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HIZEN TADAKUNI & THE TOKUGAWA CONNECTION

The Owari Tokugawa branch is one of the three families of the Tokugawa clan originally descended from Tokugawa Yoshinao (circa 1602-1650 AD), the ninth son of Tokugawa; Ieyasu (circa; 1543-1616 AD) followed by a long list of Daimyo thru to today and finally to the gentleman from whom I purchased this beautiful blade.

Hizen Ju Harima-Daijo Fujiwara Tadakuni who was born in 1604 AD, served exclusively for and under the Hizen Lord Nabeshima Motoshige. He first signed his swords with the name of Hironori. In 1634, he received the title Harima Daijo at which time, he changed his name to Tadakuni. In 1661, he had his title upgraded to Harima No Kami, his father and teacher was Hizen Hirosada.

During his lifetime, Tadakuni perfected his art and produced many magnificent blades. Tadakuni is deemed to be one of the most skilled of top Hizen Smiths. He died on the 22nd of April in 1691 at age 87 after a long and distinguished career.

A personal note: I had admired this sword owned by Tokugawa Yuji for quite some time and I am extremely proud and fortunate to have been able to purchase this blade from him.

In support of this sword, there is a Sayagaki (attestation) by Dr. Kanzan Sato, amost distinquished sword scholar written on the Shirasaya attesting to its' authenticity, along with this is a document from the sword museum in Tokyo known to sword students as the NBTHK in the form of a certificate of Tokubetsu Hozon quality (especially precious)

References: NBTHK Token Bijutsu #665, 2012 AD
Nihonto Meikan, Homma Juni, 1975
Yokoyama Manabu, Hizento, 2016
Kataoka Ginsaku Hizento, 1975

HIZEN-JU HARIMA DAIJO FUJIWARA TADAKUNI

Circa; 1640AD
This magnificent blade has a length of 71.1cm.
A width at base of .28.6mm.
Thickness at base 7.2mm.
Width at Yokote 18.1mm.

The blade is Shinogi-Zukuri, low Iori-Mune with deep elegant shape, well proportioned and gracefully beautiful.

The forging is a prominent Itame mixed with Mokume-Hada giving off an impression of moistness of sparkling Nie and thick lines of Chikei forming the beautiful Konuka-Hada pattern in the Ji. conspicously unique to the workmanship of Tadakuni.

The Hamon in Nie-Deki, various clove like (Choji) pattern varying in height and shape filled with mist-like lines of Kinsuji, Ash & Yo, horsefly eyes (Abunome and long streaks of Sunagashi all together, a very impressive blade, surely a Juyo candidate of flawless presentation.

The Koshirae matches the sword in blackish purple wavy lines in its full length with good painted bow and arrow on its side and the gold painted family crest of the Nabeshima clan.