Wakizashi by yasutsugu echizen 3rd generation 1664

Dear reader:

I bought a wakizashi in Old Town Alexandria, VA back in 1995 at an antique store....the store owner told me that this wakizashi was sold to him by a WW2 veteran's wife after her husband had passed away.
One of my students Joan Smith was the one who 1st stumbled upon it and told me about it.
When I 1st saw it I knew it was the real thing and bought it.
All these years I have not been able to find out the name of the original owner/samurai.
Can anyone tell me who this wakizashi might have belonged to?

The family crest resembles that of Tokugawa Ietsuna's family.
Ebihara Sensei from New York once looked at the maker's signature and was certain that it was made by Yasutsugu Echizen, 3rd Generation in 1664.
He could not, however, decipher the name of the owner/samurai except that he came from a marshy area with many insects?

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Thank you,
Nick Braaksma

*** Moved into a separate forum topic by kazarena.

Echizen Yasutsugu

Dear Nick,

The signature reads:

yasutsugu motte nanban tetsu
oite bushū edo saku kore

It can be roughly translated as: "Yasutsugu [made it] using Nanban (South Barbarian) iron, living in Edo of Musashi province".

Above the signature is the Tokugawa crest. The right to use this crest was given to the first generation of Yasutsugu.

Unfortunately the photos aren't big enough to properly examine the signature in order to figure out which generation of Yasutsugu it may belong to (they used the signature above for many generations). But at first glance it looks different to 3rd gen. The crest also looks different. Fujishiro [1] has a number of images of Yasutsugu, as well as table which shows differences in writing for different generations. I would suggest you to look at the book and compare it with the signature on your sword.

I hope this helps.

Kind Regards,


  1. Nihon Toko Jiten, Fujishiro, Matsuo , Volume Shinto, (1964)

Nick wakizashi

Thank you so very much for your information!
I will surely look at the references to compare crests.


F.D.Nick Braaksma - Shihan
Shogun MMA / Kime Ryu Dojo
USA: 001-407-495-0143


original owner

Hi Nick,
There are usually only two ways to learn the original owner:
1) Occasionally a WWII bring-back will have a name and address (in Japan) written on the scabbard, or on an attached "surrender tag".
2) It is a famous/valuable blade that has provenance that is known to the experts in Japan.

The info on the tang only refers to the maker in this case, not the owner. Very rarely, an inscription on a blade will say who it was made for.