Wakizashi: Ise Daijo Fujiwara Yoshihiro


Jidai:    Shinto   Jo-o Goro ( 1650’s)

Nagasa: 1 Shaku 8 Sun 8 Bu  5 Rin (57.2cm)

  This sword is a perfect example of a mainline Hizen sword from the Tadayoshi School. Since the Hizen Tadayoshi School was very famous for its Suguha temper as well as the fine Ko-Itame hada, I felt that this sword was a perfect specimen for this month’s kantei. For those of you that are Hizen enthusiast, this should have been a relatively easy one to guess. For those that have never seen a mainline Hizen-to, main points to look for are:

1: Hizen Boshi- Most Hizen-to have a boshi which is very distinctive as well as being consistent. On the textbook examples such as this sword, the boshi is very consistent with that of  the mainline smiths from the Hizen school. Notice the smooth even shape and curvature, with the turnback usually reaching the same point in the end.

2: Hamon- If hamon is Suguha, generally in good Hizen Suguha, there is a thick Nioguchi, with fine Nie extending from the Nioiguchi towards the edge becoming thinner as it reaches the Ha.

3: Jigane or Hada- Fine Ko-Itame or “Konuka” hada. Very well executed fine grain structure with Ji-Nie and fine Chikei. Note: if there has been overpolishing done to a Hizen-to, sometimes “Shintetsu” appears, as they are known to have a very thin skin of outer steel (Kawagane)

4: Hataraki- Activity in the Suguha hamon that is usually seen, are kuichigaiba, ko-ashi, yo, sunagashi and small kinsuji depending upon the type of work.


Please note that even when there is a Midare hamon done by a Hizen smith, the boshi as well as the Nie are still very consistent and are always good points to keep in mind when viewing Hizen blades. Ise Daijo Yoshihiro worked very close with Omi Daijo Tadahiro, there are even examples that exist as a joint work or "“Gassaku” by these 2 smiths. Being both students of Shodai Tadayoshi at about the same time, one can see from this example the very close resemblance to that of Omi Daijo’s work. Also notice from the oshigata on the following page, that the nakago is quite similar to Tadahiro as well.






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