Wakizashi signed MITSUYO with) Vermilion-lacquered Spring Lobster scabbard KARAKUSA motif wakizashi Koshirae

Koto Muromachi period (Ouei-Bunmei era/circa 1394-1486) Chikugo
Length of cutting edge34.5cm Curvature0.4cm Width of base25.5mm Thickness of base6.0mm

NBTHK(HOZON) Token certificate

with) Vermilion-lacquered Spring Lobster scabbard KARAKUSA motif wakizashi Koshirae

NBTHK(TOKUBETSU HOZON) Tosogu certificate

Reference only

Blade construction : kanmuri-otoshi zukuri, Iori-mune. Mihaba is average, long Sun-nobi style wakizashi. (click HERE for super sized image of entire blade)
Forging(Hada): Forging mark is Itame wooden grain mixing with flowing ware Masame indication. Forging mark of Hiraji surface is outstandingly visible and moistened by sparkling glitter so called Ji-Nie - crystallized mist that gushes out from fine steel.
Hamon : Hamon forms Notare wavy mixing with Gunome. Temper edge is covered with sparkling Nie glitter and active with Uchinoke and Tobiyaki that overflows into Hiraji surface. The interior of temper shows mist-like crystallize area which is activated with bright curved thread-like activity and brushing thick lines of Nie so called Sunagashi.
Temper of tip(Boshi): Boshi forms irregular "Hakikake" curved thread-like areas with small circle turns back.
Tang(Nakago) : Nakago is UBU in original, a little on curved shape side. One Mekugi-ana gourd shape peg hole. File mark is Sujikai slanting left. Kurijiri in full (double bevelled) heel shape. The signature on front side is located lower the peg hole, below groove, two characters that reads MITSUYO 光世. There is a remaining grain opening mark underneath the Habaki collar in thr reversed side.
The maker MITSUYO 光世 assumes that Miike, Chikugo domain (Omuta city Fukuoka prefecture) it's school had continued from late Heain through Muromachi era (1081-1486).
"Meibutsu O-Denta 名物大典太 (signed MITUSUYO-SAKU 光世作)" - National treasure, which is a transmission of Maeda clan has been said an only one example made by the first generation MITSUYO 光世 during Eiho period (1081-84). This Tachi holds an unique shape, in comparison with the sword of same age, where body is extremely wide in mihaba and thick in kasane and short blade and there is noticeable wide Koshihi groove from it's tang to about 1/5 of the blade so called "Mitsuyo-Hi 三世樋"
This Tachi originally had been treasured by Muromachi shogunate Ashikaga General's families and some times it has been nominated one of the [Top Five Unrivaled Swords 天下五剣].
It has been said that Yoshiaki Ashikaga 足利義昭 15th generation General (1537-97) transferred to Hideyoshi Toyotomi 豊臣秀吉 (1536-98), then later gave it to Toshiie Maeda 前田利家. or other record said that Hideyoshi Toyotomi gave it to Ieyasu Tokugawa 徳川家康 and Hidetada 秀忠 (2nd shogunate of Tokugawa) transferred it to Toshiie Maeda.
The local legend of Mazda clan had it that "GO 豪" a daughter of Toshiba Mazda who felled into serious illness, quickly recovered right after "O-Denta MITSUYO" tachi was placed by her pillow.
The other Tachi beloved by Ieyasu Tokugawa, the important cultural asset, unsigned "TENTA MITSUYO 典太光世" with inscription [sohayanotsurukiutsusunari ソハヤノツルキ ウツスナリ] ,judged as a work by the later generation during Kamakura period, in possession of Kuno-zan Toushougu shrine 久能山東照宮, has another legenddary topic that on Ieyasu's deathbed he asked his vassals of Tokugawas to keep the tip of his "TENTA MITUSUYO" pointed to the west side Japan where Tokugawa's counterforces were still greatly active.
As said above, MITUYO 光世 have been belived, not only as arms and fine arts but holds a spiritual power to be treasured as the deification.
The MITSUYO's lineage had been active over 400 years during the Medieval Period in several generations and most of existing signed works are judged during Muromachi (Ouei - Bunmei/1394-1486) period and some of them shows grooves like this work so called "Mitsuyo-Hi".
The other highlight of this fine art is the incidental superb Koshirae fitting which is appraised as a work of Momoyama(1573-1614) period that remains an excellent condition and full of classical grace.
Vermilion-lacquered Spring Lobster scabbard KARAKUSA arabesque motif wakizashi Koshirae comprising : (click
HERE for entire Koshirae and HERE for detailed images of each ornament)
  • "KUCHI" of scabbard open clasp and "TSUTSU-KANE" of scabbard tube, Fuchi/Kashira : Karakusa arabesque motif, Shakudo copper/gold alloy, polish surface, katagiri/Kebori carving gold rim.
  • Kurikata, Ura-Kawara and Kaeritsuno : Karakusa arabesque motif, Shibuichi copper/silver alloy, Katagiri carving
  • Kojiri : Clouds/karakusa arabesque motif, Silver ground, Sukisage carving, Gold Iroe, Stone surface, Katagiri/Kebori carving
  • Tsuba : SAKURA cherry blossom motif, Iron ground, polish surface, Gold Nunome style inlay, Hitsuana with Shakudo collar
  • Kozuka/Kogai absence
Gold plated sigle habaki collar, preserved in Shira-saya plain wood mounting.
An recent good polish/Condition scale: very good (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor).
reference : Honma Kunzan/Ishii Masakuni, NIHONTO MEIKAN, Yuzankaku, 1975
a foundation Maeda Ikutokukai, National of Treasure O-Denta, Tato-saku MASAMUNE and Tomita GO, Bensei Shuppan, 2012