Sword #4: 1st Gen. Tadayosho
(PICTURES COMING SOON!)
1st Gen Tadayoshi (dai-mei by 2nd Gen Tadahiro)
According to Meito Zukan, the 2nd Gen. Hizen Tadayoshi (Omi Daijo Tadahiro) signed for his ageing father the 1st Gen Tadayoshi in his last years ie 1631/1632. The 2nd Gen was 19 years old at the time his father died on 15 August 1632. Remember at this time the 1st Gen was using the art name Tadahiro, and as head of the School, any swords signed Tadahiro were technically attributable directly to the Shodai. In 1632 the 2nd Gen used a very distinct signature for his father (example A below). After his father died, he changed his signature dramatically to his own style (example B below). The signature style on this sword (example C below) is the earliest signature found by 2nd Gen. Tadahiro, and is therefore Dai-Mei for the Shodai Tadayoshi and must date to 1631/1632. The NBTHK has verified that this signature is by the 2nd Gen Tadahiro with the NBTHK papers that come with this sword. In my opinion, they should have gone one stage further and said "dai-mei for the Shodai" or have papered it directly to the Shodai. At the end of the day, it is signed by the 2nd Gen Tadahiro in 1632.
This sword exhibits all the workmanship of the Shodai!
Had it not been for a small umegane above the shinogi, this would have been in excess of $20,000 - so a chance to own a great sword at a fraction of the full cost. And as always, a 3 day inspection period.
45.15 cm, 17.78", 1 Shaku 4 Sun 9 Bu cutting length.