wakizashi / tsuba / kogatana / blade / saya / daisho / tsuka
Wakizashi (short sword blade) 1958,0730.158.a. Part of daisho (matching pair) with 1958,0730.141. Made of steel. Signed.
Saya (scabbard) 1958,0730.158.b. Gold filled nashiji patches; silver fittings with fisherman and children in high-relief coloured metal inlay.
Kogatana 1958,0730.158.c. Part of mounting for wakizashi. Made of steel. Signed.
Tsuka (hilt) 1958,0730.158.d. Part of mounting for wakizashi. Pair with 1958,0730.141. Silver fittings with fisherman and children in high-relief coloured metal inlay. Made of wood, skin (ray), baleen and metal. Signed.
Tsuba 1958,0730.158.e. Silver fittings with fisherman and children in high-relief coloured metal inlay. Made of overlaid shibuichi. Signed.
- 19thC (c.)
- Made in: Osaka-shi
- Length: 54.8 centimetres (cutting edge)
- Curvature: 1.2 centimetres
Inscription Positiontang, obverse
Inscription TransliterationAwataguchi Omi (no) kami Tadatsuna
Inscription TransliterationKatsukaei Gyokusai
This blade is 'shinogi zukuri'. The tang has two holes and the file marks are 'sujigai'. The tang tip is 'ha agari kurijiri'. The grain is a serene closely packed 'itame'. The 'hamon' has a sloping 'yakidashi' leading to extravagant 'choji' with many 'ashi'. The 'boshi' is 'komaru' with a straight approach.
The smith known as 'Ikkanshi Tadatsuna' was the son of the first Awataguchi Omi no kami Tadatsuna, who worked first in Yamashiro (Kyoto), then Himeji in Harima Province, and finally in Osaka around the middle of the seventeenth century. The family was said to be descendants of the Kamakura-period smith Awataguchi Kunitsuna of the Yamashiro school. This is the work of the second-generation Ikkanshi Tadatsuna, known in the Edo period as 'Mandao', who was noted both for the fine quality of his steel and his skill in decorative carving on his blades. He made many 'wakizashi' blades with fine sculptures of rather un-military motifs, and it has been said this indicates that many of his clients were merchants rather than samurai.
Tadatsuna II's early work often has a 'choji hamon', like this blade, but later he made a form of 'toranba' (literally 'billowing hamon'), as did his contemporary Sukehiro (also of Osaka). His 'jigane' is always very bright, tight 'koitame', as seen on this sword. The deep 'choji hamon' in clusters derives from the Kamakura-period Ichimonji school of Bizen, which was revived by the Ishido school in the middle Muromachi period. Many smiths in Osaka during the seventeenth century worked in versions of this vivid and contrived large 'choji'. Although Tadatsuna is not formally recognized as belonging to the Ishido school, it is interesting to compare this sword with the 'katana' by Yasuhiro (no. 43) with which it forms a 'daisho'.
The scabbard is similar to that for the 'katana' (no. 43) with gold 'mura nashiji' patches, and the silver fittings portray a fisherman and children also in high-relief coloured metal inlay. The fittings are signed 'Katsukei Gyokusai', the same maker as those for the long sword (see the comments to no. 43 and cf. nos 64, 86).
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Object reference number: JCR7789
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