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After Hosokawa Tadaoki retired in 1620 and handed over the leadership of the Hosokawa family to his son Tadatoshi, he expected to spend his life in Yatsushiro Castle and indulge in tea and the arts. But worried that his son was lacking in leadership and political weight, he made an example and executed 36 criminals with his own sword in front of Tadatoshi. The number of executed reminded him of the thirty-six Immortals of Poetry, which gave the sword its name, Kasen Kanesada. Kasen is the name of the thirty-six Immortals of Poetry and Kanesada being the name of smith.


Hosokawa Tadaoki was the eldest son of Hosokawa Fujitaka. He fought in his first battle at the age of 15. In that battle, he was in the service of Oda Nobunaga. He was given the Province of Tango in 1580.