What just happened?

To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 

Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by

Searching...

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

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1878,1230.840.a-d

  • 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.

    More 

  • 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

        signature
      • Inscription Position

        blade, tang, obverse
      • Inscription Language

        Japanese
      • Inscription Content

        於江府長壽斎[?]綱俊
      • 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

        Japanese
      • 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.

    More 

  • Bibliography

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

    Exhibited:

    Setagaya, 1998

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1878

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    1878,1230.840.a-d

There is no image of this object, or there may be copyright restrictions

Image service:

Request new photography

Recommend


Feedback

If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: JCR5172

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 

Supporters

Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help  

Loading...