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tsuba / menuki / katana / hilt / fuchi-kashira / blade / saya / tsuka

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1958,0730.143.a-d

  • Description

    Katana (long sword blade) 1958,0730.143.a. Made of steel. Signed and inscribed. Stored in wooden storage sheath, inside purple fabric bag.

    Saya (scabbard) 1958,0730.143.b. Part of mounting for katana. Made of plain black-polished wood; also gilded copper.

    Tsuka (hilt) 1958,0730.143.c. Part of mounting for katana. Hilt: made of wood, ray skin, metal, braided textile. Menuki: helmets, naginata sword, bows and arrows. Fuchi-kashira: scenes from adventures of Minamoto no Yoshitsune. Signed.

    Tsuba 1958,0730.143.d. Stylized chrysanthemum blossom, pierced with gold-inlaid Buddhist horin (wheel of the law) and with tomoe (comma-shaped) motif. Made of shakudo; also copper.

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  • Producer name

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 17thC
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 68.6 centimetres (cutting edge)
    • Curvature: 1.5 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        signature
      • Inscription Script

        Japanese
      • Inscription Position

        tang, obvesre
      • Inscription Content

        横山上野大掾藤原祐定
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Yokoyama Kozuke daijo Fujiwara Sukesada
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        tang, reverse
      • Inscription Language

        Japanese
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Bishu Osafune junin
      • Inscription Translation

        Resident of Osafune village, Bizen Province
      • Inscription Type

        signature
      • Inscription Script

        Japanese
      • Inscription Comment

        Okinari
  • Curator's comments

    Harris 2005

    This blade is 'shinogi zukuri' and of Kambun-era (1661-73) 'shinto' shape. The unmodified tang has one hole and the file markings are 'kiri'. The tang tip is 'kurijiri'. The grain is a well-ordered and prominent 'itame'. The 'hamon' is open 'gunome' mixed with 'togariba', with a tight 'nioiguchi' predominantly in 'nioi'. The 'boshi' is a straight 'komaru'.

    Yokoyama was the family name of several generations of smiths working in the village of Osafune in Bizen Province during the Edo period from around the third decade of the seventeenth century. They signed with a number of titles including the 'Kozuke daijo' of this sword and 'Kawachi no kami' (no. 47). This sword has a large 'choji hamon' in 'nioi' in traditional Bizen style and a clear finegrained body, although sometimes a form of 'utsuri' is found on the work of the group.

    The classic 'uchigatana' mounting has a plain black-polished scabbard as required for formal wear in Edo. The 'fuchi' and 'kashira' bear scenes from the adventures of Minamoto no Yoshitsune, and the 'menuki' represent helmets, 'naginata', and bows and arrows indicating the Gempei wars of the twelfth century. The 'tsuba' (col. pl. 15) is of deep black 'shakudo' in the form of a stylized chrysanthemum blossom, pierced with a gold-inlaid Buddhist 'horin' (wheel of the law) and with a 'tomoe' motif.

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  • Bibliography

    • Edo BM 1982 143 bibliographic details
    • Harris 2005 46, B&W pl. 46 bibliographic details
  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated events

    • Associated Event: Gempei wars
  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1958

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    1958,0730.143.a-d

Group image of two swords and a dagger.

Group of Objects

Group image of two swords and a dagger.

Image description

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Object reference number: JCR7729

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