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Sword Forge At Inari Shrine Kyoto


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Hi all,

may I ask a question of members?

 

I have a very nice WWII RJT gendaito by Takashima Kunihide of Kyoto. Virtually nothing is known of him but his work is very good. He lived/worked in Fushimi, Kyoto. 

The sword I have (in good quality 'Alternative Standard' mounts), and two other mei of his I have seen, are all signed "Fushimi Ju Takashima Kunihide Saku". His work has papered. I don't have any evidence, but I have always suspected that he worked in the grounds of the Inari Shrine in Fushimi, Kyoto.

 

Well, the other night I noticed on Page 185 of Markus Sesko's 'Index of Japanese Swordsmiths N-Z' that another Showa RJT smith Suketoshi (Kanasaki) worked at the "Kyoto Fushimi Inari-Jinja Token Tanrenjo". This information is the first time I have seen definite proof of a forge being in the Inari Shrine grounds. I suspect that both smiths, and others, worked there at various times over the war years.

 

My query is, does anyone have any info on this forge?

When was it set up?

Who by?

Who ran it?

Who worked there?

When was it shut down etc?

 

Any help, info, pics etc would be most welcome.

Regards,

post-470-0-21797400-1540445745_thumb.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, about a month has passed and almost 150 members have viewed this post...but no info has tumbled forth...well, that is the way things can be with nihonto.

My maker is virtually unknown and it appears that so is the Inari forge details.

Anyway, thanks for looking at my post and if any info comes in...please post it, even if it is

a couple of years from now.

Regards,

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Tenryushi Toshimitsu(寿光). He was trained at Yasukuni Shrines Nihonto Taren Kai Foundation. Lineage, sakite for Yasumitsu/Yasunobu/Kazumitsu. Rikugun Jumei Tosho Chairman's award 1st Gunto Taren Kai 43. He was among smith's honored at the Prefecture level. By orders of the Imperial Military authority, he made 30 swords at the Fushimi Inari Shrine of Kyoto and donated the swords to the shrine. The Shrines Chief Priest, Suzuki Matsutaro, gave him the personal title of, "Inari Kokaji" or Inari's Swordsmith. (From the Yasukuni Book).

 

post-3496-0-31438700-1542822457_thumb.jpg

 

Suzuki Matsutaro (Dezember 1945)

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Thanks for these replies guys, (and for the email replies). Yes, I will contact the shrine and mention this Toshimitsu and see if he was a "one-off" or if there were others, including my guy Kunihide.

This will take some time, but I will let the board know what I find out.

Thanks again,

Regards,

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  • 1 year later...

Well, almost 2 years have passed since this post began and I did try to contact the Fushimi Inari people but no luck...sorry I've taken so long to report back to members .

About all I can say is ... if anyone knows anyone in Kyoto or lives there themselves, maybe they could take the pics from this post and ask the management there personally?

I don't expect to ever find out about the forge at Fushimi Inari Shrine, or if Takashima Kunihide worked there...but it would be nice to know.

Thanks all, sorry this thread did not lead anywhere.

Regards,

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Yes Peter that is him. He is RJT listed as living in Fushimi Ward Kyoto, which is quite a large ward, about the southern third of Kyoto city.

The thing I was trying to find out was, as I don't have his exact address,, did he live and work in his own forge say in Fushimi itself near Fushimi Station, or work at the Fushimi Inari Shrine Sword Forge which is about 4-5 km away towards Kyoto itself.

I just thought that as Inari Shrine had a sword forge, maybe he worked there (that would be great to know).

My attempts to ask Fushimi Inari Shrine who worked there in WWII just didn't get any answers.

Just though a "well connected" NMB member (like Markus?) might be able to find out...

 

Thanks guys,

 

Edit to add...I think Kunihide was only working in WWII. All 5 of his swords I have seen were all 1944 and all RJT star (one removed for NTHK papering).

Pretty sure he didn't work after WWII. He was a good smith, but maybe only trained - worked say 1935-1945, so not well known.

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  • 9 months later...

I followed-up on this and there is no 國秀 Kunihide listed in 1937.  He could have been an apprentice though during this time frame.

 

Since I am here, I transcribed the characters and this is what I see.  Do you concur?

