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 shinogi zukuri with koshizori, iorimune and moderate fumbari. Little or no hada is visible with the present polish. The hamon is suguba with very slight undulations and is nioi deki. At the kissaki the boshi is a simple chu maru with moderate kaeri. Despite the tang appearing to be suriage, it is in fact ubu, with takano ha yasuri mei and a kiri end. There is one tang hole and the blade is signed tachi mei. The habaki is of silver and is modern.

The blade is mounted in a textured black lacquered scabbard that has had a copper koi guchi fitted in recent times. The hilt is reasonably old wood but has had the same patched and the hole for the tang packed to make it fit. It is mounted with a narrow shibuichi fuchi / gashira with a simple inlay of leaves and a strean on the fuchi and waves and the moon on the kashira. The menuki are decorated with the leaves, flowers and pods of poppies under modern green bindings. The tsuba is of iron, circular and sukashi of birds flying amid foliage.


Dimensions: The nagasa is 643mm, the sori is 14mm, the length of the tang is 165mm, the width at the machi being 29mm, the width at the yokote being 21mm, the length of kissaki being 38mm. The hilt is 229mm, the scabbard is 677mm and the overall length is 913mm. Weight: blade 0.75 kg, mounts 0.34 kg.

Inscriptions and Marks

The blade is signed tachi mei: Aoki Kiyohei Fujiwara Kiyohide tsukuru.



There is a smith listed in Hawley (Japanese swordsmiths) who signed Chikugo Aoki Omi no Suke Minamoto Kiyohide working around 1804. This is clearly not by the same man since his signs Fujiwara not Minamoto, but is aklmost certainly a close relative. Deryk Inham misread the personal name Kiyohei as 'purified by water' and decided it read' a metal worker purified by clear water called Fujiwara Kiyohide made this'.