Katana signed YASUHIRO Auspicious day, March, Showa 9th with) 98-style military sword fitting

Contemporary sword early Showa (Showa 9th/1934) Tokyo
Length of cutting edge 66.6cm Curvature 1.8cm Width of base 28.5mm Width of Yokote 16.6mm Thickness of base 7.6mm

NBTHK(Hozon) certificate

with) 98-style military sword fitting

Blade construction: Shinogi-zukuri, Iori-mune, Kasane is thick and deep in Sori.Created in an archaic style holding dignified curve near the base leading to Ikubi style Kissaki. (click HERE for higher resolution image of the entire blade)
Forging(Hada): Forging is fine Ko-Itame hada whereas Shinogi-ji surface shows conspicuous Masame indication.
Temper(Hamon): Hamon is a bit on stronger side Ko-nie hard metal granules base, Gunome, Kataochi-gunome or box-like shape with delicate appearance of long Ashi feet in different angles toward the cutting edge. Boundary lines is brightly sparkling with fine Nie granules.
Temper of tip(Boshi): Undulating Notare with small circle turn back.
Tang(Nakago): Nakago is curved to create dignified Koshi-sori in UBU original. One peg hole Makugi-ana. Kiri (horizontal) filemarks. Back ridge of Nakago is contoured where Ō-sujikai greatly slanting left filemark appears. U-shaped heel so called Kurijiri. Skillful chiselled inscription signature "YASUHIRO 靖廣" in Tachi-mei style and the other side shows the date of year "Auspicious day In March, Showa 9th (1934) 昭和九年三月吉日".

Miyaguchi YASUHIRO 宮口靖廣, given name Shigeru 繁 was born in Meiji 30th April 11th, 1897 in Shizuoka prefecture. Grandson of Miyaguchi Ikkansai Shigetoshi 宮口一貫齋繁寿
He joined The Nihonto Tanren Kai foundation (NTK) 日本刀鍛練会 in July 8th, Showa 8 (1933) as the most superior chief smith and given the smith name YASUHIRO 靖廣 by the War Minister, Araki Sadao 荒木貞夫 the same day. Left the NTK foundation December 26th Showa 11th (1936) to join the Okura Tanren Dojo 大倉鍛練道場 to be a Chief instructor of sword making then obtained official sword maker license in Showa 29th (1954). Died March 21th Showa 31 (1956) at the age of 59.
He produced about 500 blades at Yasukuni.
Main works :
  • Donation a sword to the Yasukuni Shrine in August 1933
  • A sword for the Imperial army using shin-tama-hagane from the Yasukuni tatara for presentation to Emperor Hirohito on January 29th 1934
  • Donation a sword to the festival that commemorated the 700th anniversary of the retired Emperor Gotoba in 1939
  • Donation a Tachi on the occasion of the reconstruction of the Ise Shrine, rebuilt every 20 years, in 1953
The Nihonto Tanrei Kai (NTK) was a non-profit organaization which functioned from Showa 8 (1933) to Showa 20 (1945), located in the Yasukuni Shirine in Tokyo. About 30 members worked over and produced about 8100 blades. At that time there was very little tamahagane left as the last tatara smelter had shut down in January Taisho 14th (1925). Therefore the NTK constructed a tatara to produce tamahagane for their own traditional swords in the traditional manner under Japanese pure spirit.
They are supposed to follows a traditional manner, no machines were used except drilling a mekigi-ana punch and mostly asked to produce Kamakura-style Bizen-to in Suguha with Ashi. They modelled Mitsutada 光忠, Nagamitsu 長光, Kagemitsu 景光, Masatsune 正恒 and Kanemitsu 兼光.
Usual length is 2 shaku 2 sun (66.7cm) and the Sori is 5-6 bu (1.5-1.8cm), in principle the Tachi-mei was used for Katana with 2 kanji character above the mekugi-ana and the opposite side the date of year locates on the other side. The Yasurime filemarks is horizontal Kiri.
After the end of the War, sword making was forbidden resulting in a hard time for sword smiths untill the legal revival of sword making in Showa 28th (1953) after then until recently, they produces Shinsaku-to in their own home studio atelier using tamahagae from Nitoho tatara smelter.
accompanying 98-style military sword fitting (click HERE for entire Koshirae / HERE for each fitting), preserved in Shirasaya plain wood mounting
reference data :
Tom Kishida, THE YASUKUNI SWORDS rare Weapons of Japan 1933-1945, Kodansha International, 2001