Rich in tradition, going back as far as the Heian Period, Naminohira blades embody the true spirit of the warrior.
The Naminohira Den were the smiths of the Satsuma Samurai. Samurai from the Satsuma clan were respected and feared for their battle readiness. Naminohira swords were also very popular among the Japanese Imperial Navy. They thought Naminohira swords brought with them a positive omen. In Japanese, Nami translates to “wave”, while Hira to “flat”. Calm seas are always welcomed among seafarers.
Satsuma smiths remained active for many generations and continued to hand down their traditions. Their prosperity continued through the Shinshinto period, at which time their works were influenced by the Soshu tradition.
Satsuma Samurai were an important factor in Japanese History from the beginning to the end of the feudal Japan. The feudal system, and along with it, the Samurai, ended in 1877, not with a whimper, but with a courageous last stand which became known as the Satsuma Rebellion. On September 25, 1877, Forty remaining Satsuma Samurai charged into the guns of a Japanese Imperial Army 30,000 strong. This event was loosely depicted in the movie “The Last Samurai”.
NAMINOHIRA YUKIYASU is the oldest SATSUMA name – one of the oldest of all swordsmiths.
This sword was made many generations later, in the 12th month of the Year of the Dragon in 1868, just nine years before The Samurai’s last stand.
This sword bears the signature, Naminohira ju Yamato no Kami Taira Ason Yukiyasu, 波平住大和守平朝臣行安, and is dated.
Naminohira ju Yamato no Kami Taira Ason Yukiyasu is listed in the Swordsmith Database. He has an extraordinary rating of 70 points in Hawleys and 2 Million Yen in the Toko Taikan.
He is considered 63rd generation Naminohira and was one of the most productive shinshintō-era Naminohira smiths. In the fifth year of Ansei (安政, 1858) he had the honor to forge a sword for emperor Kōmei (孝明天皇, 1831-1866) and received the honorary title “Yamato no Suke“, the latter was upgraded to “Yamato no Kami“ on the second day of the fifth month Keiō one (1865). He died on the 25th day of the fourth month Meiji 15 (明治, 1883) at the age of 73. His jigane is a dense itamenagare mixed with masame and ji-nie. The hamon is a suguha-chō mixed with gunome, hotsure and kuichigaiba in ko-nie-deki. (e-Index of Japanese Swordsmiths- Markus Sesko)
This sword is an excellent example of Yukiyasu’s work, upholding the main kantei criteria. The signature is validated by NTHK Kanteisho Papers. It looks like it was made inspired by Kamakura Period Tachi. Perhaps it is some utsushimono of a famous Koto Period sword.
This sword is exceedingly healthy and in excellent polish. It comes in older shirasaya with nice two peice gold foil habaki. The habaki is cracked, but is fine aesthetically.
Nagasa: 62 cm
Motohaba: 2.6 cm