Shodai / 1st. GENERATION, HIZEN MASAHIRO"

 C - 1624 SWORD MAKER TO THE "NABESHIMA DAIMYO"

NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon 

Rated "upper class" (Jo - Saku)

 

Fittings: Mino Goto school with flowers and praying mantis

Saya: with Gold-speckled nashiji lacquer and diverse mother-in-pearl accents

 

  Click for PDF - NBTHK Hozon Masahiro and NTHK-NPO Masahiro koshirae certificates

 

HIZEN MASAHIRO (肥前国河内守藤原正広) 1st Generation/ Shodai
 

 This blade was produced in Hizen province, by 1st. Generation Masahiro, c - 1624 AD. (average working date). He was a contemporary of Hizen Tadahiro, and one of the finest makers of the Tadayoshi school, both he and Tadahiro were sword makers to the famous "NABESHIMA DAIMYO FAMILY".  He is rated "upper class" (Jo - Saku). The first name he used as a sword smith was Masanaga, his given name was Sadenjiro, he received this from his father Yoshinobu.  His rather short, but prolific career ended in Kan-bun the 5th. Year, or 1665 ad., at the age of "59" years. Nidai Masahiro, the son of Shodai Masahiro, was born in 1627 and also began his career using the mei Masanaga. The two Masahiro smiths are known best for their use of midare-ba.

 

Nagasa- 70.0 cm ~ 27 7/8

Sori- 1.3 cm ~ 1/2"

Motohaba (width)- 3.15 cm ~ 1 1/4"

Nakago- UBU (unaltered)

Koshirae- Kin madara-nashiji-nuri aogai-raden saya uchigatana-koshirae

(金斑梨地塗青貝螺鈿鞘打刀拵) – Uchigatana-koshirae with saya in

gold-speckled nashiji lacquer and diverse mother-in-pearl accents. "mounted on tsunagi"

Fittings- Mino Goto school

Fuchi mei- Ichiryū Dairi + kaō (一柳・大里「花押」)

Mounting- Hilt covered in white same and wrapped jabaramaki style with brown cord. Fuchigashira of shakudō with nanako  ground and iroe accents, depicting autumnal vegetation and insects. Menuki of shakudō and in katachibori with iroe accents, depicting autumnal vegetation and insects. Tsuba of angular shape with rounded corners, one hitsu-ana, of shakudō and with takabori relief and iroe accents, depicting autumnal vegetation and insects.

Habaki- Kinkise koshi Yūjō, A gold foil habaki with design originally made by Yūjō

Certificates- blade- NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon, koshirae- NTHK-NPO

 

Reference information from - Index of Japanese sword smiths By Markus Sesko Available for purchase - click here.

"Masahiro (正広), 1st gen., Kan´ei (寛永, 1624-1644), Hizen – „Hizen no Kuni Saga-jū Masahiro“ (肥前国佐賀住正広), „Kawachi no Daijō Fujiwara Masahiro“ (河内大掾藤原正広), „Hizen no Kuni Saga-jū Kawachi no Daijō Fujiwara Masahiro Hashimoto Sadenjirō Masanaga“ (肥前国佐賀住河内大掾藤原正広橋本左伝次郎正永), „Hizen no Kuni Saga-jū Kawachi no Daijō Fujiwara Masahiro saku“ (肥前国佐賀住河内大掾藤原正広作), civilian name „Hashimoto Sadenjirō Masanaga“ (橋本左伝次郎正永), he changed his first name later to „Yashichibei“ (弥七兵衛), he was born in the twelfth year of Keichō (慶長, 1607) as oldest son of Yoshinobu (吉信), when his grandfather Tadayoshi (忠吉) changed his name to „Tadahiro“ (忠広) he succeeded him as „Tadayoshi“ but on orders of his lord Nabeshima Katsushige (鍋島勝茂, 1580-1657) he changed his name on the 19th day of the eleventh month Kan´ei wo (1625) to „Masahiro“ (正広), that means only about one year after he started to use the name „Tadayoshi“, genealogic records of the Masahiro line mention that he received the honorary title „Kawachi no Daijō“ on the 27th day of the fourth month Kan´ei five (1628) but he did not sign with this title until Kan´ei 16 (1639), therefore there exists the theory that he received the title not before the end of the Kan´ei era, Masahiro enjoyed a special patronage of Nabeshima Katsushige and it is said that he had a certain „exclusive contract“ with him and that he was not allowed to work for other customers, this would also explain why he did not use his honorary title or dated his blades, and this on the other hand could support the old handed-down information that he received the tite „Kawachi no Daijō“ actually in Kan´ei five but just did not use it, it is also recorded that he took care of the 2nd gen. Tadahiro (忠広) after the death of the 1st gen. Tadayoshi, he died on the fifth day of the second month Kanbun five (寛文, 1665) at the age of 59, dense ko-mokume with fine ji-nie which appears as konuka-hada, the hamon is a bright gunome-midare, me mixed with chōji and/or ashi and yō in ko-nie-deki with broad nioiguchi, the yakigashira are roundish and there are nie and sunagashi seen in the valleys of the midare elements, but he also applied a suguha or a gunome with regular interval between the individual gunome elements, wazamono." 

