The Museum of Japanese Sword Fittings, ed., Tokubetsu ten, Hizen Nabeshima meiho ten, ryu no tosogu to Kyushu no meito (Special exhibition of treasures from the Nabeshima family of Hizen, dragon sword fittings and masterpiece swords from Kyushu), exh. cat. (Tokyo: Museum of Japanese Sword Fittings, 1997). no. 22, p. 13.
_____________, Tokubetsu ten, Edo jidai no katana to tosogu (Special exhibition of swords and sword fittings from the Edo period), exh. cat. (Tokyo: Museum of Japanese Sword Fittings, 1999), no. 13, p. 13.
This blade is by the second generation of the Hizen school. The first generation, Hashimoto Shinzaemon, or Tadayoshi (1574-1532), received the honorific title Musashi Daijo in 1624, after which he adopted the name Tadahiro (see Christie's, London Important Swords from the Museum of Japanese Sword Fittings, Part I, 10 November, 2004, lot 32). It is believed that during his last years his son signed some of his work and formally assumed the name Tadahiro on his father's death in 1632. He was then nineteen years old. In 1641 Tadahiro II was given the title Omi Daijo which he used until his death at the advanced age of eighty-two in 1693. His early signatures are similar to those of his father, although readily identifiable. This blade appears from the style of the inscription to be one of the later works of Tadahiro II. The custom of daimei and daisaku (whereby a pupil signs, or makes a sword on behalf of his master), was quite common among members of the main Tadayoshi family, and this smith's work was sometimes signed by the fourth generation Omi Daijo Tadayoshi (see lot 34).