The Japanese Sword Forum

How old is this hitatsura wakizashi?
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Author:  Pablo [ Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:42 am ]
Post subject:  How old is this hitatsura wakizashi?

Hello everyone,

I'd appreciate any feedback to the approximate age of this Soshu-den Hitatsura sword. Earlier than Muromachi?

I'd also be very interested to know the general sword smithing techniques on how these beautiful Hitatsura swords are produced. All and any information is much appreciated.

Type: Hirazukuri Wakizashi (Sun nobi Tanto)
Length: 32cm 
Curvature: 0.1cm
Mekugi Ana: 2
Bottom Width: about 2.73cm
Habaki: Suaka

Thank you!

ujwa019_hitatsura_full.jpg [ 84.25 KiB | Viewed 10056 times ]

Author:  Toryu [ Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How old is this hitatsura wakizashi?

Pablo -
I would say mid to early Muromachi, looks to be mainline Soshu school. I wonder where did you find these photos? Is there no attribution given along with all the other info? There are various theories as to how hitatsura came to be, I believe that the sand-iron local to Kamakura is naturally of a smaller grain size than that found in Bizen. Therefore the swordsmith has to temper his blades at higher temperature this produces the brilliant nie seen in Soshu works. Masamune it has been said produced hamon that were "artless", having no set form seen in other schools as the generations pass and expand on this idea the hamon becomes more and more formless. This is my understanding anyway...

Author:  jean [ Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How old is this hitatsura wakizashi?

IMHO, the Nakago is not typically Soshu, but the blade can undoubtedly be dated to Muromachi. I shall add probably, sue Muromachi (post 1500).

Odawara Soshu introduced this particular hitatsura pattern (crescent) - Leading smith Tsunahiro.

Author:  Pablo [ Sat Jul 02, 2011 8:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How old is this hitatsura wakizashi?


Thank you for the feedback. I find the satetsu theory with higher temper rates particularly interesting, I shall dig deeper into that (a pun somewhat intended).

We'll submit the sword to NBTHK next week and see what they say. I will keep the forum posted on developments.

Warm regards,

Author:  Pablo [ Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How old is this hitatsura wakizashi?

Update for those interested; I submitted the Hitatsura blade to NBTHK and it was granted Hozon status with attribution Sue-Seki school, Muromachi period.

I think this is bang on. I checked my Connoiseurs Book / Nagayama-sensei and page 219 shows an illustration (150) that is exactly like it.


Author:  Toryu [ Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How old is this hitatsura wakizashi?

Terrific piece!

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