Click to Enlarge Image

Sayagaki Info:






Bizen no Kuni Osafune Norimitsu

Rokuji-mei oyobi Eiroku san-nenki kore ari.

Nagasa 7 sun 2 bu yo kore ari.

Tsuchinoe-inu taigetsu

Tanzan shirusu + kaō

Osafune Norimitsu from Bizen Province

[The blade bears a] Six-character signature and is dated Eiroku three (1560).

Blade length ~ 21.8 cm

Written by Tanzan [Tanobe Michihiro] in January of the year of the dog (2018) + kaō

This sword is on consignment.
Special Sale Price
On Hold

Asking price: $8,500.00

Special Sale Price for a few weeks only!  $6,600.00

(shipping and insurance included)

Email us if your interested in this item and remember to include the order number for this item: fss-775.

Click to Enlarge Image

Click to Enlarge Image

Kantei-Sho (鑑定書) - Appraisal

No 301560

tantō, signed:           Bishū Osafune Norimitsu (備州長船則光)

Eiroku sannen hachigatsu hi (永禄三年八月日, “a day in the eighth

month of Eiroku three [1560]”)

nagasa ~ 21.8 cm

According to the result of the shinsa committee of our society, we judge this work as authentic and rank it as hozon-tōken.

May 30, 2017

[Foundation] Nihon Bijutsu Tōken Hozon Kyōkai, NBTHK (日本美術刀劍保存協會)







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