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wakizashi / tsuba / shirazaya / blade / tsuka

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Wakizashi (short sword blade) 1958,0730.12.a. Carving of twin dragons on obverse; carving of Fudo's triple-pronged vajra-hilted sword on reverse. Made of silvered steel, copper. Signed, marked and inscribed.

    Shirazaya (plain wooden storage scabbard) 1958,0730.12.b.

    Tsuka (hilt) 1958,0730.c. Part of mounting for wakizashi. Cherry blossoms and flowers. Made of wood, ray skin, braided textile, metal.

    Tsuba (sword guard; mokko-shaped) 1958,0730.12.d. Part of mounting for wakizashi. Figure in boat and on bank. Made of gold overlaid iron; also copper. Signed.


  • Producer name

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1813 (second month)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 50 centimetres (without tang)
    • Curvature: 0.8 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

        tang, obverse
      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

        文化癸酉二月應觀山子需 / 大慶直胤作之本城義胤彫
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Bunka mizunoto tori [toshi] ni gatsu Kanzanshi [no] motome [ni] ojite / Taikei Naotane kore [o] tsukuru, Honjo Yoshitane horu
      • Inscription Translation

        Taikei Naotane made this in response to the order of Kanzanshi in the second month of the cock year of the Bunka era [1813], and Honjo Yoshitane did the carvings
      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

        tang, obverse
      • Inscription Comment

        A carved kao.
      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

        tang, reverse
      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Transliteration

        Fusatsu So shison eiden tame Tachibana Moritaka
      • Inscription Translation

        Made for Tachibana Moritaka to forever avert slaughter of the So family and their descendants)
      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Comment

        Soheishi Niudo Soten
  • Curator's comments

    Harris 2005

    This 'wakizashi' blade is 'shinogi zukuri', of even breadth and curve. The tang has one hole and the file marks are 'kesho' and 'sujigai'. The tang tip is 'kurijiri'. There are 'hi' on both sides of the blade; the 'hi' on the 'omote' has an 'ukibori' carving of 'soryu' (twin dragons), and the 'hi' on the 'ura' has an 'ukibori' carving of a triple-pronged 'vajra'-hilted sword. The grain is 'itame' mixed with 'mokume' with 'nie', and there is 'chikei' all over the blade. Steels of differing quality have been mixed to contrive a vivid effect of light and dark layers within the grain. The 'hamon' is 'gunome choji' with 'ashi' and 'yo', and 'sunagashi' and 'kinsuji' throughout the blade. The 'boshi' is 'midarekomi' and 'komaru'.


  • Bibliography

    • Harris 2005 62, B&W pl. 62 bibliographic details
  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated events

    • Commemoration of: Slaughter of the So family and their descendants
  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department


  • Registration number


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Object reference number: JCR7347

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