Shodai (first gen.) Tadayoshi
Tadayoshi 1st generation was born in Hizen province in 1572. At the age of 25 he and his cousin Munenaga became students of Umetada Myoju, creator of the Shinto style sword. After approximately 3 years of study Tadayoshi started what is known today as the Hizen or Tadayoshi school working under Lord Nabeshima Naoshige, ruler of Hizen. The blades of Tadayoshi, after being subjected to Tameshigiri, were judged as Saijo O-Wazamono (highest cutting rating possible) joining the ranks of other smiths such as Kotetsu, Kanemoto and Sukehiro.
Most swords from Hizen found with Horimono were skillfully carved by Munenaga who was the schools top Horideshi. A particular trait of Tadayoshi was the appearance of Mizukage (cloudy diagonal line at machi). Under normal circumstances this seen (with other indicators) in a retempered blade, but along with only a few other smiths (Shodai Kunihiro and Myoju), this was a result from how (the angle of entry, into the tank) the blade was quenched in water during the tempering process (see photo).
In his early years, Tadayoshi could not read or write, therefore he signed his swords using Kanji written down for him to copy by a priest named Shugan. Tadayoshi changed his name around 1624 to Tadahiro after receiving the title “Musashi-Daijo”. Soon after he became ill and only signed the works of his students that were exceptional or custom ordered. The
and his students, which at one time consisted of close to sixty smiths, had a reputation country wide as extremely talented, producing only the highest quality swords. schoolof Tadayoshi
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