Tanto signed Bizen-koku-ju Osafune KIYOMITSU-saku Auspicious day in the 8th month, Tenbun 24th with) Gold brocade Japanese lacquered scabbard Aikuchi style Koshirae mounting

Koto End of Muromachi period (Tenbun 24/1555) Bizen
Length of cutting edge 23.5cm No Curvature Width of Base 24.4mm Thickness of base 7.1mm

NBTHK(Tokubetsu Hozon) certificate

with) Gold brocade Japanese lacquered scabbard Aikuchi style Koshirae mounting


Blade construction: Hira-zukuri, Iori-mune, No curvature and harmonious ratio of Mihaba to Nagasa. A rather on thicker side in Kasane on base and upper the blade, thinner the Kasane where holds less Fukura leading to sharp point of Kissaki. This construction is specialized for stabbing rather than cut designed for supplement purpose to a Katana during the Warning States period. (click HERE for higher resolution image of the entire blade)
Forging(Hada): Forging is conspicuous Itame-hada in general with large Mokume, mixing in flowing Masame ware along temper side. The entire Hiraji is covered in of bar-like Ji-nie that generates reflecting Utsuri effect over the surface.
Temper(Hamon): Hamon is a bit on stronger side Nie hard metal granules base, Suguha with an indication of delicate wave Notare mixing in of frequent Hotsure, Niju-ha or fine Ashi where sparkling Nie accumulates on boundary line. In the interior of temper, there works with deep "Noi" mist-like crystalline area.
Temper of tip(Boshi): Boshi forms intense "HAKIKAKE" flame up, small circle turns back deeply.
Tang(Nakago): Nakago is in UBU original. Two Mekugiana peg retaining holes. Katte-sagari (slightly slanting left) filemarks. Back ridge of Nakago is flat with Katte-sagari filemark as well. The Nakago is relatively long, thick and burly made in ratio of Nagasa, uneven double-bevelled heel shape so called "Ha- agariKURIJIRI".
Large and long inscription in front Sashiomote starts from upper the Mekugi-ana along back ridge side, starts the place of work Bizen-koku-ju Osafune KIYOMITSU-saku 備前国住長船清光作 and the other side of Sashiura is inscribed with the date of year Auspicious day in the 8th month, Tenbun 24th 天文廿四年八月吉日 (1555).

Samurai who belonged powerful clans or generals from the disturbance period of Warring States Period to the Azuchi-Momoyama state - they required the rich, massive volume and thick in kasane with high shinogi-ridge, with well-proportioned deep curve, heavy on hand to form solid durable construction that gives a brave Samurai symbol or spirit for practical use and what is more Tanto dagger concealed in bosom was indispensable to plunge into an opening through a suit of armor.
Sword maker KIYOMITSU 清光 in Bizen Osafune is one of the most distinguished sword makers who ranked with KATSUMITSU 勝光 and TADAMITSU 忠光. Among KIYOMITSUs' atelier, the chiefs with secular names of Goro Saemon-no-jo 五郎左衛門尉 and Mago Uemon-no-jo 孫右衛門尉 have been highly celebrated but the most of works (no matter with or without secular name) especially with date of year during Tenbun (1532-54) shows higher skill and upper rank of artistic level than other ages in general.
The subject Tanto, although without a secular name, dated Tenbun 24 (1555) is judged on identifying it's inscriptions as a work of chief Saemon-no-jo KIYOMITSU 五郎左衛門尉清光 who was in service of
Sengoku-daimyo Akamatsu 赤松 clan.
The clear filemarks and chisels of inscription remains good old taste of patina and preserves an excellent condition over 460 years history.
This tanto has been treasured over decades of generations and presents you with an elegant
Gold brocade Japanese lacquered scabbard Aikuchi style Koshirae mounting which was exclusively made for high class Samurai, powerful clan or wealthy merchant.(click HERE for entire Koshirae/HERE for each metal fitting)
  • All metal fittings made of silver, KIKU flowers design, unsigned
  • Kozuka : inscribed by Biyo-ju YOSHIKATA kore-wo-horu (seal) 尾陽住美方錐之(花押), design of Kojima-Kotoku 10 character poetry 児島高徳図
  • Kogai : Cherryblossoms design unsigned attributed to a work of YOSHIKATA 美方
  • Kogatana : signed Sagami-no-kami MASATSUNE-nyudo 相模守政常入道
  • Scabbard : Brocade with peony patterns in gold thread transparent Japanese lacquered
  • Hilt : White ray skin Omeshi-Onango blue with the bitterness that slightly gray color lozenge wrap
  • Menuki : Shakudo Yobori Iroe inlay of Treasures design
Preserved in Shirasaya plain wood mounting, Silver Habaki collar.
Old polish/Condition scale: excellent (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor).
reference data : Osafune-Cho-shi Token-zuroku edition Osafune-cho 1998