Ishido Teruhide (b 1900; d 1982) was the 10th and last generation of the Ishido Korekazu line of swordsmiths in Tokyo (Toto). He was a descendant of very famous Musashi Daijo Fujiwara Korekazu. During WW II, he made many swords for high ranking military officers and also made blades for civilians. Ishido Teruhide was ranked betseki in the 1943 swordsmith rankings by the Nihon Token Tanrenjo and the Nihon Token Shinbunshi. Ishido Teruhide signed with both a long mei and a two character mei. Teruhide also signed simply Ishido saku.
On some of his swords, Teruhide used a kao (carved personal seal) in addition to his signature (mei). Ishido Teruhide also signed as Ishido Mitsunobu also using the same kao as with his Teruhide mei. It is possible that the Mitsunobu signature is a dai mei signature (a signature where one smith signs for another). It could also be the case that both swordsmiths employed the same professional mei carver and that these signatures are examples of nakirishi mei. While these are possibilities, I think it is unlikely and that Teruhide and Mitsunobu are most probably the same smith. I doubt that a swordsmith would carve his personal seal (kao) if signing for another smith. It has been suggested that he signed Teruhide when making blades by the traditional method but signed Mitsunobu on non-traditionally made (sunobe) blades. His signature (mei) is sometimes translated as Sekido Teruhide and Sekido Mitsunobu, although Ishido is the preferred reading.
An Ishido Teruhide blade was awarded HOZON origami in 1997 by the NBTHK and are judged as true gendaito (kindaito). His blades are found in standard shin-gunto mounts, Showa Era civilian buke' zukuri style mounts, kai-gunto mounts and shirasaya.
After the war Teruhide made wood cutting planes rather than swords in order to earn a living. The planes he produced cut well and sold for about 2,000,000 Japanese Yen. The company continues today making tools and wood planes. More on the current Ishido Lineage.
NOTE: There were two other swordsmiths using the name Teruhide working during the Showa period who made blades in the traditional (gendaito) manner. They were brothers, both signing Teruhide or Minamoto (Ihara) Teruhide. They were from Saitama prefecture north of Tokyo and are of no known relation to Ishido Teruhide.
Thanks to Chris Bowen, Aoi-Arts, Jesse Hodges, Usagiya Sword Shop, Bob McCoy's Oshigata Project, John Slough, Richard Turner and Mike Yamasaki for information concerning Teruhide.
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