This wakizashi is signed Kazusa (no) fujiwara Kaneshige with two cutting tests (gold inlay), first test on two bodies to the upper chest and then a second test done on three bodies. See more details on the captioned images below. The measurements are Cutting edge length (Nagasa) 21 1/4", Curvature (Sori) 5/16" and Width (Motohaba) 1 1/8".

Kaneshige was one the finest swordsmiths of the Shinto Edo School, Kan-bun period.

Kaneshige was originally from Echizen province, his family name was Tsuji Sukeuemon. He studied with the Yanone group of sword smiths and is believed to have been a student of Yasutsugu 1st Generation.  (Yasutsugu was Tokugawa Iyeyasu's personal sword maker.)  Kaneshige was the personal swordsmith to the O-Daimyo Todo, one of Iyeyasu's wealthiest generals, who was given the provinces of Bizen and Mimaska, with a revenue of 520,000 Koku's of rice.  The average Daimyo (war lord) had a revenue of 10,000 Koku's of rice (considered to be a large amount).  One can easily see that Todo O-Sama (believed to have been portrayed as General Toda in the movie "Shogun", that is based on a true story) could have retained any swordsmith he desired.  He chose Kaneshige!

Kaneshige's title was Izumi-No-Daijo.  His retainer Todo Izumi-No-Kami, granted him the title Izumi-No-Kami (the same as his own), and later that of Kazusa-No-Suke.

Kaneshige was the Sensei (teacher) of Okisato C-1661 (one of the five most famous Shinto makers), Kazusa-No-Kami C-1661 (his son), and Kanetsune C-1661 (his son).  Morikuni Izumi-No-Kami, and Yoshimasa are also listed among those that studied under him.  See genealogy chart.

 

                         

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