Looking For a Swordsmith name

Hi. I've just joined this "club", so hello to all. I started collecting and the study of Nihon-to in 1984, but sort of got out of it about 2001 (sold most of my collection and much of my reference material).
Recently, my brother (who knows I was interested) gave me a wakizashi. It is in poor polish and suriage. All that remains of the signature is: "Bizen Kuni Ju Osa...". I'd like to narrow down the possible smith(s) who may have made it. Obviously, the remaining inscription isn't enough to go by. However, what may prove (to one of you) the smoking gun or steaming yaki-ire, is the hamon and boshi appear to be chu suguha in nioi. I can't, unfortunately, see the hada or the presence of utsuri or any activity which may be there to help further narrow the search.
The nagasa is now 18.5" but was likely around 21.5" originally. Sori is 3/8" so fairly shallow. Its otherwise pretty standard shinogi zukiri, ihori mune, no horimono, etc. Kasane is 1/4" to 1/8th", motohaba 1" and saki haba 5/8". So slim and thin relatively. Kissaki is about 1.2"
Any help would be appreciated.




Hi Steve,

Welcome to the Club :)

Bizen Osafune is one of the biggest (if not the biggest)and most prosperous schools in Nihonto history. While probably most of their work was in choji-midare and all sorts of variations of choji, chu-suguba (and suguba-choji midare) was also quite favoured. It can be Nagamitsu, Katsumitsu, Chikakage and many other names. In my humble opinion the wakizashi you described is very much standard for Osafune. And taking its variety into account it can be almost any Osafune smith and any era which match the description. I presume we could be more specific after examining the sugata in order to determine the period when it was made.

Would it be possible to see the images of the blade? You may attach it to the post and upload it into the Gallery.


Hi Stan, Well, I've sold the

Hi Stan,

Well, I've sold the blade now already. I was hoping to give the buyer more info. I had thought it most likely a Sue-koto (Sengoku Jidai) Sukesada, but only based on the fact that they were so prolific over the years and one sees relatively more of their products with suguha than others. Still a bit of a stab. The blade is in very poor polish, but the condition is not too bad. The sugata could easily be Shinto and still Sukesada. As you know, there are general shapes fitting particular times, but always exceptions. Being able to see the hada and any activity there and in the hamon might be the only way to accurately pin it down (or narrow it as much as possible).
Thank you very much for your interest though.

I have another wakizashi that is away right now, but when it returns, I'll be asking for help in researching it, too.

Take care 'til then,