Tanto unsigned attributed to a work of KANENORI with) Gold leaf bug eaten pattern lacquered scabbard Chi'sa katana style koshirae

Koto End of Muromachi period (Eiroku era/circa 1558-) Mino
Length of cutting edge 28.3cm No curvature Width of base 26.5mm Thickness of base 8.5mm

NBTHK(Hozon) certificate

with) Gold leaf bug eaten pattern lacquered scabbard Chi'sa katana style koshirae



Sugata(configuration) : Brave tanto of Hira-zukuri with Iori-mune configuration. Kasane is exceedingly thick in ratio to the length and Mihaba is a bit on wider side with indication of a bit on inward curvature leading to the swelling Fukura upper area. It is assumed that this tanto was designed due to the preferences in battle for thrusts through armor rather than for cuts so called Yoroi-doshi dagger. (click HERE for higher resolution image)
Horimono(carving) : Horimono as a talisman 4x5 lattice diagram called Doman against evils on base and a pair of parallel grooves called Gomabashi as an altar fittings and the other side is Bo-hi and Naginata-style Soe-hi grooves.
Kitae(forging pattern) : The entire steel gives off bluish tendency. Kitae is conspicuous Itame hada generally with the indication of Mokume burl. Masame straight ware appears along quenching hardening edge.
Hamon(tempering pattern) : Hamon state is "Ko-nie-deki" that is a bit on stronger side, starts with very slight Yakiotoshi indication, undulating large Gunome of roundish or box shape. Boundary line is covered thickly with sparkling martensite particles glitter and the interior of temper is filled with misty sparkling Nioi and short lines of Nie where is shining brightly.
Boshi (tip): Upper the Fukura area toward tip, stronger, thicker and brighter the Nie to perceive delicate Sunagashi area then small circle turns back to form "Jizo-style" as a side view of Jizou stone stature.
Nakago(tang) : The tang is UBU original originally unsigned. Two Mekugi-ana retaining holes. "Higaki" crossing filemarks and the back ridge of Nakago is a bit contoured with greatly slanting right filemarks. Shallow Ha-agari-Kurijiri of uneven U-shaped heel. The entire Nakago preserves an excellent taste of patina from 16th C.

The smith KANENORI 兼法 is said as a source origins to Mino-Senjuin tradition, who belonged to Nara-ha school during Muromachi period. KANENORI worked both in Uruma town (now Unuma, Kagamigahara, Gifu) and Seki city as well. According to Nihonto Meikan, the oldest extant work with the date of year is dated in Meiou 8 (1499) as a practical founder then ranges to Bunroku 4 (1595). There would exist at least 5 generations of active KANENORIs during it's history of 100 years.

Most of extant KANENORI works are recognized from Tenbun - Tensho era (1532-91). Although this tanto is originally unsigned, it's workmanship indicates major features clearly such as wide in Mihaba, thick in Kasane and a bit longer in length of Nagasa in shape. Also Gunome hamon on both sides matches each other in general and Boshi forms a side view of Jizou stone stature. In view of Nakago, tang is perceived to be Higaki crossing filemarks. These features are sufficient grounds for the judgement attributed to a work of KANENORI.

Gold leaf bug eaten pattern lacquered scabbard Chi-sa katana style koshirae consists of : (click
HERE for entire Koshirae and HERE for each metal fittings)
  • Fuchi/kashira : Pine needles morning dew design, Shakudo polish surface, gold/silver Iroe, unsigned
  • Menuki : the AOI crest, seage hat shape, Shakudo Yobori carving, gold Iroe
  • Kougai : Zhang Guolao design, Yamagane copper ground, polish surface, Sukibori carving, Iroe, unsigned
  • Kozuka : Harness design, Yamagane copper ground, Nanako-ji surface, Takabori carving, Iroe inlay signed Hashimoto Mondo-no-suke NOBUMASY-saku 橋本主水佑信益作
  • Kurikata/Ura-kawara : Streaming dew design, Shakudo ground, polish surface, Kebori carving drop inlay
  • Tsuba : Shakudo ground plain surface, unsigned
  • Tsuka : White rayskin, black silk cord wrapped
Old copper Habaki collar, preserved in Shirasaya plain wood mounting
Old polish(some insignificant whitish stains and minor scratches appear)/Condition scale: very good using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor).
reference data:
  1. Suzuki Takuo/Sugiura Yoshiyuki, Muromachi-ki Mino-toko-no Kenkyu, Ribun Shuppan, 2006
  2. Tokuno Kazuo, Mino-toko Taikan, Otsuka Kogeisha, 1976
  3. Honma Kunzan/Ishii Masakuni, Nihonto meikan, Yuzankaku 1976