Blade accompanied by a certificate of registration as a Hozon Tosogu [Sword Fittings Worthy of Preserving] no. 3634499, issued by the Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai [Society for the Preservation of Japanese Art Swords] on 16th March 1994
There were several generations of smiths signing with the surname Yokoyama in the villlage of Osafune of Bizen Province from the 17th century onwards. Their work includes suguha, and frequently choji in the Ichimonji style. This sword is by one of the later members of the family, Sukenaga, who sometimes styled himself 'the fifty-sixth generation descendant of Tomonari'. He was one of the elite number of smiths who were permitted to inscribe the Imperial chrysanthemum mon on the tang of their swords. In this case, in addition, he has also used the character 'Ichi' (see lots 422 and 424).
This small blade is mounted in handachi style, for formal occasions. It was most likely made for presentation to a samurai boy on his coming of age on 'Boy's Day', 5th of May, and as such is a rare piece of such quality.