Katana Sword, Known as "Kikko Sadamune"

Soshu SadamuneKamakura-Nanbokucho period, 14th century

Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo, Japan

Sadamune, commonly known as Hikoshirô, is thought to have been either the real or adopted child of the swordsmith Masamune. Sadamune was from Sagami Province (present-day Kanagawa Prefecture) and was active from the end of the Kamakura period (1185-1333) into the Nanbokuchô period (1333-1392). His style resembles Masamune's but is gentler and more regular. The tempering pattern on the blade is an irregular wave (J. midare) type. The sword was given the name "Tortoise-Shell Sadamune" (J. Kikkô Sadamune) because the engraving on the tang-a chrysanthemum within a hexagon-resembles a tortoise shell.The branch of the Tokugawa family living in Owari Province (present-day Aichi Prefecture) presented the sword to Shogun Tsunayoshi (1646-1709) in Genroku 11 (1698).


  • Title: Katana Sword, Known as "Kikko Sadamune"
  • Creator: Soshu Sadamune
  • Date Created: Kamakura-Nanbokucho period, 14th century
  • Object Title:
  • Object Notes(Japanese): 貞宗は通称を彦四郎といい、相模国(神奈川県)鎌倉の刀工正宗の実子あるいは養子といわれ、鎌倉時代末期から南北朝時代にかけて活躍した。作風は正宗に似ているが、正宗より整っていておだやかである。 刃文は乱れ刃で、茎(なかご)に亀甲菊花文の彫物(ほりもの)があるため、「亀甲貞宗」と称される。 元禄11年(1698)、尾張徳川家から将軍綱吉に献上された。
  • Object Date: 鎌倉~南北朝時代・14世紀
  • Donor(Japanese): 渡邊誠一郎氏寄贈
  • Donor: Mr. Watanabe Seiichiro
  • Artist Name: 相州貞宗(名物 亀甲貞宗)
  • Type: Arms & Armor
  • External Link: http://www.emuseum.jp/detail/100193

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