Shinto Katana by Tomita Sagami no Kami Yoshimichi


This flamboyantly tempered, finely forged blade is of long wakizashi length, but has the proportions of a katana, not of a classic shinto wakizashi. It is signed (nagamei) and dated 1752. The "Yoshi" kanji is not the same "Yoshi" as the Tamba no Kami Yoshimichi group, but according to some sources, they are related in the same lineage. According to Nihonto Meikan:

During Bunroku era (1592-95), famed smith KANEMICHI 兼道 who named himself as the 9th generation Shizu Saburo KANEUJI, had moved up to Kyoto along with his four sons. The eldest Iganokami Kinmichi 伊賀守金道 who established a Mishina school 三品派, and the second son Rai-Kinmichi 来金道, third son Tanbanokami Yoshimichi 丹波守吉道 and fourth son Echunokami Masatoshi 越中守正俊. Oumi-no-kami Hisamichi 近江守久道 also joined to Mishina school to form the "5 major Mishina schools" 京五鍛冶 in Kyoto. All of them had been flourished throughout Edo period.
The subject smith YOSHIMICHI 義道 with Sagami-no-kami 相模守 title was a student of 2nd gen. Ouomi-no-kami HISAMICHI 近江守久道. He was born in Hyuga Province (now in Miyazaki pref.) in Kyushu island. His real name was Tomita Jin-uemon 冨田甚右衛門. It is said that he also lived and worked in Hiroshima, Aki province (now in Hiroshima pref.).

Sugata: A shinogi zukuri, iori mune wakizashi/ko-katana, with torii zori, chu kissaki, and a slightly raised, narrow shinogi.

Nagasa: 55.56 cm (21.875") 1.84 shaku Sori: 1.9 cm

Motokasane: 6.1 mm Motohaba: 25.5 mm

Sakikasane: 4.2 mm Sakihaba: 11.5 mm

Hamon: Both sides have a long, Osaka style yakidashi. The omote has a doubled choji with ashi. The monouchi becomes a more continuous stream of large choji with ashi. The ura is similar, with patterns of two choji, but more irregular and with inazuma running along the tops of the choji, kinsuji running throught the ha, and tama in the ji. The boshi is suguha with omaru kaeri with a short turnback.

Kitae: a very finely forged koitame with profuse jinie, almost an utsuri-like effect.

Nakago: Ha agari kuri jiri with katte sagari yasurime, and one mekugi ana.

Mei: Tomita Sagami no kami Yoshimichi

Date: Horyaku ninen nigatsu kitsu jitsu, an auspicious day in the 2nd lunar month of the 2nd year of Horyaku: 1752.

Koshirae: A good shirasaya with sayagaki, good copper habaki.


Note that in one of the photos, I severely changed the exposure to show off the activity in the hamon. The extreme blue of the steel and the extreme color of the nakago are an artifact of that shift in exposure. Other than that, the photo was not retouched. The top third of the blade loses detail out in the glare.