NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon papered Katana signed Hizen-koku Junin TADAYOSHI-saku

Tokubetsu Hozon



 

Tadayoshi Katana



Shinto Early Edo period (circa 1615) Hizen

Length of cutting edge 66.6cm, Curvature 1.5cm, Width of base 30.9mm, Width of Yokote 23.3mm, Thickness of base 6.4mm

Blade construction: Shinogi-zukuri, Iori-mune. Although cutting edge was shortened by about 5cm, Mihaba on base is wide and Shinogi ridge is on higher side, heavy built katana holding massive volume of Hiraji. There is less difference in width between base and the tip of Yokote with a bit on deep center pointed curvature, leading to an extended middle Kissaki. The entire shape creates a brave impression with majestic manner so called "Keicho-Shinto style".

Forging(Hada): Forging mark from base to the tip is supreme fine and uniform Ko-Itame. The most superior made steel gives off minute sprinkled sand impression to cover with thick Nie sparkling hard metal granules "Ji-nie" on Hira-ji surface and darkish precise lines of Nie so called "CHIKEI" activity that wells out from steel. The surface creates an atmosphere of lively sparkling impression so called Kunuka-hada 小糠肌.

Temper(Hamon): Hamon is fine Nie hard metal granules base, Flamboyant large Gunome, combined medium Gunome, Norare wave, Togari-ha and an arrow-tail outline where entire temper varies in shape. The interior of temper is filled with mist-like crystallize area deeply with ASHI and floating YOU activities, slight lines of nie SUNAGASHI and bright curved threadlike KINSEN areas. Deep sparkling Nie accumulates on the gorges of Gunome-outline and a pair of large and medium heads forms likely "an earlobe". Some of Gunome splashes into Hiraji surface so called Tobiyaki. The entire temper gives off bright and vivid impression.

Temper of tip(Boshi): Temper of boshi forms straight with a bit wave indication and medium circle turns back in a good manner.

Tang(Nakago): The heel of Nakago is shortened "SURIAGE" with horizontal (Kiri) heel shape. Two peg holes and slightly slanting right filemarks. Back ridge of Nakago is a bit rounded contours. The inscription on Hakiura reversed side is eight character that starts from the place of work Hizen-koku Junin 肥前国住人 then the smith name TADAYOSHI 忠吉作. This is the katana made by the 1st generation TADAHOSHI 忠吉 and recognized production year is judged on about Kencho 20 (ca.1615) from it's inscription. This katana preserves typical shape that came into widespread during Keicho (1596-16) period. From it's workmanship, we guess that TADAYOSHI was very much influenced by the Soshu-Bizen works during Nanbokucho period and it's hamon bears close resemblance to the ancient works of Osafune CHŌGI 長船長義 to form "Earlobe" outline.

The first generation TADAHOSHI was born in Genki 3 (1572) as a son of sword maker Hashimoto MICHIHIRO 橋本道弘 in Nagase town, Saga district. He became separated from his father MICHIHIRO 道弘 who died of a disease and grandfather MORIHIRO 盛弘 who met death in the battle of Shimabara at the same time in the 3rd month Tensho 12 (1584) when he was as young as 13 years old. He was compelled to serve his apprenticeship to the other local sword makers in his young age. However he excelled as a superior sword maker since teen age and finally was picked out by feudal lord Nabeshima Katsushige 鍋島勝茂. Keicho 1 (1596), when he was 25 years old, he went up to Kyoto to join the famed school of Umetada Myouju 埋忠明寿 and learn the most updated culture and technique for three years. From about Keicho 18 (1613) down to Kanei 1 (1624) he intentionally used the other inscription of "Hizen-koku-junin TADAYOSHI-saku" 肥前国住人忠吉作 mainly for those unconventional artworks which are out from the standard works of TADAYOSHI's studio as if he challenged to make an innovative artworks to try using different techniques from antcient times and regions. He passed away in the 15th day, the 8th month of Kanei 9 (1632), at the age of 61. This sword is one of the quite rare works of 1 st gen. TADAYOSHI while he had challenged an artistic performance before he changed his smith name to TADAHIRO. The founder TADAYOSHI established the top-standard quality of sword making for the major Hizen TADAYOSHI school and had laid the foundations for the later generations until 9th by the end of Edo period. The Most Superior Made appraisal and rated as the Most Supreme Sharp performance. Gold foiled single layer Habaki collar, Preserved in a Shira-Saya plain wood mounting. Recent polish/Condition scale: EXCELLENT (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor).




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