Absolutely rare "4 Torso cutting sword"
part of Daimyo Maeda Toshitsugu Sword Collection-NBTHK paper.
In Japan, there are roughly 2 million swords registered, it is estimated that 5% were used to test on human corpse and out of 14,000 registered with NBTHK, Juyo and tokubetsu-Juyo, only 120 bears a cutting test- 80 through 2 bodies, 40 through 3 bodies and 2 through 4 bodies.
Outside what were registered with the NBTHK Juyo and Tokuju record, there are known examples that cut through as many as 7 bodies but these are absolutely rare.
According to a very prominent dealer, over the years, he has seen one other sword with 4 bodies cutting test and this sword is the second sword he came to hold. A wakizashi cut test was done attaching the blade to a pole.
This sword was registered in Year Showa 26 (1951) so-called "Year of Daimyo registration". In this year, all important sword Collections of Daimyos were asked to register first to set a precedence to pacify the sword owners that it was not a sword confiscation exercise that had happened few times.
Long wakizashi in shirasaya. Signed: "Ohmi daijo~ Fujiwara Yukimitsu" and chiseled in red lacquer on the reverse: "Cut through four stacked torso at the execution ground, by Matsuba Shirobei I Tomoyoshi (kao)." NBTHK Hozon Token paper dated 2012.
This sword originally came with old NBTHK green paper and was re-submit for the new hozon paper when NBTHK announced the old papers as invalid and requires all swords to be re-submitted for verification. Many Japanese owners are happy to have their swords authenticated and have no interest to submit for higher paper as it is time consuming and incur extra cost.
Swords that are able to cut 4 torso swords are considered as absolutely rare and only 2 in NBTHK, Juyo and Tokuju record.
Yukimitsu, was a student of Ishido Korekazu. He was active in 1661-1681 and made swords for the Toyama Clan ruler, Maeda Toshitsugu.
Signatures: omi Fujiwara yukimitsu
Article credit goes to "www.samuraisword.com:
In terms of rarity it is estimated that less than 5% of all blades currently existing were used for cutting test purposes on human corpses. Cutting tests were basically subdivided into one torso(hitotsu) and Âstacked torso(kasane), the former category applying to all cuts carried out on a single body and the latter to those on stacked bodies or on bodies arranged next to each other. To state now that a sword has a superior or better-than-average cutting ability, one either uses a demanding hitotsu or a kasane setup with as many as possible bodies. Therefore we find relative many two body cuts as piling up two torsos was, so to speak, the "entry" into impressive sounding cutting tests. When we use the data of all blades that passed the NBTHK Juyo and Tokubetsu-Juyo criteria, we arrive at the following statistics: Of roughly 14,000 blades in total, only about 120 bear a cutting test, what equals to about 1%. Of course, this data is restricted to only the very best blades and famous heirloom swords which were hardly tested but it offers the only concrete data base to work with for the time being. Of these 120 cutting tests swords about 80 ( cut through two bodies, about 40 ( through three bodies, and only two blades are registered that cut through four bodies. However, we know blades that cut through five, six, and even up to seven bodies from outside the realm of Juyo and tokubetsu-Juyo swords (see Sesko, Tameshigiri The History and Development of Japanese Sword Testing, p. 186ff) but these are considered as an absolute rarity.