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“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.
Cutting test translation:
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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