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Updated: 22 Feb 2024

Taikei Naotane

 Hello, world. Welcome to Samurai Museum Shop. Thank you for finding our website. In this post, we would like to introduce one of the prominent Japanese swordsmiths. We hope you will enjoy reading this post.  

 Natane was born in the seventh year of the Anei era (1778) into a family that made sickles, a farming tool, for living in Dewa Koku (Today’s Yamagata prefecture). From a younger age, he got interested in becoming a swordsmith while learning blacksmithing skills. During the late Kansei era (1789-1801), he left his hometown and moved to Edo City to become an apprentice for Suishinshi Masahide, one of the most reputable swordsmiths in Edo during that time. He learned excellent craftsmanship from Masahide in a house owned by Akimoto family, which was the head of Dewa Koku.

 It is said that Naotane became an independent swordsmith in 1801. He started to serve Akimoto family in 1812 through the introduction from Suishinshi Masahide. And he received the honorable official title of Chikuzen Daijo (筑前大掾) in 1822. In 1848, he visited Kyoto and forged a Tachi blade for Takatsuka family, one of the imperial lineage, and received another title called Minosuke (美濃介). The more Naotane gained fame, the more often he was invited by a feudal lord or high-class Samurai in other provinces to forge blades. He created swords nationwide in his late career.

 The works of Naotane have been highly appreciated because he played an essential role in Japanese sword history at the end of the Edo period. It is said that he mastered all the five Japanese sword traditions called Gokaten (五箇伝). They are Bizen DEN, Mino Den, Soshu Den, Yamashiro Den and Yamato Den. It is said that he was especially excellent at Bizen and Soshu Den.

 His master, Suishinshi Masahide, was the proponent of revitalizing old sword-forging traditions. This movement is called Token Futsuko Ron (刀剣復古論). Naotane followed suit and mastered superb craftsmanship. Natotane trained many famous swordsmiths, and one of them was Jiro Taro Naokatsu, who was active during 1805-1858. Naotane died at the age of 79 in 1857.

We hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you are interested in checking his work, we happen to acquire an antique Wakizashi signed by him. More information is available by clicking the image below.

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