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Katana, signed Tsuguiye:

(Gallery is below following text)

Comes from personal collection from Great Britain.

Tsuguie was one of the twelve swordsmiths, on the list of Kanji, who

were gathered by Gotoba emperor at 13th century. He wanted to make

an ideal sword, so he asked the best of the best swordsmiths from

all japan to teach him.

Three of them were from Aoe school, what´s showing how remarkable

school it is.

Tsuguie is from Ko-aoe school at bitchu province in old Japan. It

was placed next to Bizen, and influences of Bizen school (which Ko-

Aoe belongs to) are very obvious on this blade. Shape of hamon, of

the tang ( nakago) and stylisation of signature (confirmed by

Japanologist) are showing us that this sword was made by one of

Tsuguiye´s near students, or eventually by Tsuguiye himself. To be

sure , that blade should be polished, and then it is ready to obtain

Hozon Papers, confirming its origin.

At the very first look at the sword it is obvious that blade is koto

-old one. That means 400 hundred years or older. At least it is aged

to Muromachi era, but because it has the marks of Ko-AOE school, it

is very probably much older than Muromachi.

If it is made by first Tsuguyie, then it is late Kamakura (kamakura

era ended 1333).

Aoe shool was like that all swordsmiths has very similar works, and

they were usualy named (called) by their teacher, especially if he

was famous. So this sword can be made by Tsuguiye, his son, his best

student, or his grand-son.. but everytime it is Tsuguyie family.

(students of swordsmiths belonged to his family)




Habaki came along with this blade. However it does not look likely,

it is very old piece, was covered by gold. Can be old like the blade

itself. This, together with the fact who made this blade is pointing

that this sword has been owned by really important person, some of

the Daimjo. (Count)

Tsuba: it is sukashi´s style. About 330 years old.To conserve its

historical value it was not fitted exactly to the shape of blade


Tsuka: is newly made by proffesional sayashi and  so the Saya is.

Laquered by old techniques which were used to swords of this rank.

This contains coverinf the handle with the urushi,too. To prevent

damage of tsuka in battle or bad weather conditions.

Rayskin is new too, purchased together with tsuka-ito and sageo in

Japan in specialized company. Sageo is made from the natural silk,

Tsuka-ito too.

Menuki: Stylised god sailing on the boat, with rabit or rat head,

on the other side there are people picking the rice. It is pair,

original from the end of 18th century.

Seppa- they are newly made, from copper. Fuchi- it is great work

using silver, gold and shakudo, with copper,too. Depictures marine

wiews. It is youngest from originals on the sword, from the

beginning of the 19th century. It fits together with the shape of

hamon (also pointing to water) and with menuki.


Kashira, and the end of the saya are made from the horn of water-

buffalo, as usual in Japan.