伏見住高島國秀作 = Fushimi jū Takashima Kunihide saku

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/28/2021 at 3:29 AM, Kiipu said:

I followed-up on this and there is no 國秀 Kunihide listed in 1937.  He could have been an apprentice though during this time frame.

 

Since I am here, I transcribed the characters and this is what I see.  Do you concur?

伏見住高島國秀作 = Fushimi jū Takashima Kunihide saku

Hi Thomas, just saw your reply/question....yes, that is the correct reading of his mei. Date side says 19/8.

Very small numbers on nakago mune are 98...I have also seen same date/mei numbered 90 on nakago mune.

Thanks for your interest...

Regards,

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George, I just ran into a similar sword with small numbers on the nakago mune.  It is marked as 七生刀鍛錬道場正勝 [Masakatsu] but I have not really looked into the meaning of this as I do not think it is military related.

Katana Nakamura Masakatsu

 

Edit: To clarify, I am referring to the sword's signature and lack of army markings and not to the small numbers.

Edited by Kiipu
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3 hours ago, george trotter said:

one for Bruce?

George,

I had these in the database already.  There are some earlier blades marked with "1" or "2" but these are always with arsenal inspector marks on the mune, so might be different in purpose.  They seem to stop in 1943 and the numbering you mention picks up:

 

1942, Mar

Norisada (RJT) – Fukuoka

Na Ho “1” on mune

Leen, NMB

1942, Apr

Masakazu (RJT) – Fukushima

1129; “1” on mune

George Trotter, RS,

tsuba/seppa 1129

1942, Jun

Kanenori (RJT)

Na Ho 1 on mune

 

1943, Aug

Hiromasa (RJT) – Ehime

Yama Ho 2 on mune

Itomagoi, NMB RS

1944, Jun

Masakuni (RJT) – Osaka

75 on mune Star

Volker62, NMB  RS

1944, Jul

Tomonari (RJT) – Kobe Hyogo

24 on mune Star

 

1944, Aug

Kunihide (RJT) – Kyoto

90 on mune

Trotter Survey

1944, Aug

Kunihide (RJT) – Kyoto

98 on mune

Trotter Survey

1944, Aug

Kunihide (RJT) – Kyoto

99 on mune

Trotter Survey

1944, Oct

Masaharu (RJT)

6 on mune Star

RS mounts

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Hi George

 

I  had owned two swords made by  "Inari KoKaji Toshimitsu" from 30 swords made for the Inari Jinja in order of the Milirary.

 

One is numbered 23 I guess from 30,  signed "made for complete victory  of the war"

 

Other is a extra long Tachi,(around 80cm nagasa) made by Toshimitsu for Suzuki Matsutaro, who was the chief priest of the shrine, additional signature, "made for eternal piece"

 

I can try to get the Oshigata from its Nakago for you, I left both swords to my long time collector friend

 

and of course I'm interested in futher information

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Great info...

Bruce, I checked my file on Kunihide and I can say tang numbers 90, 98, 99 are ALL star stamp.

Also on this list is two more tang number swords:

Masakuni (Osaka?)  star 19/5 tang 78 Rinji mounts

Endo Tomonari Kobe  star  19/7  tang 24 Rinji mounts.

 

Volker, I have tried to contact/email the Inari Shrine in Kyoto about my smith Kunihide working there in WWII but have never succeeded. If you or your friend can get some more information on the Fushimi Inari forge in WWII, can you see if there is any mention of

(RJT smith) Fushimi ju Takashima Kunihide saku

working there in 1944-45? (tang mei photo above).

 

Great stuff,

Regards

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On 8/18/2021 at 8:33 AM, george trotter said:

Masakuni (Osaka?)  star 19/5 tang 78 Rinji mounts

Thanks George, didn't have that one.  My Jun '44 Masakuni has 75 on the mune.  Is your 78 on the mune too, or at the end of the nakago?  Any chance of photos for the files?

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Hi Bruce,

Yes 78 on munw. These are just from a list I noted down over the years...all nos on tang mune. No sorry, didn't keep any pics, just made note as they were Osaka/Hyogo/Kyoto area smiths/mountings/numbers.

Regards,

Geo.

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