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About the Blade
Swordsmith
Hasebe Kunishige (長谷部国重)
Forge Date
1312 CE
Inscription
長谷部国重 本阿 ・ 黒田筑前守
Hasebe Kunishige Hon'a - Kuroda Chikuzen no Kami
Current Sword Length
64.8cm
Current Blade Hamon (Historical)
?
Sheath
The lower two third of it is covered with nodular gilded rayskin
Current Location
Fukuoka City Museum
Public Viewing
Yes, January 5 - February 5, 2017
Blade Appearance
History
  • There are two theories of how the sword came into the possession of Kuroda clan.
    • The first one is that blade simply went from Nobunaga to Hideyoshi and from the latter to Kuroda Nagamasa.
    • The second one is that Nobunaga imprisoned a traitor Araki Murashige and mistakenly assumed that Nagamasa's father, Yoshitaka, was also involved. He took Nagamasa as a hostage and ordered his execution. The complot was clarified and Nagamasa managed to escape execution. As a compensation for the 'mistake', Nobunaga presented the sword to the clan.
  • Later, the blade got shortened and received an inscription that marked him as a sword crafted by Hasebe Kunishige and a possession of the Kuroda clan.
Miscellaneous
  • Fans tended to portray him as the one in charge of cooking duty in the citadel, along with Shokudaikiri Mitsutada and Kasen Kanesada, most likely in relation to their internal affairs' quotes.
  • Some fanworks depict Heshikiri with Nihongou and Hakata Toushirou. This is due to Nihongou being won by Fukushima Kuroda, after winning a drinking bet. As for Hakata, he was owned by Tadayuki Kuroda. These three together are know as Kurodagumi.
  • Heshikiri's sword crest uses the crest of the Oda clan, with some slight alterations, as he was owned by Oda Nobunaga.
  • Heshikiri's refer to temple burning may be a reference to the burning of both the Enryaku-ji and Ishiyama Hongan-ji temples. Both temples were homes to the Ikkou-ikki, a group made of warrior monks that were a constant thorn in Nobunaga's side. Finding it useless to attack Enryaku-ji head-on, Nobunaga set fire to nearby trees, causing both the temple and monks to perish in the flames. Later on, after the monks of the Ishiyama Hongan-ji temple surrendered, Nobunaga burned the temple to the ground. However, some do argue it was the monks who did this, in order for Oda to have no material gain from this victory.
  • Heshikiri Hasebe was one of the swords featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York's special exhibition "Art of the Samurai: Japanese Arms and Armor, 1156-1868" from Oct 21, 2009 to Jan 10, 2010, along with swords such as Ookanehira, Atsushi Toushirou, Nakigitsune, Daihannya Nagamitsu, Kenshin Kagemitsu among others. The pdf version of exhibit catalogue is available here with details about Heshikiri Hasebe on page 170-171.