Object Title

Sword (katana)

Sword (katana)



Object Number



Presented by a private donor, 10 July 2002. Formerly part of the collection of her husband.

Physical Description


The blade is mumei and ubu of shinogi zukuri form, wide, heavy and of shallow even sori. The hada is an itame masame with some undulations approaching ayasugi. The hamon is notare midare with abundant nie, sunagashi and nijuba. The tang has sujikai yasuri and an iriyamagata tip. The blade is fitted with a silvered copper habaki filed with horizontal grooves.


The sword is mounted as a handachi. All of the fittings are en suite of copper, probably originally silvered, engraved with karakusa and two mon. The first of these takes the form of three radially disposed leaves, in a circle inside a six pointed figure. The second is of two diablo shapes side by side. The tsuba is of brass, of mokko form with a wide concave border, the ground within textured and decorated with a Buddhist wheel and two dragons in relief. On the reverse, the ground is covered with foliage and flowers. The almost rectangular seppadai is covered with small curved cuts. There are two silvered seppa with serrated edges. The hilt is covered with black lacquered same and has a modern black silk binding over menuki in the form of smooth dragons. The scabbard is covered in deeply textured red and black lacquer.


Dimensions: The nagasa is 643 mm, the sori 16 mm, the length of tang is 223 mm, the width at the machi is 34 mm, the width at the yokote is 24 mm, the length of the kissaki is 30 mm, the length of the hilt is 250 mm, the length of scabbard is 726 mm and the overall length is 983 mm. Weight: blade 0.84 kg, mounts 0.635 kg

Inscriptions and Marks

There is an origami issued by a Mr Terumine in London on 3rd July 1971 that attributes the blade to Geishu Teruhiro.


Places Japan


Hawley W. M. Japanese Swordsmiths 1966 Hawley Hollywood CA lists 15 smiths working in Aki province from the 1570's to the 1840's. Mr. Terumine attributes this blade to the 11th generation (TE 74) whose working date is given by Hawley as 1750. He is reported to have used the signature Harima no kami Fujiwara Teruhiro and Geishu ju Teruhiro. The tsuba on this sword is very similar to one illustrated in the catalogue of the Phyllis Sharpe collection, Sotherby's 10th April 1999, p. 25. where it is described as similar to the work of Tsuneshige of Hirado and dated to the early 19th century.