In the  years of  collecting  Japanese weapons, I  have always  had a special 
interest with one item in our collection with the inscription of Namban Tetsu.
It is a  long Ō-mi Yari,  with a blade length of  62,7 cm.,  that  was found in an
antique shop in December 1977 in The Hague. 
Together with the original pole the length exceeds the 3 meters. 

The form of the blade is Hira Sankaku Zukuri, ( = Triangular cross section) and on the blade there is the Aoi Mon ( = Family Crest of the Tokugawa Family ). The Nakago ( = Tang of the blade ) is signed with: 'YASUTSUGU Namban Tetsu wo Motte Bushū Edo ni Oite Kore wo Tsukuru.' This Ō-mi Yari is one of the items published in the book ‘Japanese swords in Dutch collections’ by the late Chairman of the Netherlands Tōken Society, Mr. Han Bing Siong. He has described the Ō-mi yari as follows: This smith is UMASUKE of Edo, Musashi province, son of Shimosaka Ichinosuke, the 2nd generation YASUTSUGU, and grandson of SHIMOSAKA ICHISAEMON, the 1st generation YASUTSUGU. When the 2nd generation YASUTSUGU passed away a dispute arose with SHIROEMON, the 3rd son of the 1st generation YASUTSUGU about the succession. Because of this dispute thereafter there were two families YASUTSUGU, one in Edo and the other in Echizen province. UMASUKE, who in the meantime took the personal name of ICHINOSUKE, became head of the house YASUTSUGU in Edo, and SHIROEMON became head of the house in Echizen. So ICHINOSUKE became EDO SANDAI YASUTSUGU and SHIROEMON became ECHIZEN SANDAI YASUTSUGU GU. It is not known when EDO SANDAI passed away. EDO SANDAI YASUTSUGU was a smith of Jō Saku ( superior ) class. ( 上 作 ) But always we had that unanswered question: Where did this Namban Tetsu come from ? Only recently in 2001 this yari was polished with the help of Mr. Sugita from Tōken Sugita Japan. It was polished by Mr. Shimamura, a good friend of Mr. Sugita. After it was finished it was submitted for the Shinsa ( = Judging Committee ) from the Nihon Bijutsu Tōken Hozon Kyokai. ( = The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords ) The Ō-mi Yari received the status of Tokubetsu Hozon. ( = Especially worthwhile to be preserved ) certificate nr. 146993. We were very pleased to see all the details in the blade after its return to The Netherlands.

In June 2005 a second sword with the inscription of Namban Tetsu came into our collection. It is a Wakizashi ( = short sword, less than 60,6 cm.) with a length of 48,8 cm. signed: Namban Tetsu wo Motte Chikugo (no) Kami Fujiwara KANENORI Echizen jū The sword smith KANENORI was trained in the Shimosaka school of sword smiths. This school was first established in the Ōmi province. The smiths trained in this school were scattered in various local places such as Kyo (Yamashiro), Chikuzen, Chikugo, Higo, Aizu, and Edo (Musashi) and in addition to Yasutsugu's, the so-called Echizen Shimosaka school includes other smiths such as Higo-daijō Sadakuni, Kanetane, Kanenori, Ōmi-no-kami Tsuguhira, Tsuguhiro and Hyūga-daijō Sadatsugu. This sword also has been qualified with the status of Tokubetsu Hozon. ( = Especially worthwhile to be preserved ) certificate nr. 142290.

