Important Cultural PropertyLong sword signed Mitsutada

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  • Osafune Mitsutada
  • 1 piece
  • L68.4 Curvature1.8
  • Kamakura period/13th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • F-19968

 Mitsutada was a swordsmith who lived in Osafune, Bizen no Kuni in the mid-Kamakura period and is said to be the de facto founder of the Osafune school. Tachi (swords made to be worn with the cutting edge down) can be categorized into two types according to the blade shape: grand swords with a wide blade with ikubikissaki (a stout tip of the blade which is shorter in length than it is wide) and slimmer swords with chukissaki (a medium-sized blade tip). This sword is one of the latter type. The jigane (ground metal) has a close wood grain pattern with clear utsuri (a white misty formation that runs parallel to the hamon in the ground metal) while the hamon (blade pattern) shows a brilliant combination of chojiba (a clove pattern), kazwazukochojiba (a tadpole-shaped clove pattern) and fukurochojiba (a bag-shaped clove pattern). This tachi suggests its relations with the Ichimonji school that prospered from the early to mid-Kamakura period, earlier than the Osafune school.