Tametsugu Juyo Token Katana

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Jūyō-tōken at the 11th Jūyō Shinsa from November 15, 1963

Naginata-Naoshi Katana, Mumei: Tametsugu (為継)

Niigata Prefecture, Nakamura Seiji (中村誠司)

Measurements Nagasa 75.7 cm, sori 2.4 cm, Motohaba 3.2 cm, Sakihaba 3.2 cm, Kissaki-Nagasa 15.1 cm, Nakago-Nagasa 25.0 cm, nakago-sori 0.3 cm

Description Keijō: Shinogi-zukuri, Iori-mune, relatively deep Sakizori, O-Kissaki Kitae: standing-out Itame that is mixed with Mokume and that features Ji-nie and Chikei Hamon: uniform Ko-Gunome with a subdued Nioiguchi that is mixed with many Sunagashi and some Kinsuji in places Bōshi: on the Mmote side a gently undulating Notare-Komi with Hakikake and Nijūba, on the Ura side Ko-Notare, both sides run out in Yakitsume Horimono: on both sides a Soeni and traces of a Koshi-bi Nakago: O-Suriage, shallow Kurijiri, Kiri-Yasurime, three Mekugi-ana, the Omote side bears a chisel mark that resembles a crescent moon, Mumei

Explanation This blade was originally an O-Naginata wth a bulbous tip and Sakizori. It is O-Suriage Mumei and we are in agreement with its attribution to Tametsugu. Tametsugu was a student of Etchū Norishige (則重) and moved later to Mino province. Although there are no signed works with a reference to Etchū as place of residence extant, there are several which are signed “Nōshū-jū Fujiwara Tametsugu” (“Fujiwara Tametsugu, resident of Mino province”), and with existing dated works from the Ōan era (応安, 1368-1375), we are in agreement with his handed down artistic affiliation. Accordingly, his workmanship reflects the kitae of Norishige but which is combined with a Mino-style hardening in gunome and togariba. This blade displays this style very well and can be regarded as a textbook example of a Tametsugu work. It also serves as a reference for the interpretation of Naginata from the time this smith was active.



TAMETSUGU (為継), Ōan (応安, 1368-1375), Mino – “Esshū-jū Fujiwara Tametsugu” (越州住藤原為継), “Echizen no Kuni Fujiwara Tametsugu” (越前国藤原為継), “Nōshū-jū Fujiwara Tametsugu” (濃州住藤原為継), “Fujiwara Tametsugu saku” (藤原為継作), “Tametsugu” (為継), “Tametsugu saku” (為継作), first name Shirōbei (四郎兵衛), according to tradition the son or student of Gō Yoshihiro (郷義弘) and a student of Norishige (則重), he moved later in his career to the Fuwa district (不破郡) of Mino province, we know date signatures from the Enbun era (延文, 1356-1361) until the second year of Ōan (1369) on blades which were still made in Echizen, it is said that the moving to Mino took place between the second and the seventh year of Ōan (1369~1374), a theory says that he had settled together with the 1st gen. Mino/Echizen Kuniyuki (国行) in Mino´s Akasaka (赤坂), there are tachi, ko-wakizashi, and tantō extant, the tachi and ko-wakizashi have the typical shape of the Nanbokuchō era, i.e. a wide mihaba and an elongated kissaki or a sunnobi-sugata when it comes to ko-wakizashi, tantō have no sori and a normal mihaba and standard nagasa, but there exist some tantō which are somewhat longer and show a little sori, tachi have an iori and tantō a mitsu-mune, the jigane is a standing-out itame mixed with masame, some blades show also a dense itame mixed with mokume, but in both cases, ji-nie and many chikei appear, there are some ō-suriage-mumei blades attributed to him which show an uzumaki-hada in the style of Norishige, the jigane is blackish what is typical for northern Hokkoku-mono, the hamon is a suguha-chō to slightly undulating notare or small dimensioned gunome-midare in nie- or ko-nie-deki, in addition ashi, yō, sunagashi, and yubashiri appear, the bōshi is midare-komi with hakikake or a suguha-hotsure, the kaeri does not run back long, the nioiguchi is rather subdued, tachi can also show a bōhi or futasuji-ji, on tantō and ko-wakizashi sometimes also horimono in the form of bonji, rendai or suken or also bōhi with soebi are added, wazamono, jō-saku