Katana - Kunishige - Shirasaya Koshirae - Ubu Nakago - Shinshinto Era


Fujiwara Kunishige belonged to the Yajima clan in Hashu (present-day Yamagata and Akita prefectures). He was a samurai swordsmith of very high skill. The Yajima clan existed in the early Edo period, but the feudal lord Ikoma was scandalized and his domain was confiscated. After the Boshin War, the Ikoma clan rebuilt the Yajima domain for the first time in about 200 years. Kunishige traveled back and forth between Edo and Yajima, and seems to have settled in Yajima-cho around the first year of Meiji.

There are very few works by Fujiwara Kunishige and this sword can be considered a masterpiece among the few surviving works. The sword is well preserved and very beautiful. The blade is well packed with itamehada and has a niedeki hakomidare style gunome hamon. The boshi is nakamaru on chu-kissaki. The nakago features yasurime, and the inscription on the front reads "Made by Hashu Yajima Omi Kunishige" and the back reads "In August 1846, Yamada Gosaburo severed two torsos with this”.

Yamada Gozaburo was the second son of Goto Gozaemon, a warrior of the Bitchu Niimi domain and a student of the Yamada family, and was a swordsman who served as a public official during the Edo period. He was adopted into the Yamada family and changed his name, also known as Yoshitoshi, and later assumed the name Yamada Asaemon VII. He is said to have beheaded Hashimoto Sanai, Rai Mikisaburo, Yoshida Shoin, and others as an executioner, and was also an excellent sword appraiser.

  • Blade length: 67.1 cm
  • Curvature: 1.4 cm
  • Number of Mekugi hole: 1
  • Sakihaba:  22.0 mm
  • Sakikasane:  5.0 mm
  • Motohaba:  30.7 mm
  • Motokasane:  6.5 mm
  • Signature: Hashu Yajima Omi Kunishige Tsukuru(front), Koka San'nen hachigatu Kichijitsu Futatsu-do Saidan Kore Kirite Yamada  Gosaburo(back)
  • Era: Shinshinto
  • Structure: Shinogi-zukuri, Iori-mune
  • Jitetsu: Itame
  • Hamon: Hakomidare
  • Boshi: Nakamaru ni Kaeru
  • Weight(blade only):  800 g
  • Nakago: Ubu
  • Koshirae: Shirasaya
  • Original Registration No.: Saitama 79589

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