RARE "JUYO WAKIZASHI" BY TERUKANE.
BOOK ILLUSTRATED; IN "FUJISHIRO"
 
TERUKANE’S POTENTIAL AS A SWORD SMITH WAS APPARENT AT AN EARLY 
AGE. HIS FAMILY (SAKAKURA), AND THAT OF “KANESADA” 1st. (YAMADA 
HEITARO), WERE CLOSELY ASSOCIATED. AS A YOUTH "GORO" (HIS GIVEN
NAME) WOULD VISIT KANESADA’S FORGE TO OBSERVE THE SWORDMAKING
PROCESS, AND ASSIST WHEN EVER HE WAS ALLOWED. KANESADA A WELL KNOWN 
MASTER OF THE DAY, WAS OF THE KANEYASU MON (SCHOOL / 
GROUP), AND A STUDENT OF “IGA NO KAMI – KANEMICHI” (NOT THE 
MISHIMA GROUP). KANESADA, HAD NO CHILDREN AT THAT TIME, AND
WAS BECOMING CONCERNED THAT HIS FAMILY LINE WOULD NOT BE 
PERPETUATED. HE THEREFORE MADE ARRANGEMENTS TO ADOPT THE 
SAKAKURA BOY (TERUKANE). IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT IN JAPAN, WHEN 
THERE IS NO MALE CHILD TO CARRY ON A FAMILY NAME, IT IS NORMAL 
PRACTICE TO ADOPT THE SON OF A FRIEND OR RELATIVE. SUCH WAS THE 
CASE WITH KANESADA 1st. THE ADOPTION TOOK PLACE IN KAN-BUN THE 5TH 
YEAR (1664), AND THE SWORD SMITH AND GORO'S APPRENTICESHIP BEGAN.
AFTER MANY YEARS, WHEN HE BECAME SKILLED AS A SWORD SMITH HE 
WAS GIVEN PERMISSION TO USE THE NAME "ECHIGO NO KAMI, KANESADA 
II". HIS WORK OF THIS PERIOD CLOSELY EMULATES THAT OF HIS FATHER 
(GONOME – CHOJI). THE WORK OF BOTH I & II GENERATION ARE RATED 
AS “O-WAZAMONO” (SUPREME SHARPNESS), AND RATED "JO-JO SAKU"
(UPPER UPPER CLASS), ARE IN KEEPING WITH THE STYLE OF SUKEHIRO.
 
KANESADA I, THEN HAD A (BLOOD LINE) SON, AND NAMED HIM “IWAMASU”. 
IWAMASU ALSO STUDIED THE ART OF BLADE MAKING UNDER HIS FATHER. 
SHORTLY AFTER TRAINING HIM, KANESADA I, PASSED AWAY. KANESADA II 
(TERUKANE) THEN USED THE HIS FATHERS OFFICIAL TITLE “ECHIGO NO KAMI”,
THIS WAS DONE WITHOUT OFFICIAL SANCTION. IT WAS ALLOW TO PASS FOR 
THE TIME BEING, AS A COURTESY. THIS PLANTED THE SEEDS OF CONTROVERSY.
KANESADA’S TRUE SON WAS THEN SIGNING, AS KANESADA III GENERATION, 
AS “GORO” (TERUKANE” HAD ALREADY TAKEN THE POSITION OF SECOND 
GENERATION! ONE CAN UNDERSTAND HOW THIS COULD CAUSE 
CONFUSION, AS TO WHO's SON “IWAMASU” WAS. I WOULD IMAGINE THAT 
EVERYONE WAS A BIT SURPRISED IN EN-PO THE 8th  YEAR (1680) WHEN 
KANESADA II BEGAN SIGNING “SAKAKURA GEN-NO-SHIN TERUKANE”!  
ACCORDING TO “FUJISHIRO SAMA” (S-172), A KATANA WAS DISCOVERED 
(AT THE TIME (PRE-WAR) HE WAS WRITING HIS BOOKS) THAT IS 
INSCRIBED “SAKAKURA GEN-NO-SHIN TERUKANE” ON THE OMOTE SIDE, 
AND “ARATAME, ECHIGO NO KAMI, KANESADA” ON THE URA SIDE (ARATAME 
MEANS: BEFORE / CHANGED). THIS CLEARLY CAN BE INTERPRETED AS 
MEANING HE CHANGED HIS NAME, FROM KANESADA II, TO “TERUKANE”, 
AND IMPLEMENTED SOME CHANGES IN HIS STYLE OF KITAE (CONSTRUCTION). 
FROM THAT TIME FORWARD HE WAS NOT KNOWN AS KANESADA II. “IWAMASU”, 
WHO RIGHTFULLY (OFFICIAL PERMISSION TO USE THE TITLE, WAS EVIDENTLY 
GIVEN TO THIRD GENERATION) SIGNED “ECHIGO NO KAMI, KANESADA”, HAD 
ESTABLISHED THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HIMSELF, AND HIS TRUE FATHER KANESADA I,
THEREFORE DISPELLING THE CONTROVERSY. “TERUKANE”, WHO HAD ACHIEVED A 
SKILL LEVEL THAT WAS EQUAL TO, OR AS CONSIDERED BY SOME GREATER THAN 
THAT OF KANESADA I.  IT IS DOUBTFUL THAT THIS “NAME CHANGE”
HAD ANY EFFECT ON HIS POPULARITY, OR INCOME.
 
“FUJISHIRO ILLUSTRATION”
IT IS BEYOND ANY QUESTION (THIS HAS BEEN CONFIRMED, IN JAPAN) THAT 
THIS IS THE “ACTUAL BLADE” THAT IS ILLUSTRATED IN FUJISHIRO'S SHINTO 
BOOK, ON PAGE 363! THE MEKUGI ANA (PEG HOLE IN THE TANG) HAS BEEN 
ELONGATED, SINCE THE ORIGINAL PUBLICATION OF THE BOOKS. THIS WAS 
EVIDENTLY DONE OVER 30 YEARS AGO, TO FACILITATE MOUNTING THE 
BLADE IN THE “SOLID SILVER, OMORI SCHOOL” KODOGU (METAL, 
FITTINGS) THAT PRESENTLY HOUSE THE BLADE. I WAS INFORMED THAT IN 
THE EYES OF MANY JAPANESE COLLECTORS, IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO MODIFY 
THE MEKUGI ANA, FOR THE SAKE OF MOUNTING IT IN A SPECTACULAR 
KOSHIRAE (FITTINGS). HOWEVER, THE ADDITION OF A COMPLETELY NEW MEKUGI
ANA IS NOT ACCEPTABLE, FOR THIS REASON. THIS WAKIZASHI WAS AWARDED A
"JUYO" CERTIFICATE, AND IS ONE OF FINEST WORKS OF "TERUKANE"! SHINTO 
"JUYO" WAKIZASHI'S, ARE VERY VERY SCARCE, AND ESCALATE IN VALUE MORE
RAPIDLY THAN MOST.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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