Again we had to thank Mr. Sugita for it. And during that occasion we discussed the term Namban Tetsu and all that was related to it. We all came to the conclusion that it would be very interesting if a revival could be established for modern sword smiths using Namban Tetsu. This was the start of what can be called now the 'Namban Tetsu Project'. Of course there are some interesting questions like: Why the special attention for Namban Tetsu ? How did Namban Tetsu get into Japan ? In our search for Namban Tetsu we have to go back in history. To be precise to the year 1600. On April 19, 1600 the Dutch ship "De Liefde" reached the island of Kyushu with only 24 or 25 survivors from a total of 110 people. They are in a terrible condition. Only 5 men were able to stand on their feet. From these survivors, 6 men died shortly after. An inventory was made the next day by the local authorities. Beside the normal trading goods 18 cannons were found and 500 guns, 5000 bullets of cast iron, gunpowder and so on. This was the first contact between Japan and the Dutch. The remaining survivors were free to go where they wanted. Their ship " De Liefde " was confiscated by the Japanese. However, at the first trip sailing under Japanese flag the ship was wrecked in a storm. One of the survivors was the helmsman William Adams. An Englishman by birth, but sailing in Dutch service. He gained confidence from the Japanese and later in the year 1600 he and the survivors of " De Liefde " were of great help for the Shogun TOKUGAWA IEYASU during the battle of SEKIGAHARA. Battle of SEKIGAHARA. This decisive battle on September 15, 1600 ( on the ancient Japanese calendar, October 21 on the Gregorian (solar) calendar ) cleared the path to the Shogunate for TOKUGAWA IEYASU. Though it would take three more years for TOKUGAWA IEYASU to consolidate his position of power over the Toyotomi clan and the daimyo. ( = Local Lords ) SEKIGAHARA is widely considered to be the unofficial beginning of the Tokugawa bakufu, the last shogunate to control Japan. During this decisive battle several records mention the use of cannons by TOKUGAWA Ieyasu. One source indicates that the 18 cannons coming from " De Liefde " were used with the help of the Dutch gunmen. ( *1 ) A 2nd source indicates the usage of cannons coming from " De Liefde ". ( *2 ) A 3rd source mentions: "and one of his generals, Shima Katsutake, (Sakon) was wounded, but his unit was equipped with several cannons, and managed to repel this attack." ( *3 ) A 4th source suggests the usage of the cannons from "De Liefde "during this battle. ( *4 ) For TOKUGAWA IEYASU, (家) this might have been a reason to pay special attention to these cannons, made of 'foreign steel', or Namban Tetsu. This all took place in Keicho 5, ( 1600 ). In the same year YUKI HIDEYASU, TOKUGAWA IEYASU's second son and founder of the Echizen Matsudaira family went to Echizen to establish a clan in Kitanosho. He patronized a sword smith called SHIMOSAKA ICHISAEMON. Later around the 11th or 12th year of Keicho ( 1606 of 1607 ) this smith was summoned by TOKUGAWA IEYASU and HIDETADA, the first two shoguns of the Tokugawa Regime, and lived in Edo to make swords for them. Owing to his contribution, he was permitted by TOKUGAWA IEYASU to use YASU, one of the two letters composing the founder shogun's name, and changed his name to YASUTSUGU. 康継 He was also given then the privilege to include the three-leaf Aoi crest. ( = Tokugawa family crest represented by the hollyhock plant)

And maybe it was on his order that YASUTSUGU, the first generation, had to make swords from this Namban steel. Maybe steel from a one of the weapons coming from "De Liefde" ? It is for sure however that TOKUGAWA IEYASU was in the possession of the cannons from " De Liefde ". Naval cannons were used during the siege from Shimabara in 1638. We will never know for sure what steel was used by YASUTSUGU. But Namban Tetsu must have had a special meaning for all that fought at Sekigahara. This could be one of the reasons for the availability of Namban Tetsu in Japan. Some other sources however indicate that: ."Namban-tetsu was a very precious imported iron in ancient Japan". Therefore we studied the records from the V.O.C. ( = Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie ) to see if iron or steel was mentioned for trading. But we could not find a positive answer on our question. When the ships were leaving Europe the cargo was mostly bars of silver, some gold and copper coins. Trading goods were textile like linen and wool to be sold in Japan, China, Persia and to rich traders in India. So the ships left partly unloaded to Asia. No mentioning of steel and iron. But when ships are leaving partly unloaded, what was used for Ballast? ( Ballast: Nautical, any heavy material carried temporarily or permanently in a vessel to provide desired draft and stability. ) We raised this question to the "Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum" in Amsterdam. A negative answer was given. ' No iron was used by the V.O.C. for ballast because of the rust '. ( *5 ) But this did not stop us from doing more investigation. So we started to look at the various websites about the V.O.C. and on one of them we found the information we were looking for about ballast: ' Ballast is used to put weight to a ship, like cannons and anchors. Furthermore gravel and sand was used'. ( *6 ) From the "Batavia Werf" also a positive confirmation was received about the ballast on V.O.C. ships sailing to the East. The ballast used for V.O.C. ships sailing on the route from The Netherlands to Batavia consisted mainly of stones and other building materials. Also lead was used and certainly also (old) iron. ( *7 ) We found our definite proof of iron used as ballast when we looked through the wreckage report from the 'Geldermalsen'. The description of the cargo reads: 'The boxes with chinaware came from the bottom of the ship, directly placed on the ballast of gravel, blocks of iron and tropical wood.'( *8 ). Because the Dutch by means of the V.O.C. were the only foreigners allowed entering Japan, first through Hirado and later through Deshima (出島 literally 'protruding island') ( *9 ) in the bay of Nagasaki the only possibility for steel entering Japan is by these ships. Overall, 606 Dutch ships arrived at Deshima during two centuries of settlement, from 1641 to 1847. ( *10 )

