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Updated: 1 Mar 2024

Musashi Taro Yasukuni
武蔵太郎安国

 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. 

 Musashi Taro Yasukuni 武蔵太郎安国 was active during the Genroku-Kyoho era (1688-1736). Yasukuni belonged to the Bushu Shitahara school, located in today’s Hachioji city(southwest part of Tokyo). This school thrived from the end of the Muromachi period to the late Edo period (late 16C-Late 19C).

 His birth name was Yamamoto Touta, while his smith name changed over time, starting from Hiroshige (広重) and then Musashi Taro Yasukuni (武蔵太郎安国). He was born in Bushu Hachioji as the son of Touta Hiroshige. And, he moved to Edo city, becoming an apprentice of master Omura Kaboku (大村加卜), a famous swordsmith during the mid-Edo period. 

 Kanboku was primarily working as a surgeon for Mito Tokugawa Mitsukuni, the Mito domain’s feudal lord (Ibaraki prefecture today). Mitsukuni was a grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder and the first Shogun of the Edo government.

 Yasukuni is famous for having forged a sword for the general Mitsukuni because he received an order from the domain in 1685. Furthermore, in 1721, the 8th Shogun Tokugawa Yoshimune ordered Yasukuni to participate in the sword-forging exhibition in Hamarikyu, the feudal lord’s residence in Edo. Shogun Yoshimune invited renowned swordsmiths there to compete for their craftsmanship. These facts indicate Yasukuni was acknowledged as a top-tier swordsmith in the mid-Edo period. We believe this Katana was ordered by a high-class Samurai official based on its elegant look.

 Shitahara school, where Yasukuni belonged, had been the group of swordsmiths under the Hojo clan’s auspicious, powerful feudal line during the late Muromachi period. Most of the Shitahara swordsmith’s real sir name was Yamamoto. After the Toyotomi clan destroyed the Hojo clan in the Azuchi Momoyama period, Shitahara swordsmiths served the Tokugawa clan. They were known as Okakae Kaji, swordsmiths exclusively working for a specific feudal family. They kept forging for the Tokugawa clan until the end of the Edo period.

 He often signed his signature and Ma Jyugo Mai Kobuse Saku(真十五枚甲伏作). Ma Jyugo Koubuse was a particular sword forging method/technique his master and he applied when forging swords. 

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

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