The Horikawa School was originated by Horikawa Kunihiro. Both Kunihiro and his school were known for producing some of the finest swords of the Shinto Period. Because of the success of his Den, Kunihiro is considered by historians as one of the founders of Shinto Period in sword making.
Kunihiro was originally a retainer of the Ito family in Obi, Hyuga Province. He served the Ito family not just a sword smith, but also as a Samurai. Kunihiro gained experience in the battle of Kyushu that propelled him through the Samurai ranks as an entrusted commander.
After the Ito clan’s eventual downfall, Kunihiro traveled around Japan, fully devoted to sword smithing. His extant works range from 1576 to 1613. He started his school in Horikawa in 1596 ca.. His famous students include, Kuniyasu, Kunimichi, Masahiro, Hirozane, Kunitomo, Hiroyuki, Kunikiyo, Ariyoshi, Kunisada and Kunisuke. Both Izumi no Kami Kunisada and Kawachi no Kami Kunisuke later became pioneers of the Osaka Shinto Den.
Both Kunihiro and the Horikawa School are noted for their many masterpiece works. Certainly Kunihiro’s experience as a Samurai, must have given him a unique perspective on sword making.
Many Horikawa School works are wakizashi like this one. Note the Shobu-zukuri shape reminiscent of Nagamaki-naoshi style. Also of note is the fine ko-mokume hada with gunome-midare hamon. Mumei, or unsigned works, are common in the Horikawa school. These attributes reflect swords made by the Horikawa School in the Shinto Tokuden Tradition.
This sword has not seen shinsa, but has been judged as potential Horikawa Den by well respected craftsman entrusted with this swords restoration.
This sword’s price reflects the potential for a favorable Horikawa Den attribution at shinsa, and will remain moderately priced until shinsa status changes. Of course, getting NBTHK papers to Horikawa will make the price rise significantly. I recommend this sword now by the virtue of its obviously very high quality workmanship.
This sword’s impressive polish was executed by a well respected togishi. The sword comes mounted in fine shirasaya. I elected to keep the original 2 piece habaki to preserve history.
Nagasa: 38 cm
Motohaba: 3.2 cm
This sword comes with a satisfaction guarantee (3-Day inspection period).