Gassan Sadakazu Katana

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A Gassan Sadakazu Katana

w/ his excellent horimono

Sayagaki by Tanobe Michihiro sensei

signed, Naniwa Gassan Unryūshi Sadakazu

Dated, Genji two 1865

NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon

Swordsmith: Gassan Sadakazu (1834-1918)

Period: Shinshinto / Late Edo 1865

Location: Settsu           

Approx measurements: Nagasa (cutting edge length): 72.9 cm ~ 28.75″;   Sori (curvature): 1.3 cm;   Motohaba (width): 3.3 cm; Overall 97.6 cm, length at kissaki 4.4 cm;  Mihaba at mune machi 3 cm; Mihaba at Yokote 2.4 cm; Kasane at mune machi 8.4 mm; Kasane at Yokote 6.64 mm

Hada: Ko-itame                      

Hamon: medium Suguha

Horimono: Fudo, God of War; Dragon chasing fireball, done by Sadakazu*                  

Nakago: ubu, one mekugi-ana

Signature:  Naniwa-jū Gassan Unryūshi Minamoto Sadakazu tsukuru

(浪花住⽉⼭雲⿓⼦源貞⼀造)‒“Made by Gassan Unryūshi Minamoto

Sadakazu, resident of Ōsaka.”

Dated: Genji ni kinoto-ushidoshi nigatsu hi (元治⼆⼄丑年⼆⽉⽇‒“On a day

of the second month Meiji two (1865), year of the ox.”

Certificate: NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon (a sword Extraordinarily Worthy of Conservation by the Society for the Preservation of the Japan Art Sword)






Naniwa Gassan Unryūshi Sadakazu

Dated Genji two 1865. This blade is interpreted in suguha, which was one of the manifold styles

of the smith, and truly shows the character of Sadakazu.

Blade length ~ 72.9 cm

Examined and written by Tanzan Hendō [Tanobe Michihiro] in the last third of October of Heisei 19

(2007) + kaō


Fujishiro’s reference: Jo Jo Saku (Above Superior made)


Koshirae:  Older mounts with; iron tsuba: water dragon & gold accents; fuchi-kashira with waves/water; Menuki: flower; Saya: a black/brown lacquer

  Included: Koshirae, Shirasaya, carry bags

  Note: In 1906 he was nominated as Teishitsu Gigei In (帝室技芸員) (Craftsman authorized by the Imperial court).  This was a title equivalent to today’s Living National Treasure. *On the horimono- References do not list anything explicitly on which occasions Sadakazu used the “hori do saku” and on which not. Looking through his other blades it appears that he only started to add the “hori do saku” later in his career. We know later in his career his son Sadakatsu was making daisaku. Because this blade was made in 1865, and that Sadakatsu was only born in 1869 it is likely that horimono was in fact done by Sadakazu even if not explicitly mentioned by him, i.e. with inscribing hori do saku.



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