UBUBA

 

 

APOLOGIES FOR DUST SPECS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MITSU MUNE

 

 

 

 

GASSAN SADAKATSU

KATANA

NBTHK HOZON

SUGATA: SHINOGI ZUKURI, SAKI-ZORI

MEI:  OSAKA JU GASSAN SADAKATSU KIN SAKU

DATE:  KOOKI 2601 (1941)

NAGASA: 67.9cm (26.75")

OVERALL: 89cm (35")

MIHABA: 3.175cm (1.25")

KASANE: 0.63cm (0.25")

SORI: 1.9cm (0.75")

NAKAGO: UBU

MEKUGI ANA: ONE

YASURIME: KESHO

MUNE:  MITSU

HADA: TIGHT ITAME / MASAME

HAMON: GUNOME NOTARE

BOSHI: KO_MARU

HORIMONO OMOTE: NONE

HORIMONO URA: NONE

HABAKI: SOLID SILVER

SHIRASAYA

 

GASSAN SADAKATSU

KATANA

NBTHK HOZON

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KO-GASSAN-KAJI

The Ko-Gassan Kaji or school was founded in the Dewa-Sanzan mountains located in the Yamagata Prefecture, and more specifically at the base of the central mountain, Gassan.  There is debate as to whom the actual founder of the school was or why it was formed. One theory is, as the religious sect in the area, the "Shugendo" came into power they needed protection, hence the formation of the school to provide weapons.  The school dates back to the Koto period with the oldest signed example, a Tachi,  is attributed to the late Nambokucho to early Muramachi period, with the oldest dated example being 1470.  Both of these blades exhibit the Ayasugi Hada the school is so well known for.

This was a large prosperous area and the Gassan school was quite productive, being patronized by the many temples and abundant military powers in the area.  These prosperous times lasted up until around the Tensho era (1573), when demand/production drastically decreased and eventually ceased.  It is likely this decline was related to the decree by Toyotomi Hideyoshi , stating no one outside the military was allowed to own or wear any form of weapon.

Though subject to debate, the abolishment of Gassan school and it's production would last throughout the Shinto period.

 

OSSAKA GASSAN KAJI

In the Shinshinto period Gassan Sadayoshi, descendent of the Ko-Gassan line, emerged and resurrected the Gassan tradition of sword smithing.  Sadayoshi was born around 1820 in Dewa Sasagawa.  As a young man he moved to Edo where he studied under the highly regarded master smith, Suishinshi Masahide.  After Masahide's death, Sadayoshi traveled around finally settling in Osaka around 1830.  Soon he gained a vey high reputation as a sword maker.  He passed away in 1870.

Gassan Sadakazu, born 1836, was adopted by Sadayoshi at age seven, becoming his heir. He had a long and illustrious career, spanning over seventy years.  It was confirmed that one of his first swords was made at the age of fourteen.  He was skilled in all sword making traditions and was one of the best engravers of the ShinShinto period. In 1907 he was designated as "Teshitsu Gigei", the equivalent of today's National Treasure.  His death is recorded as 1918 at age 84.

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GASSAN SADAKATSU

Gassan Sadakatsu, son of Sadakazu, was born in Osaka 1869.  He began learning the art of sword making at a very early age and assisted his father and had no opportunity to sign works as his own until the death of his father in 1918. Sadakatsu came into his own and became the heir to the Gassan school upon the death of his father.  He was sought out by the Royal families and the Imperial Household Ministry to forge swords for their personal collections and as for gifts to high ranking officials. He worked in the traditional Asyusugi hada and excelled in the Bizen and Soshu traditions.  He passed away n 1943 at age 74.

The Gassan school continues to this day.

I am happy to offer this example of Gassan Sadakatsu's work.  This particular sword is signed "Osaka Ju Gasson Sadakatsu Kin Saku" with Kao.  It is dated Kooki 2601 (1941) in the Zodiac or Kanshi style.  The date relates to 2,601 years after the after the founding of the empire of Japan. The sword is flawless with the exception of two small ware, one in the ji and the other on the mune.  The sugata is quite elegant reflecting the look of the mid Kamakura period with it's chu kissaki, and saki-zori. The boshi is ko-maru and the Kissaki is loaded with beautiful flowing strands of Hakikake.  The polish is absolutely perfect and makes the study of this sword a real pleasure.  The Hada is a tight Itame but becomes almost exclusively Masame towards the habuchi and down to the ha.  The ji is packed with nie, ara nie and chikei. The quality and amount of sunagashi seen in the hamon is outstanding.  The nakago is beautifully cut Kesho yasurime as one would expect.  The sword is in shirasaya.  I might add that the shirasaya is separating a bit at the seems and will need to be addressed at some point.

I have included a multitude of photos for your enjoyment.  However, they do not begin to do justice to this sword, compared to viewing it in hand.

 

GASSAN SADAKATSU

KATANA

   NBTHK HOZON 

 

SOLD

 

 

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