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Ozaki Suketaka Wakizashi



An ubu zaimei, wakizashi, signed,  Ozaki Minamoto Gengoemon Ozaki Suketaka  /  Kansei hachi nen ni gatsu jitsu (a day in February 1797).  Shinogizukure, iroi mune, chu kissaki, shallow sori, with little taper, having the feeling of Kanbun shinto.  Hawatare:  1 shaku  6 sun  1 bu 3.6 rin (48.9  cm. or  19.25").  Motohaba: 3.26 cm.  Sakihaba:  2.24 cm.  Kasane:  8 mm.  Notare midare toranba, bright ha nie, ko nie deki habuchi, ashi iri, hotsure, nado.  Tight itame hada packed with fine, bright ji nie.  Slight, repairable damage to the nakago as shown.  Niju copper habaki and a damaged, but repairable saya.  Rated Jo Saku Nihon Toko Jiten - Shinto Hen by Fujishiro, valued at 4,500,000 yen in Shibata's Toko Taikan, and given a double triangle in Nihon To Meikan.

Suketaka was of the Osaka tosho, and was the pupil of Korada Takanobu.  He worked in later shinto and the early part of shinshinto.  Suketaka died in Bunka ni nen (1805) at the age of 53.  Both because of his short life, and the fact that his swords so resemble the work of Tsuda Sukehiro, some becoming gimei Sukehiro and Sukenao, his works are fewer than would be expected.  While his work resembles Sukehiro, his jigane and hamon are tighter.  Ozaki Suketaka and Suishinshi Masahide were called the master artisans of the east and the west.

I picked this sword up at the recent Tampa sword show, where there was another Suketaka wakizashi, a little larger, in polish, and with decent koshirae, being offered by a Japanese dealer at $26,000.  This blade needs polish, but is perfectly healthy, and offers a significant profit margin for anyone who will put in the time and cost of restoration.               

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