Signed 17th Century Samurai Wakizashi in Civilian Mounts by Tanba no kami Yoshimichi
The wakizashi has an overall length in the scabbard of approximately 25 inches, with a blade length of approximately 17-1/4 inches. The blade is quite bright and exhibits a visible temper line. The blade shows typical minor scratches and light spots but it is in fine polish and it is without nicks, chips, or visible inclusions. The tang is signed on one side “Tanba no kami Yoshimichi”. There were actually two lines of Japanese smiths who produced blades using this signature, one of which had nine generations in the line and the other having three generations of smiths in the line. This wakizashi is believed to have been produced by the longer line and, specifically, by the fourth generation smith whose actual name was “Mishina Kichinojō”. He received the honorary title of “Tanba no Kami” in the twelfth year of Kanbun (1672),with his signatures found from the first year of Enpō (1673) to the 15th year of Genroku (1702) (a photograph of the tang in this listing was taken after baby powder was applied to the tang to make the signature clear, with the powder then being removed). The grip is wrapped in the traditional style in black cord. There are decorative menuki beneath the cord on each side. Both the fuchi collar at the base of the grip and the pommel cap are decorated with gilt highlights. The tsuba guard is iron in a plain design. The scabbard is brown lacquered wood with a gold cord. Overall excellent condition.