By Fukuoka Ichimonji Sukezane
blade L67.0 Curvature1.8
Kamakura period/13th century
Tokyo National Museum
Sukezane, a swordsmith of the Ichimonji School in Bizen Province (present-day southeastern Okayama Prefecture), was active during the middle of the Kamakura period (1185-1333). Because he lived in the city of Fukuoka, he is also known as Fukuoka Ichimonji.
The shape of this tachi is wide and bold, and the brilliant tempering pattern in the style known as "clove-shaped waves" (J. chôjiba) is the outstanding feature of the blade.
This blade, along with the tachi blade that was owned by Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542-1616) and held by the Tôshôgû Shrine in Nikkô, is considered a representative example of Sukezane's work. It was handed down within the Tokugawa family of Kii Province (present-day Wakayama Prefecture).