tsuba / sword-sheath / menuki / katana / fuchi-kashira / blade / daisho
Katana (long sword blade) 1958,0730.194.a. Made of steel. Signed.Part of daisho (matching pair) with 1958,0730.203.
Sword-sheath 1958,0730.194.b. Part of mounting for katana. Satsuma-clan crest (mon; a cross within a circle) and paulownia mon lightly incised in evening cherry blossom style. Made of black lacquered wood. With metal fittings of black-lacquered iron.
Hilt 1958,0730.194.c; fuchi-kashira; menuki. Part of mounting for katana. Hilt: made of wood, skin (ray), braided textile, copper. Menuki: gilt dragons. Kashira: single cherry-blossom crest (mon); with limbs extending several centimetres along hilt.
Tsuba 1958,0730.194.d. Part of mounting for katana. Twelve stylized birds in twelve segments Made of pierced iron.
- 17thC (mid)
- Made in: Kiisouthern part
- (Asia,Japan,Kii Province)
- Length: 69.6 centimetres (without tang)
- Curvature: 1.6 centimetres
Inscription Positiontang, obverse
Inscription TransliterationNanki [ni] oite Monju Shigekuni kore [o] tsukuru
Inscription TranslationMonju Shigekuni made this at Nanki [i.e. the southern part of Kii Province]
This blade is 'shinogi zukuri' with a medium 'kissaki'. The high 'shinogi' narrows slightly from the 'monouchi' region upwards. The tang has one hole and the file markings are 'sujigai'. The tang tip is 'kengyo'. The grain is strongly flowing 'itame' with much 'jinie', becoming pure 'masame' on 'shinogi ji'. The 'hamon' is a broadly undulating 'gunome' in 'nie' with much variation and overall 'sunagashi'. The 'boshi' is 'komaru'.
The first-generation Shigekuni came from Yamato, and was originally retained by Tokugawa Ieyasu and then by the Tokugawa family of Kii Province (modern Wakayama Prefecture). He was particularly skilful in the Soshu and Yamato traditions, and his tradition continued for several generations in Kii. This sword is by the second-generation Shigekuni, and reflects aspects of both Yamato and Soshu traditions.
The black-lacquered scabbard has the Satsuma-family 'mon' (a cross within a circle) and paulownia 'mon' lightly incised in 'yozakura' (literally 'evening cherry blossom') style. The metal fittings are of black-lacquered iron, with a single cherry-blossom 'mon' on the 'kashira'. The 'menuki' are of gilt dragons and the 'tsuba' is iron pierced with twelve stylized birds in twelve segments. The unusual 'kashira' has limbs extending several 'centimetres' along the hilt, possibly imitating a Western style.
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Object reference number: JCR7901
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