Ryujin Swords

Wakizashi by Mutsu-Daijo Miyoshi Nagamichi NBTHK Hozon

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Period: Shinto. Early Edo period (Kanbun era, circa 1661 AD).

Mei: Mutsu-Daijo Miyoshi Nagamichi. The signature consists of eight relatively small, thickly chiselled characters.

Sugata: Shinogi-zukuri, iori-mune. The shinogi ridge is fairly high.

Overall length: 27.75 inches (685.43 mm)

Nagasa: 21.50 inches (531.05 mm) long.

Nakago: Suriage, 6.25 inches (154.38 mm) long, two mekugi-ana, kiri yasurime. The tang was shortened professionally some considerable time ago, by maybe an inch in order to facilitate a remounting.

Kissaki: Chu kissaki with ko-maru boshi.

Moto-haba: 1.13 inches (27.79 mm). Saki-haba: 0.75 inches (18.53 mm). Moto-gasane: 0.22 inches (5.43 mm). Saki-gasane: 0.16 inches (3.86 mm).

Sori: 0.69 inches (16.98 mm)

Hamon: The hamon is combination of large and small gunome, with deep nioi-kuchi incorporating frequent thick nie-ashi and sunagashi.

Hada: Ko-itame with entwined masame-hada flowing grain marks in the shinogi-ji. The jigane is thickly covered in ji-nie, with delicate chikei and small nie lines.

Blade condition: In fairly new polish. Some minor grain openings but no fatal flaws, shinae or cracks.


The tsuka is fully wrapped by the samé. The gold and shakudo menuki are different; on omote the menuki consists of feathers and what is possibly a gourd. On ura the menuki is a lobster and pawlonia leaves. The fuchi-kashira is probably of shibeuichi and has a leaf and wheel design which is repeated on the saya's kojiri. The tsuka is bound in black silk ito in ito-maki-no-katana.

The kozuka is signed, with a landscape design on the copper and iron handle. The iron tsuba is also signed. The seppa are silver-washed.


Miyoshi Nagamichi was born in 10th year of Kanei (1633 AD) in Mutsu province. He enjoyed the title of Mutsu-daijo in the first year of Manji (1658 AD). His swords are famous for their sharpness and cutting ability, as assessed by the Yamada family. The Yamada family were sword testers. Since sword testing was carried out on the bodies of condemned criminals, they were also executioners. The Yamada family kept detailed records of the performance of the swords that they used. Nagamichi was one of eight shinto smiths whose blades consistently performed well in these extensive tests, and whose swords were thus designated with the highest grade of all, Saijo Owazamono (best cutting swords).

This has a new NBTHK Hozon paper.

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