wakizashi / tsuba / fuchi-kashira / blade / saya / tsuka
Wakizashi (short sword blade) 1958,0730.129.a. Made of steel. Carving of Fudo Myo-o surrounded by flames standing under waterfall with Sanskrit character on obverse; tang covered with fine suspension of rust in lacquer to conceal signature. Made of steel. Inscribed.
Saya (scabbard) 1958,0730.129.b. Made of wood; also braided textile. Lacquered brown; large dragons among clouds in silver and gold makie; iron fittings carved with dragons among clouds, with details in gold inlay.
Tsuka (hilt) 1958,0730.129.c.; silver sculpture of dragon winding around; bound with whale's beard; made of wood, ray skin, braided baleen. Fuchi-kashira: carved with dragons among clouds, with details in gold inlay; made of iron.
Tsuba (sword guard) 1958,0730.129.d . Made of iron; also copper. Dragons among clouds in high relief and gold inlay on tsuchime (hammered finish) ground.
- 1868-1912 (carving)
- Made in: Echizen
- (Asia,Japan,Echizen Province)
- Length: 46.2 centimetres (without tang)
- Curvature: 1 centimetres
Inscription Positionblade, obverse
Inscription CommentA Sanskrit character.
This blade is 'hira zukuri'. The grain is 'itame' mixed with a larger flowing grain. The unmodified tang has one hole and the tang tip is 'iriyamagata'. The file marks are indistinct. The 'hamon' is of small 'gunome' in 'nie' with 'ashi'. On the 'omote' there is a carving of Fudo Myo-o surrounded by flames standing under a waterfall. The 'boshi' is 'komaru'.
Close examination indicates that a signature has been erased from the tang, and that the tang has been covered with a fine suspension of rust in lacquer to conceal this. This was probably done in the Meiji era to prepare the sword for export, as was the skilful but rather ostentatious carving of Fudo Myo-o. This blade is probably earlier Echizen work, which might once have had a spurious signature so incredible (even for the overseas market) that it had to be removed.
The scabbard (also col. pl. 22) is lacquered brown, with large dragons among clouds in silver and gold 'makie'. In place of the traditional pair of 'menuki' there is a fine silver sculpture of a dragon, which winds around the hilt. All other fittings are iron and are carved with dragons among clouds, with the details in gold inlay (col. pl. 26).
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Object reference number: JCR7675
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