I am pleased to present this powerful katana by the Kaga smith Shodai (first generation) Iyetada. The first generation Iyetada worked in Kaga Prefecture for the Maeda Daimyo family. He worked around 1615 at the beginning of the Tokugawa Era. It is a very robust sword measuring 29.125 inches or 74 cm in length. The sori is a torii sori tending to be slightly koshi sori measuring 0.69 inches or 1.75 cm. The blade is wide with a moto-haba of 1.35 inches or 3.43 cm and a saki-haba of 0.92 inches or 2.33 cm. It is robust with a kasane thickness measurement of 0.33 inches or 0.81 cm.
The hada appears to be a tight itame hada. It is somewhat difficult to see due to the quality of the last polish. The hamon is a very flamboyant juka type of o-choji that reminds us of the fantastic blades of the Fukuoka Ichimonji school of the Kamakura era. The bôshi is a slightly stretched chû-kissaki with a short kaeri. There are koshi-bi (short grooves) on both sides starting just above the habaki. The habaki is copper covered with a thick silver foil. The habaki is typical of a Kashû style habaki (from Kaga Prefecture).
The overall condition of the blade is very good with no problems. The polish could use some work to better bring out the hada and to remove some scratches and slight staining. Keep in mind, however, that this blade recently passed Tokubetsu Hozon in its current condition so it can be enjoyed as is.
The mei (signature) on this blade is very interesting. The full signature reads: Oya Iyetada Mumei Kanbun San Nen Nidai Iyetada Kore (o) Kiru. 親家忠寛文三年二代家忠切. This means that this was an unsigned sword by the parent (first generation) Iyetada and that the signature was cut on the tang in 1663 by the second generation as a certification that this sword was made by his father. This is a very rare and precious signature.
This sword is accompanied by a very nice set of World War Two Naval koshirae that is in very good condition. This was obviously a treasured family sword that was carried into wartime by its owner. It is in a new shirasaya that was made at the time the sword passed Tokubetsu Hozon shinsa in Japan (June 2018).