Object Title

Sword (wakizashi)

Sword (wakizashi)



Object Number



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

Physical Description

The blade is shinogizukuri, of koshizori shape with some fumbari. The hada is a medium itame tending to mokume in places. The suguba hamon is mainly of nioi with some ko nie towards the monouchi but little else in the way of visible activity. At the kissaki, which is of medium length, the hamon continues to give an chu manju boshi with kaen and only a moderate kaeri. On the omote side is a bonji part way up the blade, whilst on the ura is a suken sunk into a groove. The tang is of typical Bizen form, wide and short with a ha agari kurijiri.

The mount is assembled on a tsunagi. The scabbard is plain black and appears to have been covered with very thin leather that is joined in a seam down the rear face, the edges covered by a narrow rib of lacquer. The koiguchi, kurikata and kojiri are covered with the same modern black paint that covers the leather and obsures whether they are original or not. There is a kozuka of shakudo decorated on the face with nanako and raised cart loaded with flowers, partially gilt. The back has diagonal scratches and shows that it was previously gilded. There is no blade, its place being taken by a piece of wood.

The tsuba is an oval sentoku plate with raised inlay of copper and shakudo of trees, a pavilion and the masts of ships. Towards the top are two small flying birds in silver and carved at the top is a distant horizon and mountains. On the back is part of a sea shore with a row of inlaid pilings.

The hilt is of wood covered with same and bound with yellow braid. The fuchi is of high quality shakudo nanako inlaid with a scarecrow wearing a straw rain cape and hat, holding a bow and arrow, all in copper and gold. Running diagonally is a rope from which hangs a bird scarer. The kashira is of horn delicately decorated with two sparrows in gold lacquer with touched of browm. The menuki are shakudo and gold, on one side a dragon and tiger, the other a dragon and an animal with spots, possibly a shishi.


Dimensions: The nagasa is 452mm, the sori 11mm, the length of tang is 133mm, the width at the machi is 27 mm, the width at the yokote os 16mm, the length of kissaki is 25mm. The length of scabbard is 550mm, the overall length being 681mm. Weight: The mounts weigh 0.318 kg, the blade weighs 0.33 kg.

Component parts

Inscriptions and Marks

The blade is signed Ohata Kaneyasu.


Places Japan


There is a form of origami for this blade listing it in English as being the work of Ohata Kaneyasu, a Yamato / Mino smith circ 1278. Nihon To Meikan list 3 Ohata Kaneyasu. The first was a Yamashiro smith working circ 1278. The second a Yamashiro smith working aroun 1487 whose home was in Mino. The last was a Yamashiro smith working about 1570. Dr Graham Curtis considers the Kantei papers wrong and believes the blade is the second of these options. Certainly a wakizashi of 1278 is most unlikely. See Dr Curtis' notes.