Ryujin Swords

Mumei child's katana, attributed to Hichibei Sukesada

Click on any picture for more detail.


Period: Probably 1615-1644.

Mei: Mumei. The sayagaki says Bizen ju Osafune Hichibei (no) jo Sukesada.

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

Overall length: 22.28 inches (566.00 mm)

Nagasa: 18.35 inches (466.00 cm) long.

Nakago: Ubu, 3.94 inches (100.00 mm), ha agari nakago-jiri, one mekugi-ana. The yasurime are pretty indistint due to patination.

Kissaki: Chu-kissaki, 1.16 inches (29.50 mm). The boshi is difficult to see, but looks to be ko-maru.

Moto-haba: 0.86 inches (21.80 mm). Moto-gasane: 0.20 inches (5.20 mm). Saki-haba: 0.58 inches (14.70 mm). Saki-gasane: 0.17 inches (4.20 mm).

Sori: 0.44 inches (11.30 mm)

Hamon: Slightly undulating suguha, becoming notare at monouchi.


Blade condition:

In recent polish. No flaws, ware, hagirae or bends.


In shirasaya with sayagaki; see pictures.


The sayagaki attributes the blade to the Hichibei (no) jo Sukesada. There were a number of smiths who might be described this way. However, having asked advice, the suggestion is that it is the work of the fifth generation Sukesada, Hichibeijo (Hawley SUK 887, 60 points; Toko Taikan 333, 3.5M yen; Fujishiro S485, Jo saku; floruit 1615-1644).

Although these sort of swords are often referred to as Boy's Day swords, this is a misnomer. This is a katana for a child; samurai boys were givn swords to own and carry. The tradition of children wearing swords for the Boy's Day festival didn't start until the Meiji period.

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