Object Title

Sword blade (katana)

Sword blade (katana)



Object Number



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

Physical Description


The blade is long and slim and of shobu zukuri form, having no yokote and the shinogi almost touching the point. The curve is almost regular and moderate. The hada is itame with ko mokume in places, the hamon a shallow undulating suguba with ko nie and some sunagashi. The boshi is somewhat kaen with only a very small kaeri. The tang is almost parallel in the Bizen manner, somewhat suriage but all of the signature is still present. There are 2 tang holes and the new tip is just rounded. The file marks are obscured.


Dimensions: The nagasa is 616 mm, the sori is 14 mm, the length of tang is 105 mm,the width at the machi is 26 mm, the length of the hilt is 200 mm and the length of the scabbard is 657 mm. Weight: blade 0.458 kg, shirasaya 0.304 kg

Inscriptions and Marks

The blade is signed Bishu Osafune Sukesada and is dated 1523


Places Japan


This sword is almost exactly 2 shaku long and rather an unusual shape for an Osafune sword. The workmanship and the tang however are absolutely typical. Accompanying the blade is a Tokubetsu Kicho paper issued bythe Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai No. 296392 issued to a L.W. Allen in 1975 confirming the signature on the sword. Deryk Ingham acquired the sword in 1980. According to Nihon To Koza, Vol IX, Koto part 3, translated by Afu Watson, p382, Bizen swords by the Sukesada line were often mass produced (kazu-uchi mono), indicated by the signature being 'Bizen (or Bichu) kuni so and so'. If the village name of Osafune is added the quality tends to be rather better, and the best swords with have the maker's personal name added before Sukesada.