Izumi no Kami Kunisada Wakizashi with NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate

KUNISADA (国貞),

1st gen., Kan´ei (寛永, 1624-1644), Settsu – “Sesshū-jū
Fujiwara Kunisada” (摂州住藤原国貞), “Izumi no Kami Fujiwara Kunisada”
(和泉守藤原国貞), “Ōsaka ni oite Izumi no Kami Fujiwara Kunisada”
(於大坂和泉守藤原国貞), “Ōsaka jōka ni oite Izumi no Kami Kunisada”
(大坂於城下和泉守国貞, “made by Izumi no Kami Kunisada in the castle
town of Ōsaka”), “Sesshū Ōsaka-jū Fujiwara Kunisada” (摂州大坂住藤原
国貞), real name Inoue Yoshihiro (井上良広), he was born on the 17th year
of Tenshō (天正, 1589) in Obi (飫肥) in Hyūga province and was meant to
become a monk of the local Saikyōji (西教寺), but he refused and went on
the recommendation of the Itō family (伊東) – the daimyō of the Obi fief
(飫肥藩) – to Kyōto to start an apprenticeship as swordsmith under
Horikawa Kunihiro (堀川国広), the exact date of when he entered this apprenticeship is unknown but when his master
died in the 19th year of Keichō (慶長, 1614), Kunisada was only 25 years old and because his early signatures are similar
to Echigo no Kami Kunitomo (越後守国儔), a senior student of Kunihiro, it is assumed that Kunisada completed his
training under Kunitomo, after that he moved with his fellow student Kawachi no Kami Kunisuke (河内守国助) to
Ōsaka, on the 15th day of the ninth month Genna nine (元和, 1623) he received the honorary title Izumi no Kami, his
nyūdō-gō was Dōwa (道和), he died on the fifth day of the fifth month Keian five (慶安, 1652) at the age of 63, his son –
the later Inoue Shinkai (井上真改) – succeeded as 2nd gen. Kunisada, for reasons of differentiation he is referred to as
Oya-Kunisada (親国貞, lit. “parent Kunisada”) and the second generation to as Shinkai-Kunisada (真改国貞), his later
works signed in cursive script are also called “Dōwa-mei Kunisada” (道和銘国貞, see picture below) or “sōsho-mei
Kunisada” (草書銘国貞), the change to this signature style took place at the latest in the eighth month Shōhō two
(1645), it is also said that these works are actually daisaku-daimei of Inoue Shinkai but daimei of Shinkai can usually be
distinguished among others on the basis of the right inner part of the character for “Kuni,” at Shinkai, the part that
resembles the hiragana syllable u (う) crosses the central vertical stroke, at Oya-Kunisada we can still see a reminiscence
of a Keichō-shintō-sugata, the jigane is an itame with chikei and plenty of ji-nie which stands out as zanguri, the hamin is wide
and has a Kyō-yakidashi, it appears as pointed midare mixed with gunome-midare and ashi, later works show more gunome,
that means the development to the later Ōsaka-shintō style is almost completed in Oya-Kunisada’s later years, the bōshi is
mostly sugu with a ko-maru-kaeri, sometimes also a small-dimensioned midare-komi, also some muneyaki can appear after
the end of the kaeri, we know a blade of Oya-Kunisada that bears a shin no kurikara in the hitsu, the tip of the tang is a haagari kurijiri

and the yasurime are ō-sujkai with keshō, the tangs are in general carefully finished, ō-wazamono, jōjō-saku