Tachi in Shirasaya (NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Token)
Inscription (Mei): Tame Ito Koji Kun Unshu Ju Tadayoshi Tsukuru Kore(2nd gen.)
(translation: Made by Unshu Ju Tadayoshi for Ito Koji.)
Showa 50 Nen Shimotsuki Hi
At our company, we categorize swordsmith works based on their quality: Finest, Excellent, Fine, and Ordinary. This piece’s quality ranks it as the Finest work. Polished.
Habaki: Gold foiled double Habaki
Blade Length: 73.7 cm (29 inches)
Curvature: 2.6 cm (1.02 inches)
Peg Hole: 1
Width at Base: 3.3 cm (1.30 inches)
Width at Tip: 2.9 cm (1.14 inches)
Thickness: 0.8 cm (0.31 inches)
Weight: 915 grams
Era: November of Shōwa 50th Year (1975)
Shape: This piece has a wide and substantial shape with an elongated tip and a deep curvature. It features a well-balanced and harmonious appearance.
Jigane: The fine ko-itamehada (small wood grain pattern) is well-kneaded, resulting in a beautiful jigane (forging texture).
Temper Pattern (Hamon): The hamon displays nie (crystalline structures), characterized by a rounded nioiguchi (temper boundary line) and pronounced gunome (crescent-shaped elements) with active ashi (short lines). As the hamon progresses towards the tip, it becomes more subdued, transitioning into a gentle pattern known as sansaku (three-peak). This work is likely an homage to the renowned Nagamitsu style.
Special Features: Unshu Ju Tadayoshi was active during the wartime as the first generation, and his second generation, known as Kawashima Makoto, achieved numerous awards. In May of Shōwa 41 (1966), he was designated as a Prefectural Intangible Cultural Property, receiving accolades such as the Mainichi Shimbun Award, Encouragement Award, Special Award, and Excellence Award, eventually becoming a Mukansa swordsmith. He passed away in August of Heisei 1 (1989).
From Aoi Art: Unshu Ju Tadayoshi, spanning from the first to the second generation, left behind exceptional works. Especially noteworthy is the skillful depiction of choji midare (clove-shaped irregular temper pattern), making this piece a remarkable tribute to Nagamitsu. The flow of the hamon is finely illustrated, featuring a tranquil pattern in the vicinity of the hamon area, transitioning into an exuberant choji midare as it approaches the cutting edge. The tip of the hamon gracefully takes on the appearance of the sansaku style. While the work is designated as Mukansa swordsmith, the fact that he didn’t achieve Living National Treasure is lamented.
NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Token Paper
Aoi Art Estimation Paper: Whole Oshigata by Ayaka Tsuruta