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Wakizashi, Shirasaya
Tegarayama Masashige
[ Signature ] omote : "神妙" Tegara-yama Kai-no-kami Masashige ura : Bunkwa ku(9)-nen hachi-gatsu(August)-hi
[ Size ] Blade length 37,5cm (1 shaku 2 sun 7 bu), sori 0,6cm (1 bu 9 rin), moto-haba 2,93cm, moto-shinogi-kasane 0,58cm, saki-haba 2,20cm, saki-kasane 0,43cm, mekugi-ana(hole) 1, blade weight 350g , shirasaya length 56,5cm
[ Period ] Edo, Bunkwa ku(9)
[ Province ] Musashi

[ Feature ]
Form : Shinogi-zukuri, iori-mune. Mihaba and kasana are both ordinal. Shallow sori attached. Chu-kissaki extendedm ko-wakizashi form.
Nakago : Ubu. Yasurimes are ô-sujikais and ke-shô. Saki is shallow iri-yama-gata. One hole.
Jigane : Ko-itame-hada well grained finely. Jinies attached.
Hamon : Yakidashi begins in sugu. Ô-gunome-midare. Ashis appear in bold. Nioi is deep and to be vivid. Ko-nies attached well. Kin-sujis and sungashi appeared. It shows tama.
Boushi : It runs in sugu. Saki become hakikake with saki togari-gokoro. It turns a little disorderly.

Tegarayama Masashige, who called commonly as Chô-shichi, was born at Himeji in Harima province. He was a child of Ujishige. Younger brother of third generation Uji-shige. Initially, he succeed to the name of fourth generation Ujishige. Actually he lived at the foot of Tegarayama mountain, so that he added surename Tegarayama. Then changed to Masashige later.

In Tenmei eighth winter, he was hired by Sadanobu MATSUDAIRA (号 楽翁(pen name : Rakuô)) of Shiraka province of Ô-shu with "知行五百石"(litteraly, salary as high as 500 kokus). Then he went up to Edo, received Kai-no-kami on 5th April Kyôwa 3. In his last years, he honored with the two characters "神妙" by Lord MATSUDAIRA. For own excellent works, he put the signature "神妙". His pen name was "丹霞斎"(tan-ka-sai).

Signatures : " 奥州白川臣手柄山正繁", " 白川家臣手柄山正繁", " 手柄山氏繁", " 手柄山正繁", " 手柄山甲斐守正繁", " 正繁", " 神妙甲斐守正繁入道丹霞斎" as scuh.
"年紀銘" (time stamps) : Kansei1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. Kyôwa 1, 2 and 3. Bunka 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 ,12 and 13. Bunsei 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10 and 13, etc.

Futher studies shown below :

1) In the magazine "刀剣美術"(Sword Journal) #50, in Showa 33, the study of Mr. Keisuke SAEGUSA, titled in "手柄山正繁の前銘について"(regarding the early signature of Tegarayama Masashige), in the old manuscripts yearly report, titled "歳之当御条目", the persons in charge of annual prayer celemony, called "当屋", wrote the article about Masashige in Tenmei 9 :

"当屋、清左衛門、藤右衛門 一、去申の冬(天明八年)、姫路刀鍛冶手柄山氏繁事、松平越中様お目眼に預、御知行五百石にて江戸表罷越申候"
(As Tô-ya, Kiyozaemon, Tô-emon declared followings : 1. In winter of last year(Tenmei 8), the Himeji swordsmith Tegarayama Ujishige worked actively, Lord MATSUDAIRA praised him, then honored as five hundreds koku of rice, ordered him move up to Edo).

2) This was so high salary that Mr.E-ichi MARUYAMA confirmed the old manuscripts "文化五辰年白川藩名簿"(Bunkwa 5, year of dragon, Shirakawa clan directory). As a result, up to "三人扶持" were mentioned, however, below "弐人扶持" were omitted. No Tegarayama Masashige name was shown as five hundreds koku of rice.

3) In the magazine "刀剣美術"(Sword Journal) #520, in Heisei 12, the study of Mr. E-ichi MARUYAMA, titled in "手柄山正繁・紋三郎、固山宗次の桑名藩工について"(On Kuwana clan's swordsmith : Tegarayama Masashige, Mon-zaburo and Koyama Munetsugu), confirmed in old manuscripts "桑名藩、家中分限帳" (Kuwana clan, inhouse salary record) (hand write copied by Mr. Sakai, in Kansei 1, p.16), Masashige's salary was written as followings : "細工人 一、七石二人 御用米蔵番格 刀鍛冶 外ニ 三人弟子扶持 手柄山浅七"(Tegarayama Asashichi : seven koku two persons, (...), as swordsmith. In addition to that, with three pupils holding salary).

(MATSUDAIRA family was moved from Shirakawa clan to Kuwana clan, at the moment lord Sadanaga, in Bunsei 6)

4) In the magazine "刀剣美術"(sword journal) #85, in Showa 39, the study of Mr. Kane-nami KOYAMA and others, titled in "播磨物の研究(一)" , they descovered Masashige died 71 years old on 5th July Bunsei 13 by the rubbed copy of an inscription on a tombstone Tegarayama Kai-no-kami Masashige.

5) In the same article, the study of Mr. MARUYAMA, the documents (e.g. "桑名藩分限帳", Kaei 4 edition and Manen 1 edition) and their contents were shown. That is to say, the child of Masashige, Masanao(Monzaburo) was hired as clan swordsmith just after his father's death as same "七石二人扶持"(seven koku of rice, two persons appanages) salary as his father in Bunsei 13.

6) In the book "古今鍛冶備考", it mentioned that the child of Masashige to name Tegarayama Mon-zaburô. Regarding two chinese characters "神妙", which appeared on this sword as well, the book decribes as below :"神妙の文字ハ正繁乃主君白川少将定信公自書て給し所也、心に応したるものにハ此二字を模し鎺の元に打と云ふ" (the characters "神妙" were given directly with handwritings by Masashige's lord Shirakawa shô-shô Sadanobu-kô. So when Masasige felt it worth, he traced those two characters, and chieseled at habaki-moto)

It could be considered that according with above studies' results, which showed the difference between literal meanings of "知行五百石" and actual salary as following ; in the form of high salary (e.g. "知行五百石"), his intagible and unchageable honour and dignity that he received directly from his master MATSUDAIRA, was succeded oral by oral in generations.

[ Conditions ] It has already polished recently. Excellent.

[ Attachments ] Habaki (suaka-ji, gold foiled, single), shirasaya, bag of shirasaya and NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon paper (issued on 16th December Heisei 11(1999))





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