Help for Hisakuni short sword identification

Dear Sirs
I have already contacted you last year after finding a short sword signed Hisakuni in south of France.
When I found it, the sword was in a very bad state. There were some deep marks of blows. The polisher has made what he could but some of them always appear. Now the blade is restored and mounted in a beautiful shirasaya.
This short sword had the particularities of Kamakura’s forging, tender steel, thin shape, curved, light hamon, Fine Hada... but now, we are are not experts.
As the last year, I’m asking your professional knowledge to have more informations and maybe identify the original craftman.
In the attachments, you can see pictures of koshirae, hamon, kissaki and nakago.
And below, the description and measurements :

Nagasa Lenght : 51cm
Nakago Lenght : 12.6 cm
Kissaki Length : 2 cm
Sori - Curvature : 1.8 cm
Motohaba - Hamachi Width : 2.4 cm
Motokasane - Mune Widht : 0.6 cm
Sekihaba - Kissaki Width : 1.6 cm
Sekikasane - Mune Widht : 0.4 cm
Weight : 360 g

In waiting, thank you very much.

Best Regards,



Hi Yannick,
May I ask who the polisher was?



Dear Pete,

Don't know if i can tell his name here.
He's a french polisher who works on japanese swords since decades and he's known for his good work.
He has a website, you can find him easy and maybe you know him.

Do you have something to say about his work? and for the sword?

Thank you.



Dear Pete,

The pollisher was Jean-Claude Dusehu.
Please, is there someone who can help me for this sword identification?

Best regards,


Sad news

Hi Yannick.

Sad news : Jean-Claude Dusehu just passed away yesterday evening. He had a cancer. It's a great loss because this man was well known in France for his excellent work of polishing on nihontos.

About the sword identification, I'm sorry I don't have any Knowledge about Hisakuni.


Hi Sylvain, This is sad news

Hi Sylvain,

This is sad news indeed. It's very hard to find a good polisher in Europe.

Yannick, may I ask why you do think it's a Kamakura blade? I didn't see the overall shape but it doesn't look like Koto to me.

Also, I tried to find information about Hisakuni who may have created this sword but I couldn't. Descriptions don't match. It's a mistery!


Thanks for your messages, looking to the future now...

Dear Stan, dear Sylvain,

Thank you very much for your replies.
A friend of Jean-Claude told me this bad news few hours than after he passed away. I was very sad because he was an incredible man, an hard worker, intelligent and honest personn. He has made two wakizashi for me, this one and a Kanenori with all the koshirae and the original handachi parts, a marvelous job.

For the hiskuni sword (wakizashi, kodachi or sword for young samourai), after polishing, Jean-Claude said it was a great sword, very fine and curved with soft steel and without defaults. Also, the hamon is in a regular Gunome with "Kani no Tsune" parts. The ji is very special like fine itame or Muji.
For him, this sword was about from Kamakura period.

That's only what I can say for now, I'm looking to make steel's analysis if it is possible.
In memory of Jean-Claude, I really want to finish the "rescue" and authentification of this sword!

In waiting of your replies, thank you for your messages.

Best Regards,



Is it possible that the mei is Tojiro Hisakuni, with the first kanji lost by the mekugi ana? There's a long article about this Hisakuni on Markus Sesko's site.


Hi Adam,

Yes, the first kanji does look like 郎 (rō), but then 2 first characters would be missing and mekugi ana wouldn't explain it. Even if these characters were there, it'd be actually a bad sign, because it would look like a gimei. I think the more important point is that the blade doesn't exhibit any properties of Awataguchi work. If you compare the oshigata from Markus's page with this blade, there isn't much in common at all. It's always possible to blame bad lighting but, based on experience, in 99.5% cases if the signature suggests it's some big name like Hisakuni and the blade pictures don't support it, it just can't be true :-)

It's a good healthy blade though and further research should be highly encouraged.


Suggestions for Hisakuni Mei

Hi Pete, Stan, Sylvain and looper,

Thank your for your replies.

For Tojiro Hisakuni (藤次郎久國), as Stan said, it can't be this Mei because I don't have the two first Kanji and the third is not really the same.
For the mei, after studying lot of possibilities, I think it is :
- 以, Motte (according to; so as to; in order to; by; with; because)
- 助, Suke (help; assistant; assistance; Koto honorific title)
- 久, Hisa
- 國, Kuni
The first kanji is classic and used to say 'made by'.
The second kanji is used in Koto periods like for Sukezane (助真), Sukekane (助包), Sukemitsu (吉岡助光).
This term was sometimes used to named the assistant or vice-governor since the Heian administration.
But... as 'kami', it is also the honorific name for the 'experts' like for the swordsmiths!!!!!!!! :-)

With all those informations, we can say it is one of those cases :
- This sword was made by the 'expert' Hisakuni
- This sword was made with the help of Hisakuni
- This sword was made by Hisakuni when he was assistant
- This sword is Gimei... (that I really don't think)

In waiting of your advice, thank you for your suggestions!


PS : For Markus Sesko, I have contacted him one year ago but he didn't know about the mei. Maybe since he has made the Kantei on Awataguchi Swordsmiths, I can ask him again. This man is incredible and his website is an encyclopedia on japanese swords!

Another possibility... what do you think about that?

Dear Sirs,

For the hisakuni wakizashi, an expert is passed at my shop to see the sword and have confimred that it is a kamakura sword. He has supposed that it was a Tachi cuted and modified for a wakisashi. The actual mei was maybe added when the sword was modified to remember the old mei.
This is one possibility, To be continued...

In waiting of your advice, thank you in advance.