Katana signed Higo-daijo SADAKUNI with)Black lacquered layskin polish scabbard Uchikatana Koshirae

Shinto Momoyama period (Keicho era / circa 1596 -) Echizen
Length of cutting edge 70.0cm Curvature 1.6cm Width of base 30.5mm Width of Yokote 21.4mm Thickness of base 6.0mm

NBTHK(Tokubetsu Hozon) certificate

with)Black lacquered layskin polish scabbard Uchikatana Koshirae

Blade construction: Shinogi-zukuri, Iori-mune, Mihaba on base is wide standing firmly and there is less degree of tapering from base to point of Yokote holding a bit on shallower side, well harmonized Sori curvature leading to an extended medium tip "Kissaki". The entire blade creates a heroic atmosphere during the Keicho-shionto style. (click HERE for higher resolution image of the entire blade)
Forging(Hada): Steel shows bluish impression and forging creates Itame-hada mixing with streaming indication of large Itame-hada. The entire Hiraji-surface is covered in sparkling Ji-Nie that generates darkish lines of Chikei scene over the surface.
Temper(Hamon): Hamon is a bit on stronger side of sparkling Nie hard metal granules base, created in Suguha with undulating Notare of which boundary line is created in an archaic Uchinoke activity and frequent Gunome Ashi that radiates to the cutting edge.
Temper of tip(Boshi): Boshi forms Notare, medium circle turns back.
Tang(Nakago): Nakago is in UBU original. One peg retaining hole. Sujikai (slanting left) filemarks, lower the tang, gradually steeper the marks to be O-sujikai (greatly slanting left). Back ridge of Nakago is a bit contoured with Sujikai (slanting left) filemarks. The Nakago is relatively long a bit curved, that ends in V-shaped heel so called "Kengyo".
Six character inscription signature is located along Shinogi-suji ridge, across a large punch Mekugiana that starts with the name of granted title from the Imperial Court Higo-daijo 肥後大掾 then a name of smith SADAKUNI 貞国.

Higo Daijo SADAKUNI 肥後大掾貞国 was born in Shimosaka,Sakata district,Oumi Province (now in Nagahama-city, Shiga-pref.). It is said that he was appointed as "Higo Daijo" 肥後大掾 title during Tensho era (1573-91) almost in the same period when the YASUTSUGU 1st 康継 (initially named as SHIMOSAKA 下坂) was granted the same "Higo Daijo" 肥後大掾 title from the Imperrial Court.

Due to the extensive damage caused by the Tensho earthquake in 1586 to Nagahama Castle town on the shores of Lake Biwa, He SADAKUNI 貞国 along with his fellow disciples and YASUTSUGU 康継 had responded to the invitation of Yuki Hideyasu 結城秀康 and relocated to Fukui in Echizen Province on before the early Keicho era.

Among his works, there is an extant sword dated Keicho 14th (1609). According to the Honma Kunsan's record to say that "There used to be a theory that SADAKUNI 貞国 was the teacher of Nakasone Kotetsu 中曽祢虎徹, but Kotetsu's earliest sword dates back to Meireki 2nd (1569), which does not align chronologically. Also because of the 1st generation YASUTSUGU 康継, who also received the title of Higo Daijo 肥後大掾, there is a theory of association with him, but there seems to be a considerable age difference with YASUTSUGU 康継 so that it would rather be that YASUTSUGU 康継 was junior to SADAKUNI 貞国.
He mostly produced Hira-zukuri and Kiriba-zukuri Tanto or Wakizashi and considerable number of them are featuring intricately carvings. However, long katana with Shinogi-zukuri constructions like this example is rare to find. One wakizashi has been designated as an important art object 重要美術品.

The tang of Nakago in his Shinogi-zukuri constructions works is somewhat longer with a slight curve and appears a bit contoured on the back spine. The file marks on the tang gradually become steeper in angle towards the tang end forming O-sujikai forming V-shape heel, those features are distinctive and similar to YASUTSUGU's style.

This katana boasts a harmonious balance in shape and its Jigane ground and Hamon features are created in an archaic style like Koto ancient period. Its sturdy physique, characterized by a broad Mihaba that ends up to elongated medium Kissaki. It embodies the grandeur of the Keicho Shinto period, showcasing the true prowess of "Higo Daijo SADAKUNI 肥後大掾貞国" who flourished during the Momoyama period.

with) Black lacquered polished layskin scabbard Uchikatana Koshirae (click HERE for entire Koshirae and HERE for each fitting)
  • Fuchi : Plume grass, Chrysanthemum, Gentian and a Bell cricket design, Shakudo Nanako-ji ground, Takabori carving, Gold Iroe, signed Toushuiken MOTOTSUNE(seal) 東水軒元常(花押)
  • Kashira : Karaki precious hardwood
  • Menuki : Hatsuyume first dream - Three eggplants motif, Shakudo copper alloy ground, Katabori carving, Gold Iroe
  • Tsuba : Three eggplants motif, Fagot design, Iron ground, Sukisage carving, Openwork, signed Shoami MORIKUNI 正阿弥 盛国
  • Tsuka : White layskin, Unbleached silkcord Moro-tsumami-maki lozenge wrap
Gold foiled double layer Habaki collar, preserved in a plain wood Shirasaya mounting with Sayagaki by Dr. SATO Kanzan
referece data :
Sato Kan'ichi, YASUTSUGU Taikan, Otsuka Kogei-sha, 1960 November 23
Honma Kunzan/Ishii Masakuni, Nihonto Meikan, Yuzankaku, 1975