Edo Sandai (third generation) Yasutsugu, the oldest son of the Nidai was called Umanosuke, later he was called Ichinojo. Though his work resembles that of the first two generations, his jitetsu can tend toward a very fine mokume and his hamon can become exuberant. Though his work is generally thought to be inferior to the first two generations, some of his finer swords are considered by some to be very close in quality to the earlier generations. Like his grandfather he was skilled at saiha (retempering) and the Shogunate had him retemper many fine blades that had lost their hamon in fires. For more informaiton about this smith and his lineage, please visit the following article, Yasutsugu.
This katana is a fine example of his work. It is signed Yasutsugu Motte Nanbantetsu Oite Edo Kore o Tsukuru. The ura has an ura-mei saying Hachiman Hiroyasu, which his probably a personal name of Yasutsugu or perhaps the person who ordered the blade. More research on this is needed. It contains typical Yasutsugu school kitae ( Echizen-gane). It is itame (wood grain) mixed with mokume (burl grain) with the presence of masame (straight grain) above the shinogi. This blade shows more ko-mokume hada as was the trait of the Edo third generation. The kitae is sprinkled with ji-nie and exhibits dark areas of a blue tint throughout the steel. The hamon is a very shallow notare with some areas of ko-choji with a nie covered habuchi that is bright and clear. There are some very nice activities within the hamon. The cutting edge of this katana is 26 3/16 inches or 66.5 cm. It is slender and graceful with a shallow sori as was typical of the Kanbun era (1660’s).
This blade is in excellent polish and is flawless. It is in an old shirasaya with a sayagaki by Kanzan Sato of the NBTHK. It comes with old NBTHK Tokubetsu Kitcho Token papers in 1969. There is no doubt that it would be given Tokubetsu Hozon papers if re-submitted today.
Making this blade even more special is the fantastic set of Edo period koshirae that accompanies it. The photos above speak for themselves. They are probably of the Hamano or Mito school. The wrap on the handle is old and well used and it has an old repair to the ito. When you hold this sword, you feel like you are shaking hands with the Samurai who owned it. This koshirae by itself would be very expensive in today’s market. Don’t miss out on this wonderful sword and old koshirae.