Image: Shirase Sword E76356

Shirase Sword E76356

Sword of Lieutenant Nobu Shirase, donated to the Australian Museum in 1979. The sword was made by Mutsu no Kaneyasu, a master swordsmith who worked in the period 1600-1650. He produced this sword in Osaka (Settsu no Kuni) in 1644-48. Mutsu no Kami Kaneyasu engraved his name on the sword with a mirror image signature where the characters were inscribed backwards.

Carl Bento
© Australian Museum


The blade is regarded as a fine example of the work of master swordsmith Mutsu no Kami Kaneyasu, Sho-ho era (1644-1648). A new storage hilt and scabbard were provided in 1979 by Kajihara Kotoken, a contemporary swordsmith who restored the blade. The sword was presented to the Australian Museum in 1979 by Miss Mary David, Sir T. Edgeworth David's daughter.

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