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Tonkotsu

Very Small Wakizashi

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Here is a very small wakizashi with a total length of 43.5 c or 17 1/4". The hamon is straight. I photographed everything so you can get an idea of the quality. There is a rust spot at the boshi which is stable. The mei is hard to see so I have tried different ways of presenting it. Any information you can give me about this sword would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

Dick

left-side.jpg

right-side.jpg

habaki.jpg

tsuba-both-sides.jpg

tang.jpg

tang-b.jpg

tang-BW-invert.jpg

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Dick,

the TSUBA and NAKAGO photos are upside down which makes it difficult to read. MEI might be HIZEN no KUNI JU xx KIYO. Not sure about the first KANJI of the name. Of course you usually cannot show the quality of a sword with these photos, but it looks like a nice package altogether.

Rust on a blade is never really stable as there is oxygen and moisture permanently around. Rust is iron transformed into its oxides, so some material is always lost.

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肥前國住忠清

Hizen kuni jū Tadakiyo

 

As always, there is no guarantee this signature is genuine. 

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This length wakizashi is not particularly short or unusual. 

I've several at the 40-46cm length. 

 

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8 hours ago, Tonkotsu said:

Steve,

Is there any possibility that this sword is actually made by Hizen kuni jū Tadakiyo?

 

I think the chances are very, very slim. Enjoy it as it is.

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Dear Dick.

 

Nice find and pleasing koshirae.  Just to confirm, you mention the length as the, 'total length'.  Is the figure you gave based on the length from tip to the end of the nakago?  If so then could you give the measurement from the tip to the notch where the nakago starts as this is the nagasa and significant in this case.

 

All the best.

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As I understand it, following the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate, some non-samurai took to carrying swords that were strictly legal, but only marginally under 2 shaku. Sometimes they were worn in longer saya to give the impression the wearer was of samurai class. As a result the Shogunate issued an edict limiting non-samurai from carrying swords longer than 18 inches (45.7cm). (memory may be playing tricks but I think this edict was around 1630). In 1680, or thereabouts, this limit was reduced even further to 15 inches (38 cm). This probably explains a Tadoyoshi III blade I once owned that had been shortened by about 2cm - presumably to bring it into line with the new regulation.  In view of these edicts, the length of the above blade does seems rather short. - however, I have a daisho in which the daito has a nagasa of only 56cm, presumably made for someone of small stature. I think we can get rather hung up on lengths and forget that swords were personal and often made to suit the wearer's needs.

Ian Bottomley

 

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