Fine Signed Japanese Shinto Era Katana


1 in stock

SKU: ES1969 Categories: ,


Featuring high-quality 17th C blade in good polish with 28 1/4″ cutting edge, suguha hamon
(straight temper line) with ko-nie (small visible martensite crystals); the nakago (tang)
signed “Hizen no Kuni Fujiwara Tadahiro”. Nakago with two holes, likely originally being
mounted as a tachi with two mekugi (mounting pegs), as the mei is between the two holes,
which are set far apart. Koshirae (mounts) include large signed non-ferrous tsuba (guard)
with relief decoration, silver habaki (metal collar between blade and guard), dark copper
fuchi (grip collar) with engraved floral pattern and matching kashira (pommel). Traditional
same (sharkskin grip wrap) mounted with a pair of matching shakudo menuki with gold
highlights and wrapped with black ito (silk braid, with minor defects). Wood saya
(scabbard), lacking kurikata (knob for silk cord), lacquered in black with dark brown swirls
(defects) and koiguchi (scabbard throat) and kojiri (scabbard drag) matching the fuchi and
kashira. Overall length 39 3/8″, not including scabbard. Very high-quality early blade with
matching quality mounts.

Founder of the Hizen School, Tadayoshi, (1572-1632), was the first of many generations
continuing into the 20th century. In 1596 he was sent to Kyoto to study for three
years under the great master of the Shinto (New Swords) movement, Umetada Myoju.
When he returned to Saga he was retained to make swords for the Nabeshima Clan. In
1624 he received the title Musashi daijo and was re-named Tadahiro. His mei (signature)
varied during his career and the mei on this sword is one used late in his life. Others
studied under him and we cannot be certain that this is the work of the first generation
Tadayoshi/Tadahiro, but it is of his style, rich in nie. If papered with definitive attribution to
first generation Tadayoshi, this sword would be worth several times this price and is worth
additional research. Regardless, it is a very fine quality early sword blade.