Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Blade and Mounting for a Short Sword (Wakizashi)

Blade attributed to Fusamune of Soshu (Japanese, active ca. late 15th–early 16th century)
Fittings maker:
Sword guard (Tsuba) inscribed by Sōheishi Sōtensai (Japanese, active 18th century)
blade, late 15th–early 16th century; mounting, 18th century
Kanagawa Prefecture
Steel, wood, lacquer, ray skin (samé), silk, copper-gold alloy (shakudō), gold, silver
L. 29 3/4 in. (75.7 cm); L. of blade 24 3/8 in. (62 cm); L. of cutting edge 19 5/8 in. (50 cm); D. of curvature 3/8 in. (0.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Etsuko O. Morris and John H. Morris Jr., in memory of Dr. Frederick M. Pedersen, 2007
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 380
Fusamune is well-known among the many swordsmiths who worked in Sagami Province (Sōshū) during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Typical of the style of the late Sōshū school, this blade has tempering effects (hitatsura) visible throughout the surface of the blade, as well as engraving. The luxurious late eighteenth-century mounting is of top quality.
Inscription: Inscribed on the knife blade (kogatana): 豆州住直繼 (Zushū jū Naotsugu) (Naotsugu, residing in Izu Province [present-day Shizuoka Prefecture]); on the sword guard (tsuba): Sōheishi Sōtensai.
Dr. Frederick Malling Pedersen, New York (until d. 1947; by inheritance to his godson, Henry Shiro Iijima); Henry Shiro Iijima, New York (1947–d. 1994; by inheritance to Etsuko O. and John H. Morris, Jr.); Etsuko O. and John H. Morris Jr., New York (1994–2007; their gift to MMA).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Japanese Arms and Armor from the Collection of Etsuko and John Morris," January 25, 2018–January 6, 2019.

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