Important Cultural Property
(Some of the works of theSword without a signature (attributed to Motoshige). Red-lacquered Uchigatana
Azuchi-Momoyama-Edo period/16-17th century
Tokyo National Museum
This sword had been handed down to the Matsudaira family in Echizen as a sword for Yuki Hideyasu, the second son of Tokugawa Ieyasu.
Although the blade has been shortened and the signature has been erased due to later grinding, it is believed to have been made by Motoshige of the Osafune school in Bizen no Kuni. Motoshige was a swordsmith who actively produced swords from the late Kamakura period to the Northern and Southern Courts period and is considered to have a different style from that of Kanemitsu and Nagayoshi of the same school. The blade is wide with a shallow curve and a long straight kissaki (the tip of the blade), a blade shape that was popular in the Northern and Southern Courts period. The jigane (ground metal) has a close small wood grain pattern with clear utsuri (a white misty formation that runs parallel to the hamon in the ground metal). The hamon (blade pattern) is in the suguha (straight) style with a horizontally extended kataochigunomeba pattern, which clearly demonstrates Motoshige's unique characteristics.
For the koshirae (outer fittings), the sheath is brightly lacquered in red and silver is used for the kashira, kurigata, origane and kojiri. It is a colorful sheath. The tsuba (handguard) is round, over which a pattern of a pair of oxen is applied in rotation via openwork and sukibori (a carving technique) to give it a 3D effect.