Blade and Mounting for a Short Sword (Wakizashi)

Unsigned, but probably by Udakunimitsu (Japanese, active mid–late 14th century)
blade, mid–late 14th century; mounting, late 19th century; grip ornaments, late 16th century; hilt collar, 17th century; hairdressing tool, 17th century; sword guard, late 17th–early 18th century
Steel, wood (rosewood), lacquer, copper-gold alloy (shakudō), copper-silver alloy (shibuichi), gold, copper, enamel
L. 23 7/16 in. (59.6 cm); L. of blade 21 5/16 in. (54.2 cm); L. of cutting edge 15 11/16 in. (39.8 cm); D. of curvature 3/16 in. (0.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Brayton Ives and W. T. Walters, 1891
Accession Number:
Not on view
Due to the fashion for shorter swords in later centuries, the tang of this blade was trimmed by about four inches (ten centimeters), resulting in the loss of the bladesmith's signature. The mounting was designed to appeal to European and American tastes.
Inscription: Inscribed on the knife handle (kozuka): 相坂主氷心子焠 (Shu Aisaka no tame ni Hyōshinshi kore wo yaku).
Brayton C. Ives, New York (until 1891; his sale, American Art Galleries, New York, March 9, 1891 and following days, to Walters); W. T. Walters, New York (1891; his gift to MMA).
National Academy of Design. Catalogue of the Pedestal Fund Art Loan Exhibition. New York: National Academy of Design, 1883. p. 94, no. 1357 (possibly this sword).