View on Dejima in Nagasaki Bay. Original published in 1832 in Leiden, the Netherlands It can also explain why sword smiths from the Hizen province like Hizen Yukihiro began experimenting with Oranda Tetsu ( = Holland steel and Dutch manufacturing techniques) under the sword smiths Hisatsugu and Tanenaga in Nagasaki. Deshima was located in the Bay of Nagasaki. ( *11 ) Because of the sort of trading, silk in exchange for silver and later for copper it is obvious that when trading was very successful silver and copper bars were used for replacing the ballast of sand, stones or pieces of iron. This 'old' ballast was left in Japan. And most likely some merchants sold the pieces of iron to sword smiths. This could explain the importance and the availability from Namban Tetsu in Japan in the 17th and 18th century. But how about Namban Tetsu in the 21st century? Pure iron only contains carbon. Without carbon the iron would be useless. Nowadays iron can contain additives like nickel, chrome, silicon and manganese improving the strength, corrosion resistance and hardness. Because of the hammering and folding of Japanese swords the amount of impurities could be reduced. So the best base to start from would be steel with as less impurities as possible. Therefore I raised the question about pure steel with carbon to CORUS and it did not take long before we got in contact with Mr. G. Abbel, from the CORUS RD&T Group. An example of the steel that could be made was send to Japan for approval by the sword smiths.

This example was approved by the sword smith Yukimitsu and on November 21 2005 a visit to CORUS was arranged. Of course we proposed to show the two swords made of Namban Tetsu and after having gone through all the security measurements we were warmly welcomed by CORUS.

From left to right: Mr. G. Abbel, Mr. H. Visser, Mr. Y. Sugita, Mrs. H.E. Duindam and Prof. Y. Hashimoto. After having showed the swords we were invited to go to the facilities where two small blocks of iron had already been cast. If they would be cast during our visit they would be 'too hot to handle' to take with us at the end of our visit.

Casting of steel.

Mr. K. Van de Zwetslotenmaker taking the steel out of the mould.

Two blocks of steel, the New Namban Tetsu. Next is the analysis of the final blocks of iron to be used for our further project.

Now it was waiting for results from the sword smith Yukimitsu ( *12 ) During the run of 2006 news came from Japan. Yukimitsu had made a tanto using the Namban Tetsu. This tanto was given a NYU-SEN award from the Nihon Bijutsu Tōken Hozon Kyokai. ( = The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords )!

Next are pictures taken during the forging process.

Making separate small bars for SHITA KITAE and UWA KITAE.

Folding the blocks.

Folding in the length and width direction.

Yukimitsu, hammering the sword to get the basic form.

The final rough form and the inscription after finishing. (A selection of a total of 58 pictures taken during the process.)

The tanto is signed: Yukimitsu Nambantetsu wo Motte Tsukuru Heisei 18 Nen Haru. Translated: Yukimitsu made with Nambantetsu Heisei 18 Year (2006) Spring. So again we contacted CORUS for a meeting. This time we were going to show the result of this special project. But before this visit another trip was made. This time to the 'Batavia Werf' in Lelystad. Because it was with ships like the Batavia that made the passages to the Far East in the 17th and 18th century. We were also interested to see the actual size of the Batavia because it is a full size replica. But we also have to keep next things in mind. Batavia: De Liefde: Loading weight: 600 tons 300 tons Ballast: 220 tons of lead not available People aboard: 341 110

Looking at the relative small size of the Batavia it is understandable that "De Liefde" with its half loading weight must have been much smaller. Before entering the ship a short visit was paid to NISA, ( Nederland's Instituut voor Scheeps Archeologie ). It was explained that the cannons from the VOC were made of cast iron. Only the cannons closer to the compass were made of brass.

