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Kaō identification on Naoe Shizu wakizashi


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I've this wakizashi, which is an American loot during WWII, ō-suriage with kaō in black urushi and other remains. But first of all it's a sword with a very interesting hamon and hataraki.

Given your experience have you ever seen attributions in black lacquer? Given the wear, however, it may have lost a superficial part (maybe red/gold..?!), it is difficult to say. Furthermore, by hypothesis, it seems to me difficult that the ancient red lacquer due to sun exposure and aging, can be darkened so much and homogeneously on both sides of the nakago.

The kaō looks similar to that of Hon’ami Tadamasa, but even if some strokes are missing, and I don't think they disappeared due to wear. Maybe in his career he may have made changes to the kaō, but unfortunately I find only this image:



And on the opposite side 1 kanji stands out relatively well, there are small remains of at least one other kanji. --> "津" from Shizu "志津".


The old sayagaki can come in handy, in fact the attribution to Naoe Shizu is reported.

The sayagaki I think is honest. Furthermore, as you can see from the photos, it doesn't any kaō on the sayagaki, only the attribution and size of the nagasa.

Can anyone help me identify the kaō?


Thank you,





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A great many kao use similar styles, some only different by a stroke or two. I don't think the two you show are the same. Yours is quite a puzzle because the blade is obviously quite old, yet the kao is painted over old rust bumps in the steel. So, the kao was put on much later than the blade was made. That doesn't mean it's not an accurate name. Maybe the person who put it there had provinance, and knew who made the blade. I don't know. It's puzzling.


Here are a couple more kao with similar styles to show you what I mean by the fact that this style is used by several different craftsmen.


I looked through Sesko's document and the small one I have, but didn't see this one.





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Thank you for feedback and pictures!


Yes I know, it's very difficult but that's why it's exciting to do researchs. Besides identifying the kaō, it would be interesting to understand if there were other attributions in black urushi, honestly I had never seen any. I also checked the Mitsuyama Oshigata and Umetada Meikan, but found nothing like it.

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