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Updated: 13 Jun 2024

The first-gen Hizen Tadayoshi
初代肥前忠吉

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. 

 The first-gen Hizen Tadayoshi was born in the third year of the Genki era (1572: Late Muromachi period) as the son of Hashimoto Michihiro in Hizen domain (Today’s Saga prefecture). Tadayoshi’s birthname was Hashimoto Shinzaemon.

 It is said that Hashimoto family had Samurai lineage and served Ryuzoji Daimyo (feudal lord) as a retainer for generations on Kyushu island. However, in 1584, his grandfather Morihiro and Father Michihiro were killed in a war called Okinawa-te no Tatakai, where Ryuzoji clan fought against Shimazu clan. Therefore, Hashimoto family couldn’t keep serving the clan and status of Samurai because Tadayoshi, the head of the family, was just 13 years old.

  The whole family turned the new leaf. Tadayoshi was supported by Dotanuki Zenbei, who was related to Tadayoshi and had served Kato Kiyomasa, a legendary warlord during Sengoku Jidai (Warring state period). It is said that he learned sword-forging techniques from Zenbei for about 13 years.

  In 1596, under the domain’s order, he went to Kyoto to learn the sword-forging techniques from Umetada Myojyu(埋忠明寿), one of the greatest swordsmiths in the early Edo period. Tadayoshi improved his craftsmanship and returned to the Saga domain three years later (1598). The first head of the Nabeshima clan, Nabeshima Katsushige, appreciated the work of the first-gen Tadayoshi very much. Then, Katsushige appointed him as his Okakaekaji, a swordsmith who exclusively forged swords for a specific domain or clan. And Tadayoshi started to stay near Saga castle, which was the headquarter of the Nabeshima clan. Then, he founded his school, which trained more than 100 swordsmiths during the Edo period. His outstanding skills were passed to the generations of Tadayoshi and among apprentices.

 According to available records, the earliest work he signed his signature with the year is the 5th year of the Keicho era (1600), when he was 29 years old. Interestingly, he revisited Kyoto in the 10th year of the Genwa era (1624) and received an honorable official title of Musashi Daijyo on Feb 18th from the emperor for his excellent craftsmanship. And, he changed his name to Tadayoshi. He made 4 different signatures during his career. They are  Hizen Koku Shinzaemonnojo Tadayoshi , Hizen Koku Junin Tadayoshi, Hizen Koku Jyu Fujiwara Tadayoshi and Musashi Daijyo Tadahiro. He was active in sword-forging for about 30 years. And he died in the 9th year of the Kanei era (1632)

 

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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