Jump to content

Hizen Tadahiro Recent Find

Recommended Posts

A local picker recently found a Katana, signed Omi Daijo Tadahiro. I was able to determine the signature but am unable to determine if it is a true or false signature.  

I am requesting the assistance from the group.

There are several pictures attached, including the Koshire which is very nice except where the idiot cut the Baleen to remove the Menuki which I can only assume matched the rest of the mounts.  

Thank you all for any information.






Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Tom, Thank u for the comment. Will wait for other replies before attempting to take close up picts of the sword. I am not that good with a camera and taking picts of the blade is challanging to say the least.

Hamon and hada are not well defined, needs a polish. That said, the over all sword is in good condition with only a few spots of rust, no chips but the tip has been blunted.

From comparing the kanji of known works by this smith on line, this signature poses questions in my mind. For example the top stroke in Hiro is vertical in the genuine but on this blade it is more horizontal. Am I being too critical? sadly I do not have access to Fujishiro's book.

Thank you again Charlie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, Charlie,

Steves advice is a good one.

If you do not want to spend money for books, because its not your sword, try The Net. Here you will find plenty of papered Tadahiro signatures to jugde for yourself. If you have the original nakago available you might be able to find a match. If you just have the picture you sent us you might find that it is not good enough for a safe comparison.


Whether the blade is genuine or not, the koshirae looks worth restoring.







Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello to all and thank you for your advice and opinion.

Mark, the Nagasa is 25 3/4 inches from the point to the habacki, notch, but note it has 2 Mekugi anna so the machi has been moved up at one point in the past. So not a wak but a Katana.

 I have a number of books on Japanese swords but none specifically related to Hizen, thus the question asked, if there is a member who is more familiar with Hizen swords.

I do agree that the Koshire is above average, is it possible to restore the Baleen? I appears to me that it is all there just cut to remove the Menuki. Or can Baleen be replaced? I am aware that Whales are a endangered species and maybe it is not possible to get it. Also all the other mounts match so would be best if a new set of matching Menuki be made, this is sounding expensive. I just retired!!


The sword is not mine. The picker knows enough that he thinks its a good sword, mostly from the Koshire and the sword is not chipped, rusted or bent. He does not know how to remove the handle and in the past I have warned him against trying to removing them as they sometimes can be damaged in the process. That said,  I do have the sword in my home for study. I have had it a week now and he has not asked for it back. I may try to purchase it rather than have him consign it to a local auction.  

I can take more pictures of the Nakago full length and the other side which has no kanji, but straight across file marks.

As noted to Mr. Helm although it is in fairly good condition it is in need of a polish to really see the details. I am willing to try if that would help in determining if it "maybe" genuine. I understand the members not wanting to make a determination but could someone comment on the kanji. Would you agree that the stroke at the top of Hiro which is horizontal rather than vertical as in some other signatures I have seen on line. That stroke has me wondering. 

Again thank you to all for your comments. Charlie in up state NY, Binghamton to be more precise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most likely gimei, since like Mark said the Tadayoshi school signed katana tachi-mei.  Should not be surprising I've been told up to 95% of Tadayoshi school signatures out there are gimei.


I had issue with the Tada and Hiro characters as well, they are kind of large, generally they are smaller and very neat.  Although, the Nidai Tadahiro lived until he was 80 and his signature, from what I've seen, did get a bit less elegant later in life.


I love the lacquer on that saya!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi to all, Thank you to all who have ventured an opinion on this sword. In one of my prior posts I had stated I recently retired. Add to that I am selling my house in Binghamton and moving to smaller quarters so much of my books on J swords were stored away. I have found my copies of Fred Fimio's Token Bijutsu amd The Connisseur's book by Nagayama. Plus I have looked @ this site and others in my research. I am very grateful to the members for their opinion on this sword. Rest assured I will not quote anyome as I take all as strictly an opinion not a validation.

My research leads me to conclude the signature is gemei. Omi Diajo did sign some swords Katana Mei and the comment regarding the size of the kanji, I think my pictures with with powder to enhance the mei may have made it look larger. I will post additional pictures of the full tang, both sides, plus additional photos of the blade itself, which to my eyes is constructed exactly as Omi Daijo would have when reading the description in my books. What does appear to be a problrm is some of the kanji, specifically the top stroke of Hiro. This stroke in every signature I have seen is vertical not horizontal as it is on this sword. No matter how old this smith lived I don't think that stroke would have changed. The sword is beautiful even in its current state of polish. I have found several refferances which state there were some Very good Gemei blades made. I think this is what this sword is.

Again Thank you to all for your comments this has been a good learning experience for me. Charlie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Charlie

Although I also think it is probably gimei the only way to obtain a more accurate assessment is at shinsa either by sending to the NBTHK in Japan or visiting one of the events held in the USA. This would allow a panel of experts to assess your sword and give a much more definitive view than we can here.

Something else to think about. Nidai Tadahiro was one of the top shinto smiths, alongside his father and son he figures amongst the best Hizen smiths ever working. Therefore if someone wants to fool a buyer that what he is selling is a Tadahiro it would have to be a pretty good sword. As a result a lot of gimei blades are as you say well made and good quality. Someone just tried to enhance the value by putting a famous name on it.

From what I see of your sword it looks to have a lot going for it and I would certainly spend some time enjoying it for what it is, a well made good shape blade.

Best Regards


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks to Paul for the good advise.

The sword is yet to be mine but the possibily exists, we will see what happens as with the move i do not have alot of spare $ put towards it. Has none the less been an interesting study and a heart felt Thank you to all who have commented. Great Forum Brian!

Additional photo's just to look at. Hope it's worth a look. Charlie






Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

Hi Charles Heesh, I'm on a special journey to spot exactly who made every sword attributed to the Tadayoshi school... especially those signed with the two characters for Hizen,


Luckily your sword is signed and made PERFECTLY. Beyond question. And here's your evidence. Party on. I hope you bought it. 


Put it in for SHINSA.

I could also possibly tell you the exact year it was made from the placement of the mekugi-ana


If you look beneath your HABAKI you will see a tarnished area where the original mekugi-ana hole has been filled in. I think I see it partially on your picture. Check and let me know.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I doubt that the ubu-ana (original mekugi-ana) was located under the habaki. We are seeing the ubu-ana just the left (and above) the kanji for DAI.




If you look beneath your HABAKI you will see a tarnished area where the original mekugi-ana hole has been filled in. I think I see it partially on your picture. Check and let me know.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Baleen was used on some swords, especially when we get to the time of Toppei koshirae.  It cannot be replaced, I'm afraid, unless you can find someone with a documented stash from prior to 1972.  Even then, you have the challenge of finding someone who knows how to work it...  Nice piece, though.  :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one, unless your post is really relevant and adds to the topic..

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...