MUMEI with Aoi Mon.

NAGASA: 44.06CM (17.625")

OVERALL" 55.94CM (22.375")

SORI: 0.468CM (0.187")

MIHABA: 2.66CM (1.063")

KASANE:  0.635CM (0.25")

HORIMONO URA: Sakura or cherry tree


HABAKI: One piece gold foil


The Yasutsugu line of Sword smith's was one of long tradition, spanning an unbroken linage of eleven generations. It began with the Shodai, Shimosaka Ichizaemon, who was born the son of the Suekoto sword smith Hironaga, c.1532.  Hironaga was the last descendent of Yamato no Kuni Senjuin, and was a member of the Yamato Senjuin Ha.  Hironaga's works were rated chujosaku as well as wazamono. In fact, Yasutsugu's entire family was involved in the sword making profession.  His Grandfather Kanemasa, was a Mino sword smith.  This is speculated as to why many of Shodai Yasutsugu's works exhibit traits of traditional Mino characteristics.

Shodai Yasutsugu, was known as Shimosaka Ichizaemon. He was born in Shimosaka which was located in Omi Province. In the Bunroku period (1592-1596) he received the title of "Higo no Daijo" and signed "Echizen Kuni Shimosaka". During this time he moved to Fukui in Echizen province where he was retained by Yuki Hideyasu. In approx. 1603, by the Ogosho or highest authority, he was granted the use of the "Aoi" or Hollyhock Mon. The Aoi Mon was the official mon of the Tokagawa Clan. It was at this same time he was also granted the use of the kanji "Yasu" 康 by Tokagawa Ieyasu and changed his mei to "Yasutsugu".  After this important point in his life, he was required to leave Echizen for Edo every other year in order to work as Kaji for the Tokagawa Kei. This continued up until the third generation, when  a dispute over who would become the Sandai prompted one one faction of the school to relocate to Edo permanently. 

It would be quite impossible to discuss the works of the Yasutsugu school without mentioning Horimono. Many elaborate Horimono were carved into the blades of these first two generations of Yasutsugu smith's, but declined markedly in later generations. Many different horimono were seen including Suken, Sank-tsuki-ken, Bonji, Kurikara, Fudomyo, and occasionally  engravings of plum branches and bamboo. While some were thought to have been done by his own hand, the majority if not all, were carved by the famous "Kinai" 記内 school, which had also been established in Echizen Province.

One almost identical to this one can be seen on a Juyo Bunkazai wakizashi shown in the Nihonto Koza, Shinto vol., pg 64. 

This wakizashi is mumei but has the AOI Mon engraved as well as a Gold lacquer attribution to Yasutsugu.  While the kinzogan names Yasutsugu, remember there were eighteen individual Yasutsugu swordsmiths spanning from the late sixteenth century until the mid nineteenth century. Looking at this wakizashi in hand I would rule out the first two generations as the workmanship is not of the quality one would expect to see in works by the Shodai or Nidai. However, after the first two generations, it could be any of the remaining generations.



I had sent this sword to a potential buyer, upon return the "Gold" lacquer was no longer intact. Of course no one knows a thing. At any rate, I want newly interested parties to be aware that the Gold attribution shown in the photos above is no longer intact.


$2500 USD