Q682. Long Katana by Tsuda Sukehiro, Tokubetsu Hozon
Q682. Katana signed Echizen no Kami Minamoto Sukehiro.
Nagasa: 29 1/2" 75.6 cm.
Sori: 1.6 cm.
Moto haba: 3.1 cm.
Moto kasane: .7 cm.
Saki haba: 2.1 cm.
Saki kasane: .5 cm.
Nakago nagasa: 7 3/4" 20 cm.
Overall in shirasaya: 41 5/8" 105.7 cm.
There is a soemei on the nakago ura that translates roughly as, With iron from the ground and research this was made.
Shinogi zukuri, koshi zori, iore mune, chu kissaki. There is a tight and bright ko itame hada with a bit of hadatacho gokoro just above the machi (not uncommon for Sukehiro). The hamon begins with a slanted yadi dashi and becomes variations in choji, with ashi, hotsure, tobiyaki, and more, in a wide and bright nioi guchi covered in ko-nie. The boshi is ko maru with a short kaeri. This blade is either ubu or very slightly machi okuri; the other exceptionally long katana by Sukehiro I found in my references all had a greater than average distance between the machi and mekugi-ana, so hard to say. This is in polish and, with the exception of one small ware' (across from the tiny white asterisk in one of my pictures) and a nakago with a bit more age than ideal for a shinto blade, in excellent condition. It is mounted with a gold foil habaki and in well made shirasaya. There is a Tokubetsu Hozon paper from the NBTHK in Tokyo, dated 2003.
Tsuda Sukehiro was born in 1637 and died in 1682; he was a most important smith in Edo Japan, at the apex of Osaka shinto. Rated Sai jo saku (highest ranking) in Fujishiro. An article in the English edition of Token Bijutsu lists him, along with Nagasone Kotetsu and Inoue Shinkai, as being the best for brightness and clarity of nioi-guchi. This same article states that he signed with Minamoto in his mei for only a short time, around 1659-60, wjhich serves to date this blade. And I could go on and on; there is so much to say about how well respected his work is and every reference sings his praise. But enough.
My pictures are out of order, I know, but they show every inch. Anything in a picture that looks like a chip in the edge is just the black cloth I laid the sword on; there are no chips. I'm proud to have this katana for my site; it lends a lot of class. 3 pounds. $33,500.
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