Object Title

Sword (wakizashi)

Sword (wakizashi)


1624 -88

Object Number



Purchased from Lord Kindersley, 21 June 1984.

Physical Description

The blade is shinogi zukuri, ihori mune, of slightly sakizori and slight slight fumbari. The hamon is gently undulating with clouds of ko nie in the hollows and the occasional detached spot. The hada is not really visible and the boshi is chu maru. The long tapering tang is inscribed with the signature and has horizontal file marks.
The blade is fitted with a niju habaki covered in gold foil and has gold foil covered sappa. The scabbard is of the finest black lacquer, 560 mm long, with plain horn mounts and fitted with a black sageo, a kogatana and a kogai; both with gold frames holding a shakudo nanako plate decorated with a shishi in gold carrying a peony leaf in its mouth . The tsuba is a round shakudo plate with a gilt rim, partly covered with nanako and decorated with plants and rocks by a stream with the moon in silver peeping through the clouds. The fuchi is of shakudo nanako with vine leaves and tendrils in gold, silver and shakudo signed 'Bishu Edo ju ?'whilst the kashira is of black horn. The menuki are of the finest quality, of dragons in gold. The sword retains its original storage box of ho wood fitted to hold the koshirae on a tsunagi and the blade in shirasaya. In the base is a compartment holding an uchiko and cleaning paper. There is a check patterned silk bag for the koshirae, a white silk bag for the shirasaya, two yellow cotton bags to go over the silk bags and a brown furoshiki with a mon in white to wrap the box in.


Dimensions: Length of the blade is 534 mm, the sori is 12 mm, the width at the machi is 29 mm, the width at the yokote is 21 mm and the length of the kissaki is 32 mm. The length of the scabbard is 560 mm. Weight: Weight of the blade is 0.485 kg.

Inscriptions and Marks

Signed 'Hizen kuni ju Tadahiro'.


Places Japan, Hizen

Bibliographic References

Dorling Kindersley, Weapon. A visual history of arms & armour, Dorling Kindersley Ltd, London, 2006, p. 124-5

I Bottomley, An introduction to Japanese swords, Leeds, 2008: ifc


The blade and its mounts are of the finest quality. The name Tadahiro was used by the sons of the Tadayoshi smiths whilst their fathers were alive. In the case of this smith, his father, the founder or shodai of the school, outlived him hence he never took the name Tadayoshi. The mon on the furoshiki is of wisteria leaves and flowers with a diablo shape inside.