Juyo Token Nambokucho Yoshikage Katana 

Yoshikage was a student of Chikakage its was originally thought he was a student of Kanemitsu but more recent research says he was likely a brother of Kanemitsu . Yoshikage was from the Soden Bizen school he was known to have made many naginata blades which today many of which have been shortened and reshaped into katana as Tanobe Sensei mentions in his Sayagaki this blade initially looks to be Yoshioka Ichimonji work but as we study it closer we see Yoshikage in the excellent workmanship of this magnificent blade Tanobe Sensei also refers to this particular blade being an Outstanding Masterwork among all works attributed to this maker .   There around 60 Yoshikage swords which have been awarded Juyo Token by the NBTHK and 1 Tokubetsu Juyo . 2 swords are Juyo Bunkazai and 2 Juyo Bijitsuhin blades which shows his swords are very well regarded today and are of excellent workmanship his swords were also known to have been given to the Tokugawa as gifts in the Edo period this katana is an excellent example of Yoshikage work and has been restyled into a katana from a large Naginata some remnants of the Naginata hi are still present on the nakago, This Impressive large Katana would once have been a massive blade typical of the Nanbokucho Era the blade has has a very active bright Hamon which is Gunome with Choji  Midare, Togariba  with Ko Nioi deki with Ashi and Yo and also Sunagashi, loads of Hataraki going on within this hamon! The Hada is a well forged itame with  Ji-nie and a Midare Utsuri are present it has a massive Okissaki is 7.85 cm , The  boshi is Midare Komi with Hakikake, Nakago  is suriage with 2 mekugiana showing some remains of the original Naginata style hi it has Kirijire.

Yoshikage is rated Yoshikage at 12 million yen by Tokuno Sensei.

Rated 150 points in Hawleys.

Yoshikage is known to have worked circa 1334-1370


The Katana has a newly made koshirae using all antique metalwork, Hizen school tsuba with highly detailed carved dragon motif in iron with gold details, fuchi kashira are iron with silver motif of mushrooms the menuki are extra large in the form of catfish made from a dark shakudo with some gold details the tsuka has a black lacquer same and is wrapped in a Suede tan coloured leather Ito, saya is lacquered with a black and red swirl pattern kojiri is iron with some small gold flower motif, suede leather sageo silver seppa. The koshirae has a tsunagi fitted and the blade is mounted in shirasaya with lengthy Sayagaki by Tanobe Sensei. 

Tanobe Sensei Sayagaki

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Dai jūshichi-kai jūyō-tōken shitei-hin Bizen no Kuni Osafune Yoshikage Ō-suriage mumei shikashite naginata-naoshi nari. Sashi-ura wa midare-utsuri o tomonau itame no hadaai ni chōji shuchō no hanayaka na midare o yaki ikken Yoshioka-Ichimonji-fū naredo omote ga midare no aida tsumari ko-moyō to nari ko-nie-tsuku ten ya naginata no irei wa dōkō ni ōki koto nado yori shoden wa shukō-shi eru mono naran. Dōkō wa Chikakage no narare o kumi Morikage to wa dōzoku nari. Honsaku wa dōkō kiwame-chū kusshi no yūhin kana. Nagasa ni-shjaku ni-sun kyū-bu Jizai Reiwa gannen nanryo Tanzan shirusu + kaō
Jūyō-tōken at the 17th jūyō shinsa Osafune Yoshikage from Bizen province This blade is an ō-suriage mumei naginata naoshi. On the sashi-ura side, the itame-hada is accompanied by a midare-utsuri, and as the blade is hardened in a flamboyant chōji-based midareba, it looks at
first glance like a Yoshioka-Ichimonji Work. However, as the midare elements of the omote side are rather small dimensioned and densely arranged, as ko-nie appear, and as the blade was originally a naginata, of which many are extant by this smith, I am in agreement with the period attribution to Yoshikage. Yoshikage belonged to the lineage of Chikakage and was in the same group of smiths as Morikage. This blade is an outstanding masterwork among all works attributed to this smith. Blade length ~ 69.4 cm Written by Tanzan (Tanobe Michihiro) in August of Reiwa one (2019) + monogram

Juyo Certificate Translation

Jūyō-tōken at the 17th Jūyō shinsa held on July 4, 5, and 6, 1968
Naginata-Naoshi katana, mumei: Yoshikage (
Measurements nagasa 69.6 cm
, sori 1.6 cm, Motohaba 2.95 cm, Sakihaba 2.5 cm, Kissaki-nagasa 7.85 cm, Nakago nagasa 20.0 cm, only very little Oakago-sori
Description Keijō: Shinogi-zukuri, steep iori-mune, thin kasane, high Shinogi, shallow sori, o-kissaki ,Kitae: Itame with some Ji-nie and a Midare-Utsuri, Hamon: Gunome in Ko-Nie-deki with a wide Nioiguchi that is mixed with Chōji, Togariba, many ashi and Yō, and Sunagashi Bōshi: midare-komi with some Hakikake and running out as Yakitsume, Horimono: the tang shows traces of a Nagi
nata-hi with soebi,  Nakago: Osuriage, Kirijiri, Katte-Sagari Yasurime, two mekugi-ana, mumei
Explanation This blade was once a naginata which has been reworked (naoshi) into a katana by removing the kanmuri-otoshi part, creating so a regular shinogi-zu
kuri blade. Accordingly, the upper part of the initial Naginata-hi and its Soebi disappeared and the bōshi runs out straight as yakitsume. The Jiba of this blade shows among all Sōden-Bizen works the characteristic features of Yoshikage and we are in agreement with the period attribution to this smith. Incidentally, Yoshikage focused on the production of Naginata.


Copyright 2006

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