Object Title

Sword (kyugunto)

Sword (kyugunto)


approx 1280

Object Number



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

Physical Description


A much shortened blade of shinogi zukuri form, tori zori, slight fumbari, a high shinogi and a medium length kissaki. The hada is masame with mokume, showing considerable open grain an an area of core steel on the omote side. The hamon is a complex ko-choji / gonome in nie with ashi, yo and nijuba in places. At the kissaki the boshi is o maru with what appears to be some kaen and only a small kaeri. The tang is o suriage with one double hole and a simple hole. The shape of the tip is kiri. The surface of the tang shows hammer marks and there is a considerable flaw towards the lower of the holes.


The blade is in a kyugunto mount made up from: A wood lined metal scabbard fitted with a large Europen style chape, a simple hanging ring and a scabbard mouth. The whole is chrome plated. The hilt is of grooved wood, covered with coarse same and bound with gilt wire. This is fitted with a back-strap of cast and gilded brass decorated with cherry blossoms fastened at the lower end into a similarly decorated fuchi and terminating in a simple stepped pommel. In place of a tsuba there is a European style guard of brass, fretted and decorated with cherry blossoms, that extends into a long knucklebow that hooks into the front of the pommel. This guard, and the three seppa each side of it, are marked with a scratched cross. There is a sword knot of black textile, having a lighter thread worked into the weave, that ends in a single large knot.


Dimensions: The nagasa is 618mm, the sori is 16mm, the length of the tang being 166mm, the width at the machi being 30mm, the width at the yokote being 20mm, the length of the kissaki being 22mm, the length of the hilt being 184mm, the length of the scabbard being 677mm and the overall length being 871mm. Weight: The weight of the blade is 0.565 kg, the mount being o.85 kg.

Inscriptions and Marks



Places Japan


Deryk Ingham attributes this blade to the Rai school, mainly working during the 13th century. Nihon To Kosa suggests that there were at least six generations, some of which involved more than one actual smith working at the same time. Perhaps the most likely smith is Kunitoshi who is noted for his gonome / choji hamon. Most of the others tended to use a suguba hamon.