Tuesday, August 2, 2016


Greetings again from the nihonto netherworld.  Sabaku Samurai as we all know is a glutton for all things Gassan, particularly all things Gassan Sadakatsu (and all things bourbon and chocolate etc. etc. etc.) (we're just gluttons).  For the uninitiated, Gassan Sadakatsu was the sword maker to the Japanese Imperial household in the Early part of the twentieth century.  He made swords for the Emperor, the Emperor's family, high ranking military Officers and dignitaries.  One of his swords is on display in the Tower of London (where the crown jewels are kept) and is part of the Royal collection of Queen Elizabeth.  I've heard rumors that there is also one of his swords on display at Windsor Castle that was made for King George V.  He is regarded by many to be THE top Japanese sword smith of the twentieth century.  Recently we treated you to a couple of world class examples of his work but at Sabaku Samurai the hits just keep coming.  Here is yet another.  This one is a little gem housed in it's original presentation box,  it's original shirasaya and sword bag, original gold foil habaki (probably made by Sadakatsu) and it looks like it's original polish.  The hakogaki (writing on the box lid)  was done by Sadakatsu himself and says the blade was made in May of 1925 and made in the style of Masamune (the greatest Japanese sword smith of all times).  ~Sadakatsu was amazingly talented and versatile.  Most sword makers labor their entire career to perfect one or maybe two styles or schools of workmanship.  Sadakatsu was a master of the Bizen, Yamato, Yamashiro and Soshu traditions of sword making as well as his family's secret ayasugi style.  This puppy is done in exquisite Soshu style with itame hada forged so tight as to be almost muji.  The nagasa (length of the cutting edge) is just 6 1/2 inches ( I use inches because I'm American and not smart enough to figure out that metric crap).  The icing on the cake is that the N.B.T.H.K awarded this blade a Tokubetsu Kicho certificate which is one step below the coveted Juyo rating. Sadakatsu is clearly destined to be the first 20th century sword smith to go Juyo and this little guy might be a contender.  I'll have another brilliantly erudite post on another fascinating Japanese sword along with eye watering pictures in a few days so check back. (check out our website sabakusamurai.com )


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