I’m the sword famous for having been used by Hijikata Toshizou, Izuminokami Kanesada.
… even so, I was created not by the highly regarded second generation Kanesada, but by the eleventh or twelfth generation. Well, that was the beginning of the end of the samurai era. I’ve got no complaints about being born.
I am Izuminokami Kanesada. I’m cool and strong! Recently, I’m a popular sword.
Kanesada takes the name from his swordsmith which forged him in 1867 CE with a 70cm long blade.
Kanesada is the representative swordsmith of the Mino tradition and worked in Muromachi era(室町時代 also known as the Muromachi era, the Ashikaga era, or the Ashikaga period, running from approximately 1337 to 1573. The period marks the governance of the Muromachi or Ashikaga shogunate, which was officially established in 1338 by the first Muromachi shogun, Ashikaga Takauji, two years after the brief Kemmu Restoration of imperial rule was brought to a close. The period ended in 1573 when the 15th and last shogun of this line, Ashikaga Yoshiaki, was driven out of the capital in Kyoto by Oda Nobunaga.), that is the late koto period. Especially the second generation of Kanesada are very well thought of and considered one of the most the important smiths in history, even though Izuminokami was forged by Aizu Kanesada from the eleventh and last generation.
Izumi no Kami Kanesada was used by Hijikata Toshizō (土方 歳三) who was the vice-commander of Shinsengumi, a great swordsman and a talented Japanese military leader who resisted the Meiji Restoration. Izumi no Kami features the Komon patterned tsuka cord that is made of selected soft leather. The Komon means “fine pattern” with a small, repeated pattern and often used for the Samurai warlord’s Kamishimo and Hakama wears during the Edo era and this cherry blossom pattern represents brevity of life. For the fitting ornaments, the Sakura Karakusa(cherry blossoms and tendrils) themes are featured on Fuchi/Kashira and coiling dragons on Menuki. Abalone-shaped iron Tsuba adds more beauty (Swords aren’t just about looks, however having good looks isn’t a loss. You could say it’s like having another weapon.*)
He was asked to be made only after the Shinsengumi earned popularity and Kondo noted that they should have better weapons to maintain their charisma. While Kondo resolved to find a Kotetsu for himself, Hijikata seeked for a Kanesada. He did find a swordsmith from Kanesada school, and asked to be made a tachi which had similar characteristics to his wakizashi (Horikawa Kunihiro, it was pretty common for samurais to own a tachi and a wakizashi to use in combat). This might be the reason Izumi and Horikawa looked similar to each other.
One theory goes that Izuminokami wasn’t used during Hijikata’s last battle in Hakodate, but instead got sent back to his hometown along with a photo taken there a few days before the battle. The one Hijikata used is a sword made by Sukesada of Bizen Osafune school.
Izuminokami Kanesada was classed in game as a Tachi until 2015/07/22, he was then classed as an Uchigatana.
*Kanesada’s character and most of his sentences are directly inspired by Hijikata Toshizō.