History of the School of Tadayoshi (1598-1871)

ROKUDAI TADAYOSHI - 6th Gen Tadayoshi

History of the School of Tadayoshi (1598-1871)

Circa 1755 - 1775?

15 Jun 1775+

24 Jun 1790
BORN:  1736 in Saga, Hizen
DIED: 28th December 1815 (age 80)
NAME: Hashimoto Shinsaemon (after 15th June 1775) [Omi (no) Kami Tadayoshi]
FATHER: Hashimoto Shinsaemon (5th Gen. Tadayoshi)

History of the School of Tadayoshi (1598-1871)

The 6th gen. Tadayoshi was born in 1736 to a 41 year old 5th gen. Tadayoshi, however there is some mystery surrounding this smith, as is becoming the case with many of the masters. Tadayoshi 5th as we know had 2 sons, the youngest becoming the 6th gen. Tadayoshi. This latter son only took the name 'Shinsaemon' together with the title 'Tadayoshi' after the death of the 5th gen. on 15 Jun 1775, and it is not known what his previous name was. He was 40 years old when his father died and there is no evidence (according to Kinichi in Hizento Taikan) that he ever signed 'Tadahiro'. As we know, 'Tadahiro' is given to the next direct line descendant whilst the father is still alive, which would have meant that the eldest son Hikoju would have received the title, and he died in 1755. So, any 'Tadahiro' mei made during the mid-period of life of the 5th gen. after he himself changed his name to Tadayoshi (1747 to 1755) must be by Hikoju. Any 'Tadahiro' mei from the death of the eldest son to the death of the Godai (1755 to 1775) must be by the younger son Shinsaemon (6th gen. Tadayoshi). In 1755, the 6th gen. would have been 19 years old, and therefore old enough to forge blades, although maybe not yet competent in the eyes of his father. It is interesting to note that we again have significantly conflicting evidence with Kinichi saying that there was no proof that the 6th gen. ever signed Tadahiro, and a study of the chronology which indicates the possibility of Tadahiro mei swords by either the 6th gen. or his elder brother. Nihonto Kantei Hitsukei, Fujishiro and Toko Soran all state that he first signed 'Tadahiro', and there is one rare oshigata reportedly by the 6th gen. dated August 1774 that has a Tadahiro mei shown on the next page. Once again there is a distinct lack of dated research material.

Hizento Hitsukei says that both the 6th gen. Masahiro and the 5th gen. Yukihiro were 6th gen. Tadayoshi Mon ('Mon,' as in 'Monjin' basically means worked and studied at the Tadayoshi forges). When the 5th gen. Masahiro (1713-1768) died in 1768, the 6th gen. Masahiro (1751-1809) would have been around 16 years old, and the 6th gen. Tadayoshi (1736-1815) around 32, so it is quite possible that the latter 'adopted' the young Masahiro in some way. Similarly the 5th gen. Yukihiro (1751-1809) would have been about the same age when his father died. I think the fact that both Masahiro 6th and Yukihiro 5th were Tadayoshi 6th mon demonstrates the close working and family relationships present between the different, but closely located schools at this time. I would not be surprised if they pooled their resources to some extent, much like company mergers today, especially in hard times.

Unfortunately demand for swords was not great during the 6th gen. working life as head of the Tadayoshi Kaji. Kinichi theorizes that it was unlikely that the 6th gen. made any swords of his own until after the death of the Godai, ..............

...continued in "The School of Tadayoshi, Saga, Hizen, Japan,1598 - 1871"

Japanese music piece entitled 'Tsuki'