A Very Important Sanekage Juyo Token Katana family Heirloom of the Nakagawa Daimyo


Formerly known as the Nakagawa Sadamune family treasure of the Nakagawa  Daimyo

Juyo Description

Jūyō-tōken at the 49th jūyō shinsa from October 9, 2003 katana, mmuei: Kashū Sanekage (加州真景)
Tōkyō, Taniguchi Masaichi (谷口政市)
nagasa 66.3 cm, sori 1.3 cm, motohaba 2.65 cm, sakihaba 1.9 cm, kissaki-nagasa 3.1 cm, nakago-nagasa 18.3 cm, only very little nakago-sori
Keijō: shinogi-zukuri, iori-mune, normal mihaba, shallow sori, chū-kissaki
Kitae: rather large structured and standing-out itame that is mixed with mokume and that features plenty of ji-nie and many thick chikei, the steel is somewhat blackish
Hamon: nie-laden ko-notare with a rather subdued nioiguchi that is mixed with gunome, togariba, ko-ashi, some nie-kuzure, hotsure, yubashiri, kinsuji, and plenty of sunagashi
Bōshi: sugu with a ko-maru-kaeri and much hakikake at the tip
Horimono: on both sudes a bōhi that runs as kaki-nagashi into the tang
Nakago: ō-suriage, kirijiri, gently slanting katte-sagari yasurime, three mekugi-ana (of which two are plugged), mumei
It is said that Kashū Sanekage (真景) was a student of Etchū Norishige (則重). However, from the point of view of existing dated works by Norishige from the eras Shōwa (正和, 1312-1317) and Gen’ō (元応, 1319-1321) and such by Sanekage from the Jōji era (貞治, 1362-1368), it appears that there is a too large gap between the active periods of the two smiths for a master-student relationship. Thus, it is more likely that Sanekage was indirectly influenced by Norishige and his style.
This blade shows a rather large structured and standing-out itame that features plenty of ji- nie and many thick chikei. The steel is somewhat blackish and the hamon is a nie-laden ko-notare that is mixed with gunome, togariba, ko-ashi, some nie-kuzure, kinsuji, and plenty of sunagashi. The blackish steel in particular reflects the characteristics of northern blades (Hokkoku-mono), and with the prominent nie within the ha and habuchi and the rather subdued nioiguchi, an attribution to Kashū Sanekage is most apt. Both ji and ha are perfectly healthy (kenzen) and the deki is excellent, showing, as indicated, the characteristic features of this smith. This blade was a heirloom of the Nakagawa (中川) family, the daimyō of the Oka fief (岡藩) in Bungo province, during the Edo period.


Sayagaki  on Shirasaya

The original sayagaki on this katana shirasaya  “中川貞宗” is written “Sadamune Nakagawa” . “相模住貞宗作” , “Made by Sadamune who lived in Sagami Province”. Sagami Province was the old name and located central and east of Kanagawa Prefecture.

“中川家傳来”  “This katana has been handed down through generations in Nakagawa family”.

This katana  prior to it being attributed to Sanekage by the NBTHK was treasured by the Nakagawa daimyo and was called the Nakagawa Sadamune, studying the workmanship in this blade we can see clearly characteristics of Sadamune , this is an incredibly beautiful katana!!! and as several very knowledgeable sword experts have agreed one of the most beautiful swords they have ever seen and we can understand why it was a family heirloom of the Nakagawa family. Sadamune was an adopted son or student of Masamune said to be the greatest swordmaker of all time.