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One of the foremost makers in history
“Both blades certified as one sword, as only true daisho’s are”
NBTHK Juyo Token
Juyo Zufu translation:
Jūyō-Tōken at the 12th Jūyō Shinsa held on June 30, 1964
Daishō, mei: Sa Yukihide – Ansei rokunen nigatsu hi (左行秀・安政六年二月日) – “Sa Yukihide, on a day of the second month of Ansei six (1859)”
Gifu Prefecture, Washimi Shigenobu (鷲見重信)
Dai: nagasa 72.1 cm, sori 1.8 cm, motohaba 3.0 cm, sakihaba 2.2 cm, kissaki-nagasa 5.3 cm, nakago-nagasa 21,2 cm, nakago-sori 0.3 cm; Shō: nagasa 45.4 cm, sori 1.2 cm, motohaba 3.0 cm, sakihaba 2.6 cm, kissaki-nagasa 6.0 cm, nakago-nagasa 14.1 cm, only very little nakago-sori
Keijō: shinogi-zukuri, mitsu-mune, shallow sori, dai with an elongated chū-kissaki, shō with an ō-kissaki
Kitae: densely forged ko-itame that tends overall to masame and that features plenty of ji-nie, the steel is clear
Hamon: on the dai a ko-nie-laden notare with a wide nioiguchi, on the shō a ko-nie-laden ko-notare with a wide nioiguchi that is mixed with gunome, ashi, and sunagashi
Bōshi: on the dai a sugu with a ko-maru-kaeri and hakikake that runs back as midare and in a relatively long manner, on the shō a sugu with a ko-maru-kaeri and hakikake that runs back in a long manner
Nakago: ubu, kurijiri, sujikai-yasurime with keshō, one mekugi-ana, the katana bears on the sashi-ura side and towards the mune a sanji-mei and is dated on the other side, the shō bears on the sashi-omote side a sanji-mei and is dated on the other side in cursive script
Sa Yukihide’s (左行秀) real name was Toyonaga Kyūbei (豊永久兵衛) and he also went by the art name Tōko (東虎, lit. “Tiger of the East”). He chose his name as a swordsmith, Sa Yukihide, because he claimed to be a descendant of the Chikuzen-based master Samonji (左文字). Yukihide was from Chikuzen as well, but went to Edo to study with Shimizu Hisayoshi (清水久義). He greatly surpassed his teacher and was employed in Kōka three (弘化, 1846) by the Yamanouchi (山内) family and moved to Tosa, which was ruled by this family. Some time after that, he relocated to the Edo premises of the Tosa fief, which was located in the Sunamura district (砂村). In the early years of the Meiji era (明治, 1868–1912), however, Yukihide returned to Tosa and died there in Meiji 18 (1885) at the age of 74.
Yukihide worked in a variety of styles, but it appears that his ideal was Inoue Shinkai (井上真改) as many masterworks exist, which are interpreted in the style of the Shinkai. Yukihide also made blades forged in masame that are hardened with a ha, which reminds us of works by Nanki Shigekuni (南紀重国). In general, Yukihide’s blades display a wide and clear nioiguchi and are ko-nie-laden. Yukihide’s signature changed over time and it is interesting that this daishō reflects the smith’s changes in signature styles. That is, the dai is signed and dated in block style, whereas the date of the shō is executed in cursive script. It also must be pointed out that at the time period this daishō was made, Yukihide applied particularly rough yasurime.
Daishō by Yukihide are extremely rare. This pair is not inscribed with the name of a client, which might suggest that it was ordered by a fairly high ranking person.
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