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Antique Nihonto - Tachi in Shirasaya with Katana Koshirae, Nanbokucho Period to Oei (650+ years old) - Unsigned, NBTHK Tokubetsy Hozon Attributed to Mihara Masanobu

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Nagasa: 69cm

Sori: 1.5cm

Motohaba: 3.4cm
Total Length:

This sword is attributed to Mihara Masanobu (三原正信), of the late Nanbokucho in Bingo Province (modern day Hiroshima). It is believed that Masanobu was the son of Mihara Masaie.

The Mihara school was founded by Kokubunji Sukekuni (国分寺助国) in the late Kamakura period (Late13th century-Early 14th century). Two of the most prominent figures in this school are Mihara Masaie (三原正家) and his son, Masahiro (正広).

Mihara school is divided into three categories in Japanese sword terminology depending on the period. When the blade is older than the Nanbokucho era(the 1300s), it is called *Ko-Mihara (Old Mihara). And it is called Mihara for those forged in the early-Mid Muromachi period. Finally, Sue-Mihara(Late Mihara) is used for the late Muromachi period. And, Masanobu is classified as a Ko-Mihara swordsmith.

Though far from the Yamato (now Nara) region, many of the temples there owned land in Bingo. They employed warriors to protect the temples, and many swordsmiths moved from the Yamato to Bingo. Therefore, Mihara swords feature some of the characteristics of Yamato.

Bingo is located near the Chugoku Mountains, where iron sands, one of the essential materials for making Japanese swords, were abundant. This geological location contributed to the Mihara swordsmiths forging high-quality refined blades.