Ryujin Swords

Wakizashi by Reisen Sadamori NBTHK Hozon

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Period: Nanbokucho (worked approx 1350-1370 AD)

Mei: Mumei, attributed to Raisen Sadamori by the NBTHK. Hozon.

Sugata: Shinogi-zukuri, tori-zori, iori-mune.

Overall length: 22.64 inches (575.00 mm)

Nagasa: 18.50 inches (470.00 mm) long.

Nakago: Suriage, 4.13 inches (105.00 mm mm), one mekugi-ana. The yasurime are not visible to to patination and age.

Kissaki: Chu-kissaki.

Moto-haba: 1.24 inches (31.50 mm). Moto-gasane: 0.24 inches (6.18 mm). Saki-haba: 0.95 inches (24.19 mm). Saki-gasane: 0.19 inches (4.81 mm).

Sori: 0.51 inches (12.87 mm).

Hamon: Thin hososuguha, typical of this school.

Hada: Masame.

Blade condition: In recent polish.


In shirasaya, two-piece silver foiled habaki.


Reisen Sadamori (Hawley SAD 523, 100 points) was a swordsmith of the Kongobyoe school of Chikuzen province. The smiths of this school all use the character ‘mori’ in their mei. The first part of Sadamori’s mei comes from the harbor town, Reisen in Hakata City.

Sadamori's earliest extant dated work is 1350 AD. He worked in the region governed by the Southern Imperial Court, as evidenced by a rare tanto inscribed Shohei 25. This date corresponds to the Northern Court’s date of Ohan 3, which is roughly 1370 AD in the Gregorian calendar. There also exists a tanto with a 1369 date on it, roughly establishing his work period.

The Kongobyoe school passed down from smiths Takanawa, Morikuni, Moritaka, and then to the various other smiths of the school, including Reisen Sadamori. The school’s style exhibits both Yamashiro and Yamato influences and consequently their work can be described as majiwarimono, or "off the path". The masame in the ha of Kongobyoe works lends to their general classification of Yamato-den style. The jigane has a very slightly whitish cast which in conjunction with the nagare (streaming) tendencies, is seen in swords from the Kyushu region. Kongobyoe swords are defined by their high quality jigane, thick kasane, chu-kissaki, and thin hososuguha hamon. The smiths of this school were first in the path of the Mongol invasions. The characteristic features of their blades created a sword that was highly resistant to breaking and which could therefore stand up to the thick armour of the Mongols.

Sadamori is rated in the Toko Taikan at 500 man yen; Hawley rates him at 100 points. Swords by Raisen Sadamori – and by the Kongobyoe school in general - are quite rare. There are fifteen Juyo blades by this smith. Given the rarity of his work, this speaks volumes about the high regard in which his swords are held.