- Museum number
Handachi (short court sword blade) and hosodachi koshirae (mounting for formal wear).
a) Handachi. Made of steel, signed and dated. Kurikara horimono (decorative carving of a dragon coiled around a sword). Stored in shirasaya (plain wooden scabbard) with a purple fabric bag.
b) Scabbard (saya). Made of wood lacquered in gold nashiji makie; with paulownia and stylized plum crest (mon) of the Maeda daimyo of Kaga province in applied gold leaf; gilded copper fittings.
c) Hilt. Made of wood, rayskin and gilded copper. Stylized plum crest (mon); five tawara byo (rivets in shape of rice bales) on obverse and four on reverse; screw-in type mekugi with anticlockwise thread; all in gold.
d) Tsuba. Made of gilded copper. Signed, sealed and dated.
- Production date
1449 (second month; blade)
Length: 52.70 centimetres (cutting edge)
Length: 20 millimetres (hilt (tsuka))
Length: 6 centimetres (tsuba)
Curvature: 1.90 centimetres (curvature)
Width: 4 centimetres (tsuba)
- Curator's comments
- Harris 2005
This blade is 'shinogi zukuri', has 'saki zori' and a medium 'kissaki'. The 'mune' is slender, so that the 'shinogi' is high and the 'shinogi ji' broad. There are engraved 'kurikara' on both sides of the blade. The tang has two holes, one of which has been plugged with steel. The file marks are a rather shallow version of 'sujigai', although there are also more recent, deeper file marks, which were made over the portion of the tang that was originally part of the blade. The tang tip is 'kurijiri'. The grain is closely packed 'itame' with 'utsuri'. The 'hamon' is a rather open 'gunome', with 'yo' in places, and it has a tight 'nioiguchi', with a 'midare komi'-style 'boshi'.
This blade has been modified by moving the 'machi' forward to shorten the cutting edge. It is possible that this was done so that the retaining peg should be in the required position on the newly made hilt when the blade was mounted as a 'tachi'. The original length of the tang was thus shorter in relation to the length of the entire piece, although the reshaped tang does not seem disproportionately long. The original peg-hole in the tang has been plugged with steel and filed over so that it is barely visible.
The 'hosodachi' mounting (col. pl. 5) is lacquered in gold 'nashiji makie', with paulownia and stylized plum 'mon' in gold leaf. The metal fittings are all gold. The 'tsuba' (col. pl. 4) of Kara style is signed on the 'omote' 'Kashu ju Mizuno Mitsunobu' (Mizuno Mitsunobu, resident of Kaga Province) and 'Suzuki Mitsuhiro', with 'kao' (written seals); it is dated on the 'ura' 'Bunsei go nen juichi gatsu kichi jitsu' (An auspicious day in the eleventh month of the fifth year of the Bunsei era), in accordance with 1822. The 'mekugi' are of the screw-in type, with the traditional anticlockwise thread. There are five tawara byo (rivets in the shape of rice bales) on the 'omote' of the hilt and four on the 'ura', but these are decorative and non-functional. This fine quality mounting was evidently commissioned by the ruling clan of Kaga Province, doubtless especially for use in court ceremonial.
- On display (G33/dc34a/s1)
- Exhibition history
2014 Sep-2015 Jan, BM WCEC, 'Ming: 50 years that changed China'
- Acquisition date
- Registration number