Cannon on board of the " Batavia ". After that it was time to visit the Batavia. Of course we were interested in going to the lower part in the ship to look at the Ballast. And there it was surprising to see the amount of lead and concrete necessary for a good draft and stability. A total weight of 220.000 kilogram's !!!

Ballast of lead and blocks of concrete. Because of the limited space in the ship it is understandable that all space had to be used when returning to Europe. So replacing ballast for other heavy metals like copper would be evident.

Mr. Y. Sugita and Prof. Y. Hashimoto entering the " Koebrug ".

Prof. Y. Hashimoto, Mr. L.C. Duindam and Mr. Y. Sugita on the Batavia. The next day, Nov. 13, 2006 a second visit was paid to CORUS. Again there was a warm welcome by Mr. G. Abbel and Mr. H. Visser, and this time beside the Kanenori a 17th century katana ( = sword longer than 60,6 cm. ) made by the Edo Sandai (3rd generation ) YASUTSUGU from EDO, was shown. This sword has been qualified with the status of Hozon. ( = Worthwhile to be preserved ) certificate nr. 365752. This sword is made by the same smith that made the Ō-mi Yari. ( *13 ) It is signed: 'YASUTSUGU Namban Tetsu wo Motte Bushū Edo ni Oite Kore wo Tsukuru.'

2 swords from the 17th century and the Tanto from the 21st century.

The meeting at CORUS was well attended. Many people from the RD&T department had heard from this exceptional project and were very interested to see the final result. One of the attendees was Mr. W. de Wit from the Foundation "Industrieel Erfgoed Hoogovens ", On behalf of Mr. Y. Sugita, Prof. Y. Hashimoto explained the traditional forging of the tanto. And of course many questions had to be answered about the way of forging by Japanese sword smiths. At the end of this explanation the tanto was offered to Mr. G. Abbel, thanking him for his cooperation in this interesting project. Mr. G. Abbel was very honored and promised to give this special tanto a honorable place in the CORUS presentation hall. After that all attendees were very interested in admiring this beautiful tanto.

Mr. K. Van De Zwetslotenmaker and Mr. G. Abbel admiring the tanto. Steel returning to its source, a successful revival of Namban Tetsu. Mr. Y. Sugita, Prof. Y. Hashimoto, Mr. and Mrs. Duindam, We thought this would close our 'Namban Tetsu Project'. But nothing proved to be further from the truth. When we were visiting Japan in 2007, we were introduced to sword smith Takano Yukimitsu, and we were given the unique opportunity to make our own kogatana (= small knife). Yukimitsu-san had already prepared some rough pieces that we had to shape and temper. During this workshop we were helped by Shigenori-san, Yukimitsu-san and Kakuta-san. My wife wanted to make a kogatana with the unique ayasugihada patern. Yukimitsu-san is well known for this beautiful pattern. I could choose a piece made of Namban Tetsu. And of course I had to take that opportunity! Next we went into the smithy. The workshop of Yukimitsu-san is not very big. It is very complete however. There are 2 forges and an electrical smith's hammer. This hammer works with a threadle. The harder the threadle is pushed the harder the hammer hits the metal. The forge itself can be boosted by a simple bellow. The bellow is hand operated by pushing and pulling a wooden spindle. The movement causes wooden valves to open and close. The clicking of the valves tells the smith if the bellow is properly operated. It looks very simple, but it needs some exercise before the proper clicking can be heard. It takes many steps to shape and form the kogatana. First the mune (= backside) needs to be made half round. After that the form of the blade needs to be set. Caused by tempering of the cutting edge a slight curve is formed. Because the kogatana should be straight after tempering a counter curve is made by hamering on the backside of the blade.

Shaping the kogatana by making the counter curve. When this is done the blade is further formed with a scraper. The Japanese name for the scraper is Sen.

Working with the Sen guided by Kakuta-san.

At the end of this exciting day I could also do some practicing with welding a long bar to a block of tamahagane. This is the first step when new swords are getting created. At the background the electric smith's hammer. A new invitation was made to finish our kogatana. Both still needed to be tempered. But we could not leave without taking a picture.

Swordsmith Shigenori-san, Mrs. and Mr. Duindam, Yukimitsu-san and Kakuta-san. The next Friday we were again visiting the workshop of Yukimitsu-san. This time we would temper both kogatana. But before that critical step we had to sign our kogatana first in katakana. We could practice on the katakana on a small piece of steel. But soon we found out that writing with a pen is much easier than working with a chisel. So at the end we asked Yukimitsu-san to sign them with our names.

