Collection

Katana Sword, Attributed to Osafune Tomomitsu

Katana Sword, Attributed to Osafune Tomomitsu
Blade length 69.0 cm, curvature 1.3 cm; Nanbokuchō period, 14th century; Gift of the Ii Family

This sword initially belonged to first daimyo Ii Naomasa and was passed down to second daimyo Naotaka, then to third daimyo Naosumi. The forging pattern (kitae) has a mixed cathedral-grain (itamehada) and burled-grain (mokume) design, while the tempering pattern (hamon) has gentle undulations and sparkling konie particles. Though lacking a signature, the blade is attributed to Osafune Tomomitsu, a swordsmith of Bizen Province (now Okayama Prefecture). It was originally much longer. The Umetada tōfu, an Edo-period record of the Umetada school of swordsmiths, states that the Tomomitsu signature had almost faded when Umetada Jusai remade this sword in the first half of the seventeenth century.

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