"KANESHIGE" 1624 AD. MUSASHI EDO (TOKYO) SWORD MAKER TO THE "O-DAIMYO TODO"!
(ONE OF "TOKUGAWA IYEYASU'S WEALTHIEST GENERALS)

"KANESHIGE", ONE OF THE FINEST SWORD SMITHS OF THE "SHINTO EDO SCHOOL", KAN-BUN (1624) PERIOD.
 


HE 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 GEN. (YASUTSUGU WAS TOKUGAWA IYEYASU'S PERSONAL SWORD MAKER). "KANESHIGE", WAS THE PERSONAL SWORD SMITH TO THE O-DAIMYO "TODO"! ONE OF "IYEYASU'S WEALTHIEST GENERALS, WHO WAS GIVEN THE PROVINCES OF "BIZEN" AND "MIMASAKA", 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 "GEN. TODA" IN THE MOVIE "SHOGUN", THAT IS BASED ON A TRUE STORY) COULD HAVE RETAINED ANY SWORD SMITH HE DESIRED. HE CHOOSE "KANESHIGE"!
KANESHIGE'S TITLE WAS "IZUMI-NO-DAIJO". HIS RETAINER "TODO"

IZUMI-NO-KAMI, GRANTED HIM THE TITLE "IZUMI-N0-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 5 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.


"BLADE DESCRIPTION"
KANESHIGE IS VERY WELL KNOWN FOR THE BEAUTY OF HIS HADA (BLADE GRAIN STRUCTURE), STRENGTH, CUTTING ABILITY, AND BALANCE OF HIS BLADES. THIS "TOKUBETSU KICHO" RATED (ESPECIALLY PRECIOUS SWORD) BY THE N.B.T.H.K. (SOCIETY OF THE PRESERVATION OF JAPANESE ART SWORDS, TOKYO, JAPAN). IS A 76 cm. - 30" LENGTH BLADE, AND HAS WONDERFUL (SEE HADA CLOSE- UP BELOW) KO-ITAME (FINE WOOD GRAIN) HADA, WITH SOME FINE MOKUME, AND STRAIGHT MASAME IN THE SHINOGI-JI TO ABSORB THE SHOCK OF A STRONG BLOW. THERE IS GENEROUS CHIKEI (LINES OF MARTENSITE [MS] CRYSTALS, FLOATING JUST BELOW THE SURFACE), AND JI-NIE (SPRINKLED WITH CRYSTALS).

THE HAMON (TEMPERING) IS EXTREMELY FINE AND VERY BRIGHT NIE [MS] CRYSTALS, IT IS SUGUBA, WITH SOME GONOME MIDARE, AND HAS FINE ASHI (SUBTLE VERTICAL STREAKS). THE WORKS OF "OKISATO" BEAR A STRONG RESEMBLANCE, AS IT IS SAID THAT "KANESHIGE" WAS HIS TEACHER.

THE BLADE IS MOUNTED IN A SHIRASAYA (PROTECTIVE WOODEN STORAGE CASE), AND THE FITTINGS ARE MOUNTED WITH A "TSUNAGI" (WOODEN COPY OF THE ACTUAL BLADE). THIS IS A TREMENDOUS EXAMPLE OF A 350 + YEAR OLD KATANA (LONG SWORD), IN SUPERB CONDITION. IT IS BEING OFFERED AT A REASONABLE RATE, FOR A SWORD OF THIS CLASS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

History of Tameshigiri

The oldest “Tameshigiri” documented in

Japanese history goes back to Heian era (794-).

Two swords were made by renowned sword smiths

at that time by order of Tada Mitsunaka. One was

called “Hige Kiri” since it cut through beard and the

other was called “Hiza Maru” since it cut through

knee joint of the bodies of executed criminals used

for test cutting. Both swords were designated as

family treasures of Genji clan. The story was cited

in the first chapter of “Heike Monogatari (A Story of

Heike Clan)” and several other sword specialty

books written during the following centuries.

However, who made these swords and who actually

tested them is not clear. Neither sword exists any

longer.

During Kamakura era (1192- ), several

stories about Tameshigiri using stone as target

evolved. Stones and rocks that were said to be

tested with swords made by Kanenaga, Munechika

and others still exist. However, most of these

stories are fictional legends without reliable

documentation.

Source: Nihonto Intellectual Group

 

 

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