FINELY MOUNTED KATANA BY SATSUMA MASAYOSHIMasayoshi was born in 1733. He was the son of the second generation Masayoshi and is sometimes referred to as being the third generation Masayoshi. Masayoshi's family name was Ichiji and he had three first names, Jiemon, Kakazo, and Shoei.
He received the title, Hoki no Kami, in Kansei Gannen (1789) at the same time as the other famous Satsuma smith, Motohira, received the same title. From that time on, Masayoshi changed the kanji character, Yoshi ), used in his name to another kanji character with the same pronunciation . Since this new kanji character can also be pronounced Yuki, he is sometimes known as Satsuma Masayuki . The last dated blades made by this smith were made in Bunka 14 (1817). He died in the second year of Bunsei (1819) at the age of 87.
This katana is ubu with one mekugi ana. It measures 68.5 cm or 26 15/16 inches. The motohaba is 3.15 cm or just under 1.25 inches. This is a beautiful katana that really showcases the outstanding workmanship of this top quality Satsuma smith. The jitetsu is a fine itame mixed with mokume and it is absolutely rampant with the chikei formations known as imozuru (potato vines) or Satsuma hada. The hamon looks like the Soshu Den. It is nie deki o-midare with areas of togareba that is nie-kuzure. There is much ara-nie and within the hamon are kinsuji and sunagashi. The boshi is midare-komi (ko-maru) with a short turn-back. The blade is signed Hoki (no) Kami Taira Anson Masayuki. It is dated Kyowa Ni Nen Jutsu Ni Gatsu. This means February of the year of the dog 1802. This would make him 70 years old when he made this sword.
This sword is accompanied by a fine set of Edo period koshirae. It is evident from the slight rubbing to the ito that this koshirae was probably original to the blade and acutally used by the Samurai owner. It is elegant and in wonderful condition. The photos above show it better than I can describe it.
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