Shigetaka 4th Generation wakizashi

I have recently acquired a wakizashi which appears to be either 4th or 5th generation Shigetaka. I note that the swordsmiths listed here under the name SHIGETAKA only covers the first three generations. SHI505, SHI506 and SHI507. There appears to be at least eleven generations of Shigetaka.

Some information I have found out about the Shigetaka lineage - The first smith SHIGETAKA was born in Iida, Shinshu domain, moved to the major district Seki-city, Mino domain during the end of Muromachi period to learn from smith [KANENORI]. SHIGETAKA accompanied his master KANENORI as far as Echizen domain.

This wakizashi Nakago signature reads– ‘Echizen koku Hyuga Daijo Shigetaka.’

From the Index of Japanese Swordsmiths it appears that the 1st to 3rd generations of Shigetaka had the honorary title of HARIMA NO DAIJO. And the 4th and possibly the 5th generation had the title of Hyuga no Daijo. This would suggest that this blade dates from 1681 to 1704 (either 4th (yondai) or maybe less likely 5th generation Shigetaka).

What is the difference in honorary titles between Harima and Hyuga? I assume Harima is a superior title? Or is it basically meaningless, much as we have various titles now, that are handed out, not always for welcome or worthy reasons (cynically stated). The less cynical side of me imagines that the Hyuga title is a lesser title, given the greater degree of information out there praising the work of 1st and 2nd generations of Shigetaka,


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A couple of quick nit-picks:
Probably a better reading for the mei is "Echizen kuni", rather than "Echizen koku".
Drop the implied "no" in front of daijo. The implied "no" is appropriate for certain other modifiers, such as KAMI.

As for the relative importance of titles: I've never heard that a title from one province is "superior" to a title from another province. My understanding is that these titles were given based on things like local politics, favors, bribes, etc. The idea was to make the mei sound more impressive. In many cases, the province named in the title doesn't seem to be a place where the smith ever worked...




Agree, regarding titles - nothing changes.