Ubu Shimada Soshu Dambira

Early Billowing Soshu Yakiba

Genroku Higo Mounts with Edo period fittings

This piece sat in it's very fine old Genroku era Higo Saya until the mounting was rebuilt.
Edo period SENDAI brass Fuchi/Gashira and Kojiri, each in a different design from the same school.
Dragon Menuki of Kirin (gold) were used to produce a newly refurbished mount.
The iron Tsuba is of the Heianjo school ca. 1450 (mid-Muromachi) made in Kyoto.  

NOTE: The central Kaji of this time was Tsunahiro of the Yamamura Ke. There were a number of Kaji of the Shimada Ke of Suruga who moved to Odawara. As for the smiths of the Shimada Ke, they established marital relationships or teacher/pupil relationships with the Tsunahiro Ke, and there were deep relationships among the Soshu Kaji of this time.

Shimada at the beginning. This is an Ubu Soshu master work that has been polished down over the years. Once a strong, thick Dambira, the Bungi-era Horimono now all gone. Still the piece retains its full validity as a weapon. 

Correct Sugata, Nakago, Horimono, steel, and intricate Soshu Billowing Yakiba tells us this is the very beginning of the school, at the time of Muramasa, and therefore the work of the Shimada founding master, Yoshisuke.

Yoshisuke was a smith in his prime around Kosho (1455-1457). The family of the Shimada Kaji, a considerably large number of smiths, were quite technically skilled. This technical excellance would satisfy the collectors who prize and study swords. This piece infers the higher ranked kaji of the Soshu Den, and at first glance looks like a work of Masamune.

Nagasa: 14 1/4"
Running Itame, Mokume mix that holds the
remenants of Yoshisuke's early style Horimono, marking time and place.

Sweeping Sunagashi, profuse Nie and Mura-nie exemplify the deep Kaeri.


 Copper wire coils used for design on saya.

 Solid gold menuki.
Higo carved Tsuno Horn Kurikata and leather wrap.

Good Heianjo Tetsu-ji Tsuba of Kiku Design (ca. 1450).

Iron Kozuka with dragon design and Kogatana with inscription on blade.

Sunagashi Hakikaki Sagari Boshi ~ Deep Falling Kaeri.

Profuse Mura-Nie and Ji-nie.

NBTHK Hozon paper attributing to the Shimada school.

The Shimada school, founded bt Yoshisuke, thrived in Shimada of Suruga Province from the middle of the Muromachi Period and the smith name of Yoshisuke was succeeded to until the Edo Period. 'Koto Mei Zukushi' says that the first generation of Yoshisuke was active in the Kosho Era and the second generation in the Meio Era. Sukemune was a son of 1st Yoshisuke and it is believed that there were two or three generations. Hirosuke was a student of the 3rd Yoshisuke. The Shimada school includes many smiths. Amongst them, Yoshisuke, Sukemune, and Hirosuke are the representative smiths of the school and we can see many extant works of them today.

Yoshisuke tempers notare mixed with gunome, o-notare, gunome-midare, ko-midare and sugu-ha. His workmanship resembles to that of the Sue-Seki and the Sengo schools. The Shimada school also tempers hitatsura similar to that of Sue-Soshu smiths.