London, South Kensington
9 November 2011
THE PROPERTY OF A LADY
An Ichimonji Naginata-Naoshi Katana Formerly in the Collection of the Emperor Meiji
A SOSHU ICHIMONJI NAGINATA-NAOSHI KATANA
KAMAKURA PERIOD (CIRCA 1250), WITH INLAID GOLD SIGNATURE, ICHIMONJI (ATTRIBUTED TO KAMAKURA ICHIMONJI SUKEZANE)
Sugata [configuration]: converted naginata with shallow peaked back [iori-mune] and large point [o-kissaki]
Sori [curvature]: 2.0cm.
Kitae [forging pattern]: ko-itame with some mokume and midare utsuri
Hamon [tempering pattern]: wide Ichimonji midare in fine nioi with abundant 'legs' [ashi] and yo
Boshi [tip]: uninterrupted continuation of the hamon
Nakago [tang]: regular and with the shinogi extending the full length; file marks [yasurime]: new [kiri-yasuri]; end [nakagojiri]: squared [kirijiri]; holes [mekugi-ana]
Carving [horimono: hi on both sides
Nagasa [length]: 70.5cm.
Koshirae [mounting]: in shirasaya
Lillard P. Miller, San Antonio, Texas
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Juyo token nado zufu, [Annual publication of ranked blades and fittings], vol. 23., (Tokyo, 1970)
Christies, One Hundred Masterpieces (New York, 1992), no. 5
Accompanied by a certificate of registration as a Juyo Token [Important Sword] issued by the Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozen Kyokai [Society for the Preservation of the Japan Art Sword] dated Showa 45 (1970).
The accompanying origami, one with the seal of the shogun Tokugawa Yoshimune (1716-1745) and one from the Iwakura household, follow the history of the blade's provenance as a gift from Tokugawa Yoshimune to the Sanada family of Shinchu to the Matsudaira family to the Emperor Meiji and finally to Prince Iwakura Totomi.
Prince Iwakura Totomi (1825-1883) was an important figure in the Meiji Restoration of 1868. He attempted to curb the rising influence of the Western powers by creating a working relationship between the shogunate and the imperial household. After the Restoration he was appointed Minister of the Right and upon his death fifteen years later he was given a full state funeral.
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