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KEICHO BIZEN SUKESADA - KATANA

Bizen Sukesada

The Bizen Sukesada line of swordsmiths descended in the Osafune school and are recorded as far back as the end of the Nambokucho period (around 1394). At the end of the Muramachi period the demand for mass produced swords was high and the Sukesada name (or brand) had a strong reputation as producers of good martial quality fighting swords. At this time more than 40 swordsmiths used the Bizen Sukesada name and in collectors circles, Sukesada is commonly linked to Kazuuchimono ( bundle swords) of the Sengoku time of war. But to conclude that all Bizen Sukesada swords are of mass produced quality is a mistake.

 

 The early Sukesada smiths produced swords of outstanding quality. Hikobeijo and Yososaemonjo Sukesada are both ranking O-Wazamono and Fujishiro gives them  both Saijosaku rankings. The Kazuuchimono swords were produced from around Tenbun (1532) to the end of  Tensho (1591), after the introduction of firearms, changes in battle tactics and the birth of the Ashigaru infantry. Due to the high demand for swords during the tumultuous later Koto years each maker produced various qualities of blades. The Japanese call the method of distinguishing the quality of swords of this period “ Bizen to Kubetsu”. The foundation of this system is the “mei” and swords of the late Koto period ( after Tenbun ) can be grouped into 5 catagories.

 

Level 1 “ Tairyo Saku” or randomly produced blades of the lowest level, produced for Ashigaru

 

Level 2  “Chu Saku” middle class, produced for lower rank samurai. Nichi mei ( 2 characters) or Yon mei ( 4 characters) Bishu Sukesada or Bizen Sukesada

 

Level 3  “ Jo Saku” Upper or above average class, produced for medium to higher ranking samurai . 6 character mei “Bishu Osafune Sukesada or “Bizen Osafune Sukesada”  swords of this quality show fine features.

 

Level 4 “ Jo Jo Saku” or Upper Upper class. Usualy Signed the same as in Level 3 but with the addition of  either formal name ( such as Genbeinojo) , title and/or date. Swords of this level were produced for the highest ranking samurai and can be of Juyo quality.

 

Level 5  “ Saijo Saku” Uppermost best quality masterpieces. Ordered as special made for Daimyo and direct retainers. Presentation blades normally have long mei and name of the person who ordered the sword. 

 

The sword for sale has the formal name of the smith "Sansaemon". His personal name was Toshiro and his work period is around 1596. This long, wide and imposing sword has a magnificent sugata and is a fine piece. It is clear from the workmanship that this sword was owned by a high rank samurai.

 

 

For Sale: Keicho Bizen Sukesada  

 

Type:  Katana , ubu 
Period:  Keicho 1596
Province:  Bizen
Signature:  “ Bishu Osafune ju Sansaemon Sukesada Saku”   Yasurime: kiri     Mekugi ana: 2
Blade length: 70.5cm     Sori:   1.8cm  

Hamon: Nioi deki, Junka choji midare,  many ashi, , boshi midari komi   

Hada:  Fine grained ko- itame     Horimono: double groove both sides

NTHK Kanteisho origami and NBTHK "Blue"  Koshu Tokubetsu Kicho Ninteisho origami

 $14,000 o.n.o

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