Original Item: Only One Available. Wakizashi (脇差 "companion sword”) is a general term for a sword between one and two shaku long (30 cm and 60 cm), predominantly made after 1600. Generally it is the short blade that accompanies a katana in the traditional samurai daisho pairing of swords, but may be worn by classes other than the samurai as a single blade, also worn edge up as the katana. This example has a highly decorative lacquered scabbard, complete with a signed Kogatana with a decorative Kozuka (handle).
This wonderful example is finely signed on the tang with the name of the maker, and this ends with BUNGO JU TOMOYUKI, indicating the maker was of the Bungo Takada school. Bungo was a major sword-making province in the medieval period, and had many famous smiths arise from the location. TOMOYUKI 友行 is the famed sword maker for the founder of Bungo Takada school in medieval period. According to a classic, TOMOYUKI 友行 had learned Soshu-Bizen school technique in Osafune, Bizen province and also took lessons from SADAMUNE 貞宗 in Kamakura, Soshu province. We were unfortunately not able to decipher the name of the specific smith, however the smith was definitely a member of this prestigious school and swordmaker lineage.
The blade measures 15” and is finely made with high polish, and a sharp nick-free edge. It has the following period correct features:
-Folded steel blade (fold lines are evident on the spine and body of the blade)
-Visible grain (“hada”) in the steel of the blade
-Crisp visible temper line (“hamon”) of the undulating (“midare”) type
-Maker signed blade tang.
Offered in near excellent condition this wakizashi is still sharp and nick free. Handmade blade, with one mounting hole in the squared off tang. Clear grain in the blade body, and visible crystallization within the temper line. There is some corrosion evident, which was removed with more recent polishing. There is also a Kogatana with this wakizashi, with a signed blade and highly decorative handle. The Kogatana has some corrosion on the blade, but is still sharp.
Round tsuba (cross guard) with gold highlighted menuki (grip decoration), and a nice Kashira (End Cap), bamboo securing peg still present. Excellent stingray Sa-Me (grip) with complete Ito (cloth binding). The Tsuba, Kashira and Fuchi (collar) are all iron/steel with remnants of gilt inlay. The Scabbard (saya) is wood and in a vibrant black and metallic maroon “lacquered” finish. The Kurikata (knob) of the scabbard has unfortunately been broken and reset, though not expertly.
It has been over one thousand years ago that the art of making swords appeared in Japan. The swordsmiths of the time may not have known it but they were creating a legendary sword. The Samurai sword has seen combat in many battlefields. From the early days of the Samurai warrior to the fierce battles in the South Pacific during WWII.
Each hand-made Samurai sword is unique because it is forged from multiple pieces of folded steel stock. A tremendous amount of work is dedicated to creating these pieces. They were an instrument of war as much as a beautiful artifact to adorn a room.
The Samurai sword has grown to be one of the most highly desired military antiques.
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