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Terukane Dated 1681 AD.
Settsu Province Son of Kanesada
LISTED FUJISHIRO’S BOOK
Fine Solid Silver Omori School fittings
Juyo token by the NBTHK
Jūyō-tōken at the 48th jūyō shinsa held on October 11, 2002
wakizashi, mei: Sakakura Gonnoshin Terukane – Enpō kyūnen nigatsu hi (坂倉言之進照包・延宝九年二月日) – “Sakakura Gonnoshin Terukane, on a day in the second month of Enpō nine (1681)”
Ōsaka, Ikeda Masayuki (池田政之)
nagasa 59.4 cm, sori 0.6 cm, motohaba 2.95 cm, sakihaba 2.15 cm, kissaki-nagasa 3.8 cm, nakago-nagasa 16.3 cm, only very little nakago-sori
Keijō: shinogi-zukuri, steep iori-mune, normal mihaba, high shinogi, scarce hira-niku, some funbari, shalllow sori, somewhat elongated chū-kissaki
Kitae: dense ko-itame that features plenty of ji-nie and much fine chikei
Hamon: nie-laden gunome with roundish yakigashira with a wide, bright, and clear nioiguchi that starts with a sugu-yakidashi and that is mixed with ko-notare, some katayama-midare, many thick ashi, ara-nie, fine kinsuji and sunagashi all over the blade, and yubashiri-like tama in places, the ha appears overall as a tōranba
Bōshi: relatively widely hardened sugu-bōshi with a wide ko-maru-kaeri and a few hakikake at the tip
Nakago: ubu, iriyamagata-jiri, sujikai-yasurime with a little bit of keshō, one mekugi-ana, the sashi-omote side bears below of the mekugi-ana and towards the nakago-mune a large and thickly chiseled naga-mei, the ura side bears a somewhat smaller and thinner chiseled date
Kanesada was a student of the first generation Echigo no Kami Kanesada (越後守包貞), whom he later succeeded as second generation. He first signed with the very same mei as his master, but when his master’s biological son Iwamatsu (岩松) reached adulthood, he ceded the Kanesada name to him and signed henceforth with Sakakura Gonnoshin Terukane (坂倉言之進照包). There exists a blade which is dated with a lucky day in the second month of Enpō eight (延宝, 1680) which states in the mei “Sakakura Gonnoshin Terukane, having retired from the name Echigo no Kami Kanesada” and which thus suggests that the name change took place that very year. Kanesada/Terukane usually worked in a tōranba in the style of Sukehiro (助広) or in a gunome-midare in style of the Monju (文珠) School. Rarely, he also hardened in ō-notare or in suguha. In any case, his ha is usually nie-laden and features a wide and bright nioiguchi.
This wakizashi shows a dense ko-itame that features plenty of ji-nie and much fine chikei. The hamon is a nie-laden gunome with roundish yakigashira with a wide, bright, and clear nioiguchi that starts with a sugu-yakidashi and that is mixed with ko-notare, many thick ashi, ara-nie, and fine kinsuji and sunagashi all over the blade. The ha appears overall as tōranba and shows katayama-midare elements that are typical for this smith. Also typical are the connected gunome before the yokote, the sunagashi that appear all over the blade, the steep iori-mune, and the scarce hira-niku. Particularly noteworthy are the very wide, bright, and clear nioiguchi, the abundance of nie, and the fine kinsuji. The yubashiri-like tama represent spray and are in perfect harmony with the course of the tōranba.
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.
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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