tsuba / menuki / katana / hilt / fuchi-kashira / blade / saya / tsuka
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.
- Made in: BizenOsafune
- (Asia,Japan,Bizen Province)
- Length: 68.6 centimetres (cutting edge)
- Curvature: 1.5 centimetres
Inscription Positiontang, obvesre
Inscription TransliterationYokoyama Kozuke daijo Fujiwara Sukesada
Inscription Positiontang, reverse
Inscription TransliterationBishu Osafune junin
Inscription TranslationResident of Osafune village, Bizen Province
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.
- Associated Event: Gempei wars
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Object reference number: JCR7729
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