Short sword, scabbard and kogatana
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This short sword, known as a wakizashi in Japan, has a ridged blade with a slight curve, and very irregular yakiba, which is the tempered surface along the edge of sword. This one has a choji-midare pattern of irregular clove shapes and fine itame graining on the blade which resembles the rings of a tree. On one side is engraved the date "a day in the 8th month of the second year of the period Taiyei" (1522).
The hand guard, tsuba, is of iron in the form of a piece of rotten wood with a snake crawling through a hole in it and has been signed with Umetada.
The fuchi-kashira, pommel and collar of the hilt, and the kozuka, the sword's handle, are of sentoku, which is an alloy of copper, lead and zinc. They are decorated with pine-branches in low relief with touches of gold and signed Nobuyoshi.
The menuki, which are the ornamental metal pieces positioned either side of the hilt, are large and in the form of coiled snakes.
The scabbard is of natural bark finish decorated with a snake coiled round it in low relief, and has also been signed in gold by Nobuyoshi.
Marks and inscriptions
Short sword (wakizashi), scabbard and kotogana, blade by Yozo Sayemon-no-jo Sukesada of Bizen, 1522, other mounts mid-19th century, Japan
Arms & Armour
East Asia Collection