Accompanied by a certificate of registration as a Hozon Token [Sword worthy of preservation] no.325357 issued by the Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai [Society for the Preservation of the Japan Art Sword] on 20th October 1990
This fine sword in a fine mounting is attributed to the ancestor-founder of the Hizen school, Tadayoshi, (1572-1632), the first of many generations continuing into the 20th century, together with other closely-related branch schools in the province.
In 1596 he was despatched to Kyoto to study for three years under the great master of the Shinto (New Swords) movement, Umetada Myoju. On his return to Saga he was retained to make swords for the Nabeshima clan. In 1624 he received the title Musashi daijo and was re-named Tadahiro (see Lot 444). His swords are characterized by the finest ko-itame hada rich in ji-nie, which became known as 'ko-nuka hada', intimating the powdered rice grain which ladies used as a facial cosmetic. His style developed in Nabeshima-Han which was governed by a strict system controlling many different technologies, by which means arts like that of porcelain manufacture and sword making were able to progress throughout the Edo period without the need for direct commercial activity by the craftsmen. Hizen swords were highly valued throughout Japan during the Edo period, and the Nabeshima clan gave them as gifts to other feudal lords.
For an image of the koshirae please see Christies.com