Nihonto Meikan error?

I recently acquired a sword signed "Echizen-ju TAKAHISA-saku" My dealer (Tokugawa art, Yuji Fukuoka) believes and I agree it is early Edo...most likely Genna.

However, according to Nihonto Meikan....
(There are two entries for Takahisa. One says " Echizen Kuni ju Takahisa" "around Tenwa, Echizen", the second says "Takahisa Echizen ju Fujiwara" (which seems very odd as it is the reverse of normal), "around Genroku, Echizen".)

However according to my dealer....
Both pronouncing and Japanese character of Genna 元和 and Tenna 天和 is very closed each other. In the entry of Nihonto Meikan, I believed that "Tenna 天和" of the 1st gen. TAKAHISA is simply a misprint and should be correct it to "Genna 元和". It doesn't make sense that 2 paragraphs (2 generations) worked together in a few decades of Tenna - Genroku (1681 - 1703).

Is there a way to confirm (if possible) with Nihonto Meikan? Does anyone have any thoughts? I am very happy with the sword and Koshirae and the dealer, but just trying to clear up.

takahisa_mei.jpg70.98 KB


Hi Ben,

Nihonto Meikan lists 2 smiths called Takahisa:

  • TAK28 - active around Tenna era (1681-1684)
  • TAK29 - active around Genroku era (1688-1704)

Having 2 generations so close in time is actually quite normal. There may have been many reasons for that: first generation starting late, health reasons, accidents or simply the second generation being more gifted than the first one. Also, take a note that Meikan says 'around such and such era'. I would allow at least 10 years variation in dates. Genna, however, is less probable (but not impossible): it's too far from the second generation.

You may have noticed that Nihonto Club lists Takahisa 1st from Kanbun to Enpō. This date range is taken from Hawley's. I don't know what is the basis for this data, Hawley doesn't tell.



Thanks Stan. Typo still seems a possibility...they are very close kanji. Unless I find further evidence, will go with Kanbun to Enpo, which makes more sense. Wasn't sure if Hawley gets info from meikan or other sources. whether a typo would continue.

Based on my research, doesn't seem to be a great deal of difference in style and characteristics from Genna to Kanbun, other than the "risk" of imported steel in Genna which faded away. But I defer to the experts and articles.

Takahisa seems to follow the style of takahira but I have more research to do on this

Thanks again, and further thoughts welcomed.


Ben M.