Minatogawa Masanao

Gallery Page (Display Only)

A Minatogawa Shrine KATANA by Masanao

w/ORIGINAL Navy mounts

NTHK Certificate

Swordsmith: Minatogawa Masanao (湊川神社正直)

Location: Hyôgo Prefecture

Type: Katana

Period: WW II

Approx measurements: Nagasa (cutting edge length): 66.5 cm Sori (curvature): 2.3 cm

Shape: Shinogi-zukuri

Boshi: ko-maru-kaeri

Kitae: Itame
with nagare

Hamon: Gunome-Choji

Mune: iori-mune

Nakago: Kikusui mon, one mekugiana, Ubu

Yasurimei: Kiri

Habaki: Copper with Kikusui mon

Signature: Minatogawa-jinja Masanao” (湊川神社正直) and dated with “a day in the ninth month Showa 17 [1942]” (昭和十七年九月日).

Certificate: N.T.H.K Kanteisho (Important work) 75 pts, 1997 New York NY NTHK shinsa, See shinsa work sheet further below.

Condition: This
is an excellent blade overall!

Included: Original Navy mounts on a new tsunagi, Shirasaya, carry bags

Note: Family name was Okada (岡田), he studied with master Moriwaki Masamori. His given name was Okada Yoshiaki, born 1917.


The Minatogawa Shrine or Minatogawa Jinja was established in 1941 by the Japanese Navy to produce swords for distribution through the Japanese Naval Academy. The head swordsmith was Kasame Moriwaka (Masataka). Masataka first signed his swords as either Michimasa or Morimitsu, but adopted the name Masataka and the kikusui mon upon the establishment of the Shrine. The Minatogawa Jinja smiths produced true gendaito. The swords of the Minatogawa Jinja are normally designated with a kiku-sui mon (chrysanthemum on water) above the swordsmith’s signature. One unusual early sword of this group is signed: Oite Minatogawa Jinja Michimasa, dated 1941, and lacks the kikusui mon. That blade has received a Hozon origami from the NBTHK. It is believed that all smiths of this group used Masa as the first character of their name. The signature (mei) normally reads “Minatogawa Jinja Masa—-“. Some of the smiths working at the Minatogawa Jinja were Moriwaka Masataka (oshigata at right courtesy of Ron Polansky), Masahide, Ito Masakiyo, Masuda Masaaki, Murakami Michimasa Masatada, Fujiwara Masayoshi, Okada MasanaoMasamitsu (Fujita Masami) and Unshu Norimasa (Bando Norimasa). Minatogawa swords are very well made and much sought after by collectors; there being very few of them made.

There are several blades known made by Noshu Seki 23rd Generation Kanefusa which have the kiku-sui mon carved as a horimono on the blade (not on the nakago). These blades were not made at the Minatogawa Jinja Tanrensho and have no known connection with it. These swords probably were a special order from a group of Naval officers or a Naval officer’s association.

Herman Wallinga’s article Gendaito Made at the Minatogawa Shrine, published in the Japanese Sword Society of the United States Journal (volume 33, number 3, 2001) is the definitive English language reference for blades of the Minatogawa Shrine.

Courtesy of: The Japanese sword index

Pages from- Herman Wallinga’s article Gendaito Made at the Minatogawa Shrine

kantei-sho (鑑定書) – Appraisal

Minatogawa-jinja Masanao (湊川神社正直)

shôshin (正真) – Authentic

nagasa shaku sun bu han kore ari (長さ貮尺貮寸分半有之) – Blade length ~ 66.8 cm

Heisei nen 10 gatsu 12 nichi (平成九年十月十二日) – October 12, 1997

Nihon Tôken Hozon Kai (日本刀剣保存会) – NTHK

No 14103

meibun (銘文) – Signature: [kikusui-mon] Minatogawa-jinja Masanao (湊川神社正直)

Shôwa jûnananen kugatsu hi (昭和十七年九月日, “a day in

September 1942″)

kitae () – Forging: itame-nagare

hamon (刃紋) – Hardening: sugu-chôji-midare

bôshi (鋩子) – Hardening in tip: ko-maru

chôkoku (彫刻) – Engravings:

nakago (中心) – Tang: mekugi-ana (目釘穴) 1, yasurime (): kiri

bikô (備考) – Remarks: Hyôgo Prefecture, gendai

shinsa’in natsu’in (審査員捺印) – Seals of Judges: 2 seals

This Sword is not available for purchase.

If you wish to purchase a Japanese Sword please view our Nihonto for sale page or contact us directly via email or contact us at 1(608) 315-0083 any time, please include specifics of what you seek, i.e.: Katana, maker, era, price range etc.

Pictures and content may not be copied without the express permission of samuraisword.com ©