Saburo Yoshitake KatanaSaburo Yoshitake

periodShinto (ca. 1681)
designationNBTHK Hozon
nakagosuriage, two mekugiana
meiIzumo no Kami Fujiwara Yoshitake
nagasa69.5 cm
price$7,000

Yoshitake is the son of Horikawa Kunitake, who was a student of Horikawa Kunihiro, one of the most important smiths of the Shinto period and one of the two co-fathers of the Shinto tradition.

Yoshitake is rated by Fujishiro at Jo-saku for superior workmanship, and Hawley grants him a high 70 points. He also has a reputation for sharp blades, earning a ranking of Wazamono.

This sword was shortened soon after it was made, and a groove cut at that time to lighten it. The top of the nakago was also filed down at that time to accommodate a more normal tsuka size. It would have taken a very large samurai to wield this sword as originally forged. Hence the need to lighten and shorten it to the more standard Shinto length.

The hamon is gunome in bright ko nie with ashi and some sunagashi. The boshi is ko maru. The construction of the sword is very pleasant, showing a fine itame with chikei and some o-itame. There is an unusual umegane repair to a ware.

The sword was recently polished by Nakamura in 2003 and a new solid silver habaki made for the sword, as well as a new shirasaya.