Shinto Wakizashi in Koshirae, Kawachi Daijo Fujiwara Kunisada

Kawachi Daijo Fujiwara Kunisada

Shinto Wakizashi in Koshirae, Kawachi Daijo Fujiwara Kunisada

1661, Early Edo period

Signed Kawachi Daijo Fujiwara Kunisada


This Japanese wakizashi sword features a blade length (nagasa) of 52.2 cm (overall length 71.5 cm) with a shinogi-tsukuri shape, torii-tsori bend, and iori-mune back. The temper line (boshi & kissaki) is komaru with a chu-kissaki, and the temper pattern (hamon) is sambonsugi or gunome-sambon-choji with nioi. The hada pattern (jihada) is masame and mokume. The blade dates to the Shinto period and is in good condition, with some rust spots.

The tang (nakago) has an iriyamagata tip and sujikai file marks, with two mekugi-ana (peg holes). The signature (mei) reads Kawachi Daijo Fujiwara Kunisada (1661).

The handle (omote) is wrapped in black silk which might need restoration. The menuki features a gilded dragon on a dark cloud. The tsuba is nanakoji with two golden dragons, each encompassing half the circumference. The fuchi-kashira is nanakoji with a golden dragon on a black cloud. The blade collar (habaki) is silver with stylized six-petaled flowers, and there are two copper washers (seppa).

The kozuka depicts a dragon and has a blade with a signature. The saya (scabbard) is black lacquer.

Kawachi Daijō Fujiwara Kunisada (河内大掾藤原国定) was a swordsmith active during the early Edo period. Stylistic analysis suggests he may have been most active within the Kanbun era (1661-1673). Historical evidence points to his association with the Aizu Kanesada school, a renowned lineage of swordsmiths flourishing in the Aizu region (present-day Fukushima prefecture).

The Aizu Kanesada school traced its roots back to a skilled swordsmith from Mino province (present-day Gifu prefecture), Noshu Izumi no Kami Kanesada (濃州和泉守兼定). A descendant, simply known as Kanesada, established the Aizu branch after relocating from Mino during the Keicho era (1596-1615). This relocation, motivated by service to the powerful feudal lord Gamo Ujisato (蒲生氏郷) – an ally of Oda Nobunaga – marked the foundation of the Aizu Kanesada school. This lineage thrived for eleven generations throughout the Edo period.

Private collection, USA
Private collection, Switzerland

Other Artworks

Did you like this? Share it!