Echizen Seki Wakizashi

Sword ID 0000-1432  
Mei Mumei
Type Wakizashi Tsukurikomi Shinogi-zukuri
Nagasa (cm) 42.5 Sori (cm) 1.14
Moto-haba (cm) 2.12 Saki-haba (cm) 2.08
Moto-kasane (cm) 0.63 Saki-kasane (cm) 0.53
Mekugi 1 Nakago Ubu


Smith School Echizen Seki
Period Shinto (1596-1781) Year
Certificate Type NBTHK Hozon Certificate ID ######


Attributed to the Echizen Seki school by the NBTHK. Hozon papers for both koshirae and blade.

Period: Edo, probably 18th century.

Blade condition: In very good condition. No fatal flaws. In fact it appears to be lacking flaws.

Workmanship and style

Shape and construction

Shinogi-zukuri, tori-zori, iori-mune. Ko-kissaki.


A flamboyant and highly irregular choji with irregular notare.

Jitetsu and hada

Difficult to tell, but looks like itame.


Ubu, 4.92 inches (12.5 cm). One mekugi-ana, kiri yasurime, kiri nakago-jiri.


The mounts are original to this sword and have been collectively awarded Hozon origami by the NBTHK. The saya is illustrated in gold maki-e on black lacquer with a painting of pine, bamboo and Daikoku (the Japanese god of farmers, provider of food, and god of wealth). It is a spectacular example of urushi work. The only other antique saya that I have seen embellished with a painting was in an illustration of a sword in a museum collection. They are extremely uncommon.

The tsuka is bound in moro-hineri hishi-maki. The habaki is made of gold. The rice ear sukashi tsuba is signed Choshu Ju Masasada. Masasada was a member of the Kawachi school living in Choshu-kuni; he died in 1800.
The fuchi-kashira are of Chinese people and are unsigned. The menuki are baskets of flowers, whilst the kozuka shows a tree peony and lion. The kozuka blade is also signed. Unfortunately the mei is illegible.


This is a quite from The Connoisseur's Book of Japanese Swords describing Echizen Seki school:

Kōkan Nagayama wrote:

Fukui, the centre of Echizen province, started to become prosperous after one of Nobunaga’s retainers, Shibata Katsuie, built a castle there. The end of the Sengoku-jidai saw the region, now under the Matsudaira (a branch of the Tokugawa family) become very prosperous and offer opportunities for patronage, As a result many smiths moved to Echizen from Omi, Yamashiro, Mino and other areas.
The Echizen Seki school was one of the two principal schools of swordmaking in Echizen, the other being the Yasutsugu, who were originally from Omi province. The Echizen Seki were created by smiths moving from Seki to Echizen, and were particularly active 1658-1680. Their work reflects the Shinto tokuden traditions that were then fashionable, as well as the original Mino tradition.

As also stated on Ryujin Swords website,


This sword is likely to have been made to order for an extremely wealthy merchant. Wealthy merchants were not in short supply in Edo-period Echizen, and a wealthy grain merchant might well have cause to thank Daikoku for his good fortune.
The saya illustration in particular is the work of a master; illustrated saya are very rare. Having a full set of late 18th century koshirae with the sword that they were made for is also rare. To have the two together is like finding hen's teeth. This is a potential museum piece.

Price: £8000

If you have any questions about this sword please contact the seller directly by email: dahma24hampton [at] btinternet [dot] com


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