Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sayagaki by Tanobe Sensei for the Naminohira Yukiyasu 日本美術刀剣保存協会の田野辺先生鞘書 肝付兼武刀

Here is the translation of the sayagaki done for me by Tanobe sensei just a few weeks ago on a fine November day.He related how this sayagaki gave him great pleasure as he knew well about the Kimotsuki family as he was born in Aira, Kimotsuki-kori in 1945.                                       

薩摩國波平大和守行安 - Satsuma no kuni Naminohira Yamato no kami Yukiyasu

There is a nine character signature present and the date inscription is Meiji 2nd year and an additional inscription which records that this was ordered by Kimotsuki Kanetake.The swordsmith is the 63rd Generation head of the Naminohira family,and Kimotsuki Kanetake was one of the chief retainers for the Shimazu family. It's construction and ji-ba show the smith’s characteristics,and it's workmanship is excellent.

刃長貮尺壹寸五分有之 - Blade length is 2-shaku 1-sun 5-bu.
惟時庚寅暦霜月 - Date: A day in November in 2010
探山邊道識 - Tanzan

As indicated above, this sword was sold out of the 2nd Baron's home in 1967.

This sword by Naminohira Yukiyasu was from the main Naminohira family and became the 63rd generational head. He previously signed as Yamato no Suke which was granted to him by the Emperor Komei. He was later promoted to Yamato no Kami. And so this sword is signed:

Naminohira ju Yamato no Kami Taira Yukiyasu. (波平住大和守平行安)
Motome Kimotsuki Kanetake Ju.
Meiji Ni Nen nezu e Ni Gatsu Hi. February 1868

The sword is a Shinto Kanbun sugata and is done in Suguba in a nie format. The jihada is in a masame itame nagare style as is typical of Naminohira works and shows the influence of the Yamato school where the founder Masakuni originated from.
No doubt by judging the length and weight of the sword, we can can glean that Kanetake was a short man, perhaps 5'4-6 and had strong arms as this sword is a bit heavy. However, as a bushi this sword weight would have been just right, and no doubt ordered it as such.

This sword was awarded Tokubetsu Hozon in Heisei 15. Interestingly it previously belonged to Zusho Hiroshi who is a direct decendant of Zusho Hirosato, Karo to Shimazu Shigehide, who was famous for his reforming zeal to the Shimazu family during the early part of the 19th century.

The Naminohira Graves at Kiire-cho. (波平家墓喜入町

The Yukiyasu Sayagaki

The mounts of a very large Satsuma Koshirae belonging to the Kimotsuki, c. 1800 Yahya Shaigiya collection; ex.Zusho coll.and exhibited at the Kagoshima History Centre in Kagoshima.
(Middle picture; NB; the Kimotsuki Kamon on the fuchi. Not shown in the photograph is another Kimotsuki kamon on the kashira. Both Kamon are in pure silver.