Practicing in signing the blade. Next we had to bring up the clay to cover the blade. This clay is called yakibazuchi. It is a mixture of clay and ash. The clay at the cutting edge is removed or thinned down. During heating the heat will penetrate the blade along the cutting edge and will change the form of the steel molecules. The clay should not be too thick, but also not too thin. After having brought up the clay it needs to dry for several hours.

Bringing up the clay. After that the workshop is totally darkened and the most exciting part is about to start. Extra charcoal is added to the fire and the kogatana is grapped with a pair of tongs. It is slowly heated in the fire and with a certain orange-red glow plunged into the water. The whole process is taking maybe 10 to 15 minutes. But it is the most important step in the creation of a Japanese sword. Now we had to wait to see the final results after both kogatana got polished.

The important play of steel and fire. During the day we were introduced to the famous swordsmith OHNO YOSHIMITSU. He is the teacher of Yukimitsu-san and he has the important status of MUKANSA. The status of MUKANSA can be explained as follows: Each year a sword competition is organized. As a result of this competition the swordsmith's are ranked in order from high to low. If a swordsmith is constantly ending in the top of the list he gets the status of MUKANSA. This means he can still send in his swords but they are no longer judged. One step above the status of MUKANSA is that of Ningen Kokuho, 'Living National Treasure'.

OHNO YOSHIMITSU and Mr. Duindam. It took a few days but then we finally saw the results from our hard labour. Both kogatana got polished and below you can see the kogatana made by Mrs. Duindam. The first Dutch woman that made a kogatana in Japan !

The kogatana made by Mrs. Duindam.