 

 The school of Tadayoshi in Hizen was started by Shodai (1st) Tadayoshi around 1598, who studied under Umetada Myoju. "Masahiro" was a student, and "great grandson of Shodai Tadayoshi", his father Yoshinobu also assisted in his teachings.  Masahiro started signing swords using the name Masanaga. (Masahiro also used to sign swords for Tadayoshi when he became ill (dai mei). "Lord Nabeshima" had seen the skill he had and told him he should start signing his works as Masahiro. (given the character “hiro” by the lord). He eventually had his own line of students working under him, even training Nidai Tadahiro (2nd). The swords of Hizen were among the most popular in Japans history, with orders being placed from all over the country; some being gifted to foreign dignitaries from the Shogun. The Tadayoshi name lived for close to 300 years, finally ending with 9th generation in 1880.

 The Hizen schools notable characteristics were that all katana were signed tachi mei, with wakizashi and tanto signed katana mei. The preferred style of hamon was suguba, midare and notare (with some examples of choji-midare) with brilliant nie; (The mainline Tadayoshi smiths mastered the Rai school style of suguba hamon).  Hada was typically very tightly forged ko-mokume (often referred to nashiji hada). The sori of their swords was considered nearly perfect for cutting among the samurai.


 
In the late 16th century, the feudal lord Nabeshima Naoshige would write a set of wall inscriptions for his followers. Historians describe the wall inscriptions as "Everyday wisdom, rather than house laws proper" Lord Nabeshima's written works also include a mention of bushido:
"Bushido is in being crazy to die. Fifty or more could not kill one such a man"

In 1584, Nabeshima Naoshige was the chief retainer for the Lord of Hizen until he was killed in battle by the forces of the powerful Shimazu Clan. After his lord's death, Nabeshima became the true leader of the fiefdom and fought against the Shimazu again in 1587. A Sengoku era warlord, Nabeshima distinguished himself in battle by killing hundreds of men. He was later sent on Hideyoshi's Korean campaigns where he struck up a friendship with Kato Kiyomasa and upon his return to Hizen, Tokugawa Ieyasu.

At Sekigahara, Lord Nabeshima's son, Katsushige, was convinced to take sides against Tokugawa Ieyasu. Nabeshima wisely recalled him to attack Toku­gawa's enemies in Kyushu, thus saving the clan from disaster. Historians describe Nabeshima as "a survivor and a man of quick intelligence" who saved his domain from invasion several times. His actions and sayings are immortalized in the third chapter of the Hagakure by writer Tsunetomo Yamamoto, a close attendant of Nabeshima Naoshige's grandson, Mitsushige.

 

 

NBTHK Hozon Masahiro certificate

(click for larger view)

Kantei-Sho (鑑定書) –  Appraisal

 

No 1009821

 

                                Katana, signed: Hizen no Kuni Kawachi no Kami Fujiwara Masahiro

(肥前国河内守藤原正広) – “Kawachi no Kami Fujiwara Masahiro from Hizen province”

 

nagasa ~ 70.9 cm

 According to the result of the shinsa committee of our society, we judge this work as authentic and rank it asTokubetsu-Hozon Tōken.

December 10, 2018 

 

[Foundation]

Nihon Bijutsu Tōken Hozon Kyōkai, NBTHK (日本美術刀劍保存協會)

 

photos in this section are clickable for high resolution images

 

 

 

 

 

NTHK-NPO Masahiro koshirae certificate

(click for larger view)

Kantei-sho (鑑定書) – Appraisal

 

 

Koshirae (拵え)

Kin madara-nashiji-nuri aogai-raden saya uchigatana-koshirae

(金斑梨地塗青貝螺鈿鞘打刀拵) – Uchigatana-koshirae with saya in

gold-speckled nashiji lacquer and diverse mother-in-pearl accents

 

 

Shōshin (正真) – Authentic

 

 

 

Heisei 30 nen 9 gatsu 16 nichi (平成三十十六日) – September 16, 2018

 

 

Non-Profit Organization (特定非営利活動法人)

Nihon Tōken Hozon Kai (日本刀剣保存会) – NTHK

 

Board Chairman (理事長): Miyano Teiji (宮野貞司)

 

 

 

No 9337

 

meibun (銘文) – Signature:                unsigned

 

 

tsukurikomi (造り込み) – Shape: n/a

shitaji (下地) – Foundation: n/a

 

 

zugara (図柄) – Motif: n/a          

hori (彫り) – Carvings: n/a                     

 

 

sunpō (寸法) – Measurements:             106 cm

 

 

koshirae (拵え) – Mounting:             Hilt covered in white same and wrapped jabaramaki style

                                                            with brown cord. Fuchigashira of shakudō with nanako

ground and iroe accents, depicting autumnal vegetation and

insects. Menuki of shakudō and in katachibori with iroe

accents, depicting autumnal vegetation and insects. Tsuba of

angular shape with rounded corners, one hitsu-ana, of

shakudō and with takabori relief and iroe accents, depicting

autumnal vegetation and insects.

 

 

bikō (備考) – Remarks:                       late Edo period

 

 

shinsa’in natsu’in (審査員捺印) – Seals of Judges: 6 seals

 

 

photos in this section are clickable for high resolution images

 

 

 

 

Fuchi mei- Ichiryū Dairi + kaō (一柳・大里「花押」)

 

 

 

$24,000 USD

This Sword is available for purchase.

Contact via e-mail  or telephone @ 1(608) 315-0083 any time

 

Back to view $61,000-$80,000

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