Object Title

Sword (katana)

Sword (katana)



Object Number



Presented by Lord Kitchener, c. 1920. Most likely presented to Lord Kitchener by the Japanese Government during his diplomatic mission to Japan in 1905, during the Russo-Japanese War

Physical Description

The blade is o-suriagei, shinogi zukuri, koshizori with a broad hi both sides that extends well into the present tang. The hamon is an irregular ko gonome of nioi deki with inazuma and some harikake. Large kissaki with ko midare boshi and almost no kaeri.
The blade has been shortened by 15.2 cm from its original length, the original mekugi-no-hitsu ana being visible at the very end of the tang. It is provided with a shirasaya, inscribed with the attribution of the blade.


Dimensions: Length of blade 697 mm, the sori is 23 mm, the width at the machi is 31 mm, the width at the yokote is 23 mm and the length of the kissaki is 44 mm. Weight: 0.75 kg (1 lb 10 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

Signed in gold inlay (kinmei) Masamitsu on the omote and on the ura the name Honami and a kao


Places Japan, Bizen

Bibliographic References

I. Bottomley and A.P. Hopson, Arms and Armour of the Samurai,


A group of swords by Masamitsu are published in Iimura, 'Yumei Koto Taikan', Tokyo, 1980, pp. 537-41, dated between 1370 and 1385. See also W. M. Hawley, 'Japanese swordsmiths revised, 'Hollywood, 1981, p. 434, MAS1550.
The Honami kao is that used by Mitsutake who was the 14th generation working between 1725 and 1760.