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tsuba / sword-sheath / menuki / katana / hilt / habaki / fuchi-kashira / blade

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Katana (long sword blade) 1878,1230.840.a; habaki. Blade: made of steel; signed and dated. Habaki: single piece; with gold cladding.

    Sword-sheath 1878,1230.840.b. Part of mounting for katana. Designs of plum blossoms formed from ray fish skin inlaid into black lacquer and polished flat. Made of wood; metal.

    Hilt; fuchi-kashira; menuki 1878,0730.840.c. Part of mounting for katana. Fuchi-kashira and menuki: scenes from Genpei wars with Kumagai Naozane in shakudo with high-relief coloured metal inlay. Hilt: made of wood, skin (ray), braided textile.

    Tsuba 1878,1230.840.d. Part of mounting for katana. War scenes pierced and roundly carved, with details in gold inlay. Made of copper overlaid and gilded iron.


  • Producer name

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1861 (eighth month; blade)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 70.1 centimetres (cutting edge)
    • Curvature: 1.4 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

        blade, tang, obverse
      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Transliteration

        Kofu [ni] oite Chojusai Tsunatoshi
      • Inscription Translation

        Chojusai Tsunatoshi, in Kofu [i.e. Edo]
      • Inscription Type

        signature and date
      • Inscription Position

        blade, tang, reverse
      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Transliteration

        Chounsai Koretoshi Bunkyu gannen hachi gatsu kichi jitsu
      • Inscription Translation

        Chounsai Koretoshi, an auspicious day in the eighth month in the first year of the Bunkyu era [1861]
  • Curator's comments

    Harris 2005

    This blade is 'shinogi zukuri', has a shallow curve and a small 'kissaki'. The unmodified tang has one hole and the file markings are 'kesho' with 'osujigai'. The grain is almost indiscernible, closely packed 'koitame'. The 'hamon' is an even 'suguha' in 'nie' with a tight 'nioiguchi'. The 'boshi' is 'komaru' with a somewhat pointed return.

    This blade was the joint endeavour of Tsunatoshi and Koretoshi, who were father and son. Chojusai (originally Chounsai) Tsunatoshi (d. 1863) was the son of Kato Kunihide who studied under Suishinshi Masahide. Together with his brother Tsunahide, he moved from his native Ushu (Dewa) Province to go to Edo. His pupils include Unju Korekazu (see no. 67). In 1856 he gave the name Chounsai to his son Koretoshi, and assumed the name Chojusai. The habaki is comprised of a single piece, and has gold cladding.

    The scabbard has designs of plum blossoms formed from ray fish skin inlaid into black lacquer and polished flat. The 'fuchi', 'kashira' and 'menuki' have scenes from the Gempei wars in 'shakudo' with high-relief coloured metal inlay. The iron 'tsuba' has similar scenes pierced and roundly carved, with details in gold inlay.


  • Bibliography

    • Harris 2005 65, B&W pl. 65 bibliographic details
  • Exhibition history


    Setagaya, 1998

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department


  • Registration number


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Object reference number: JCR5172

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