The ayasugihada pattern in the kogatana! This picture shows the kogatana made of Namban Tetsu by Mr. Duindam. Detail of the kogatana made of Namban Tetsu. Again we thought this would close our 'Namban Tetsu Project'. But after a few months we received a wakizashi ( = short sword, less than 60,6 cm.) made by OHNO YOSHIMITSU! A fantastic wakizashi made of Oranda Tetsu! Wakizashi made of Oranda Tetsu by OHNO YOSHIMITSU. Detail of the blade. Detail of the kissaki. Wakizashi made of Oranda Tetsu by OHNO YOSHIMITSU. Date and description. The signature is clear: O Motte Oranda Kitae YOSHIMITSU Tsukuru Kore, Heisei, Hinoto I Shichi Gatsu Kitsu Jitsu I TOKEN SUGITA CORUS Translated: Using Dutch Steel YOSHIMITSU Made This Heisei, 2007, a Lucky Day in July With TOKEN SUGITA and CORUS We also received a request for another 150 kg of CORUS steel! And the future ? More swords made of Namban Tetsu? We don't know. But in the year 2009 it is celebrated that it is 400 years ago that the first trade agreement was signed between Japan and The Netherlands by TOKUGAWA IEYASU. ( See also ) Trade agreement, signed by TOKUGAWA IEYASU. © Copyright, Token Sugita Europe. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical , including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the copyright owner. Notes: ( *1 ) "Dat TOKUGAWA IEYASU toen een schitterende overwinning behaalde, was voor een groot deel te danken aan de achttien kanonnen van de Liefde, die van boord waren gehaald en door Hollandse kanonniers bediend, onder de vijand grote verwoestingen aanrichtten. ( *2 ) Volgens sommige bronnen heeft TOKUGAWA IEYASU ook gebruik gemaakt van de kanonnen van het Nederlandse schip De Liefde maar helemaal zeker is dit niet. ( *3 ) Source: " Samurai, an Illustrated History" by MITSUO KURE, page 104. ( *4 ) "In het spoor van de Liefde" page 42 and page 128. ( *5 ) Antwoord Nederlands Scheepvaart Museum Amsterdam. 'IJzer als ballast is vanwege de roestvorming nooit aan de orde geweest bij de VOC, (gele) bakstenen dienden wel als ballast en bouwmateriaal'. ( 6* ) Ballast: Dit is om het schip te verzwaren, zoals kanonnen en ankers. Verder werd er vaak grind en zand onder in het schip gestort. Het schip Batavia, wat overigens zonk, had als extra ballast bewerkte stenen bij zich. Deze stenen waren bedoeld voor de nieuwe waterpoort van Batavia. ( *7 ) Overigens bestond de ballast van VOC-schepen op de route Nederland -Batavia inderdaad vooral uit stenen en ander bouwmateriaal. Ook lood als ballast werd wel meegenomen en zeker ook (oud) ijzer, maar daar heb ik geen uitgebreide documentatie over. Die ballast was er niet 'voor een betere' balans, dat zou een understatement zijn. De retourschepen van de VOC waren zonder een zekere hoeveelheid ballast in het geheel niet stabiel en zouden omvallen als ze leeg te water zouden gaan. ( *8 ) 'De porseleinkisten kwamen onder in het schip, direct op de ballast van grind, blokken ijzer en tropisch hardhout,..' ( *9 ) Deshima: The island was constructed in 1634, on orders of shogun Iemitsu, and originally accommodated Portuguese merchants. The Shimabara uprising of 1637, in which Christian Japanese took an active part, was crushed with the help of the Dutch. After the Portuguese and other Catholic nations were expelled from Japan in 1638, the shogunate ordered the Dutch East India Company (V.O.C.) to transfer its mercantile operations from the port of Hirado (established on 20 September 1609) to Dejima in May 1641. This was done at the request of local merchants and because of the relative remoteness of Nagasaki. The Dutch commissioner of French origin François Caron oversaw the move. ( *10 ) Ship arrivals: Overall, 606 Dutch ships arrived at Dejima during two centuries of settlement, from 1641 to 1847. The first period, from 1641 to 1671, was rather free, and saw an average of 7 Dutch ships every year (12 perished in this period). From 1671 to 1715, about 5 Dutch ships were allowed to visit Dejima every year. From 1715, only 2 ships were permitted every year, which was reduced to 1 ship in 1790, and again increased to 2 ships in 1799. ( *11 ) Hizen Yukihiro was born in 1617 and was named Kurobei. He is the younger brother by 11 years to Shodai Hizen Masahiro, and his grandfather by way of adoption of his father Yoshinobu, is Shodai Hizen Tadayoshi. His first work is known to have been made in 1639 at the age of 23. His first title, Dewa no Daijo came at age 32 around the time when he began experimenting with Oranda Tetsu ( = Holland steel and Dutch manufacturing techniques) under the sword smiths Hisatsugu and Tanenaga in Nagasaki. In 1663, he was granted a promotion to Dewa no Kami, and two years after this his elder brother Masahiro passed away. ( *12 ) About the sword smith YUKIMITSU. The family name of YUKIMITSU is TAKANO HIROYUKI. He is born in 1952. He graduated from the Shibaura Institute of Technology. After his study he was in the Japan Self Defense Force (Army) for 13 years. He learned sword making under the supervision of Mr. OHNO YOSHIMITSU, who has the status of Mukansa. YUKIMITSU has some NYU-SEN prizes in Shinsaku To Exhibition. ( *13 ) About the sword smith YASUTSUGU. This smith is UMASUKE of Edo, Musashi province, son of SHIMOSAKA ICHINOSUKE, the 2nd generation YASUTSUGU, and grandson of SHIMOSAKA ICHISAEMON, the 1st generation YASUTSUGU. When the 2nd generation YASUTSUGU passed away a dispute arose with SHIRŌEMON, the 3rd son of the 1st generation YASUTSUGU, about the succession. Because of this dispute thereafter there were two families YASUTSUGU, one in Edo and the other in Echizen province. UMASUKE, who in the meantime took the personal name of ICHINOSUKE, became head of the house YASUTSUGU in Edo, and SHIRŌEMON became head of the house in Echizen. So ICHINOSUKE became EDO SANDAI YASUTSUGU and SHIRŌEMON became ECHIZEN SANDAI YASUTSUGU. EDO SANDAI YASUTSUGU was a smith of Jō Saku ( superior ) class. ( 上 作 ) Literature: " Japanese Swords in Dutch Collections ", by Mr. Han Bing Siong, ISBN 90 - 9016834 - 6 Token Bijutsu, English Edition no. 27, page 31. ) ISSN 0911 - 4041 " Samurai, an Illustrated History " by MITSUO KURE. " In het Spoor van de Liefde " uitgave 1986. " Batavia Werf " uitgave 2002. "Japanese Sword Blades", Alfred Dobrée, 1971.