Object Title

Sword (tachi)

Sword (tachi)



Object Number



Transferred from Bristol City Museum, 1966.

Physical Description

The blade is shinogi zukuri with ihori mune, koshizori and fumbari. The tang is ubu. The hamon is a very narrow precise suguba of nioi with clouds of ko nie. The hada is itame and the boshi is o maru with almost no kaeri.
The blade is fitted with a gilt copper habaki engraved with curling waves. The hilt is of same with copper gilt mounts engraved with two mon, a Buddhist wheel and a square swastika, amid karakusa. The shaped fuchi is signed:Bunsei tenth year an intercalary month, Masayoshi engraved this'. The shitoji tsuba is of heavy gilded copper engraved with the same mon and engraved with the names: 'Yoshioka', 'Teruhisa' and the inscription 'requested of a master silverworker' and a kao. Inside the side loops, which are simply pushed into place, are the inscriptions 'Murata Mitsushige' and 'su ? kin' perhaps implying he was in charge of the gilding.
The hilt proper is of the finest same with rice bales (one missing) with Buddhist thunderbolts as menuki. There is a purple silk cord through the kashira. The scabbard is flat sided like a shirasaya, lacquered at the top and bottom with nashiji, the sides with black lacquer sprinkled with raden and overpainted with delicate karakusa and having the mon in gold. There is a sageo of heavy silk kikko braid in blue, green and gold.


Dimensions: The length of the blade is 747 mm, the sori is 24 mm the width at the machi is 29 mm, the width at the kissaki is 19 mm and the length of the kissaki is 26 mm. The length of the hilt is 330 mm and the length of the scabbard is 815 mm. Weight: 0.785 kg

Inscriptions and Marks

Signed 'Kaji Choja Mutsunosuke Fujiwara Ason Hiromoto' and dated 'Bunsei ko nen nigatsu hi' (1826 second month)


Places Japan


Hiromoto of Rikuoku was a pupil of Masahide who died in 1843 at the age of 66; W M Hawley, Hollywood 1966, Japanese Swordsmiths. The use of the Buddhist wheel, swastika and thunderbolt might imply that this was not a court sword as such, but made for dedication or use in a Buddhist temple. The fact that many workers seem to have contributed to the manufacture of the sword would seem to support the view that its purpose was dedicatory.