Moroha-zukuri Tanto signed Bizen-koku Osafune TAKAMITSU-saku In the 8th month Eisho 16th

Koto End of Muromachi period (Eisho 16/1519) Bizen
Length of cutting edge 18.5cm Width of base 23.2mm Thickness of base 7.5mm

NBTHK(Hozon) certificate

Shirasaya with Dr. Honma Kunzan Sayagaki

Blade construction : Moroha-zukuri (Double-edged)Tanto. Neat to work with one hand grip designed for two-way cutting and trust through a gap of armor.
Wide in Mihaba, thick in Kasane and high in Shonogi-ridge of which cross-sectional view is like a steep hill. There is great degree of tapering from base to keen-edged tip. The back side is flat of Hira-zukuri where marvelous engraving of Kurikara 倶利伽羅 Entwined Dragon around Sankoken - a sword with three-pronged handles. (click
HERE for super sized image of entire blade)
Forging(Hada): Forging is pronounced Itame hada in general. Remarkable grain of Masame appears along boundary Hamon area. Those wares stand out according to darkish Chikei ware that comes from different state of carbon contents against the sparkling martensite glitter so called Ji-Nie.
Hamon : Hamon is small Gunome mixing with some indication of clove-outline of Choji-ha. There is fine and uniform Ko-Nie activity of Ashi along quenching boundary line in which interior is filled with deep Nioi-mist.
Temper of tip(Boshi) : Boshi in front sweeps up so called Kaen of which tip forms like a flame and the other side forms gentle small circle.
Tang(Nakago) : Well-filled out Nakago is UBU in original which was designed for fist-grasp. Two mekugi-ana peg holes. Filemark is shallow Katte-sagari slanting left. Kurijiri (double bevelled) heel in full on bottom.
Signature in front is inscribed in 8 character that reads Bizen-koku Osafune TAKAMITSU-saku 備前国長船貴光作 and the other side is chiselled the date of year In the 8th month Eisho 16th 永正十六年八月日.

Peculiar shape Double-edged Tanto had been manufactured in round a hundred years from Bunmei to Momoyama period (1469-1600), mostly in Bizen and some in Mino province on demand from high class military commander.The beginning was generally neat in size not only for self-protection but also sublimated desire and passion in a work of art like this example. Later in period down to fierce battle age, it became larger in length to be 8-sun (24cm) to meet with actual usage as a side arm.
Unlike common Hirazukuri Tanto, Motoha-zukuri construction required highly advanced level technique of forging and quenching process therefore most of them were manufactured by superior artisans using top quality fine steel to meet with special requirement from high class generals commander.

The subject superior Moroha-zukuri Tanto by TAKAMITSU 貴光 in Eisho 16 (1519) is unparalleled not only in unique construction but also bearing sublime beauty of Kurikara 倶利伽羅 engraving to pray for success in battle and welfare of his family.
TAKAMITSU 貴光 with a common name Hira-uemon-no-jo 平右衛門尉 is widely known as the most able pupil of KATSUMITSU 二郎左衛門尉勝光 therefore almost of his life was exclusively served for his master KATSUMITSU.
There is a quire rare example of collaboration work Tanto with his master KATSUMITSU that is signed [Bizen-koku-ju Osafune KATSUMITSU KATAMITSU In the 8th month Eisho 10th] 備前国住長船勝光貴光 永正十年八月日. Also there is another example of Wakizasshi the 21th JUYO token awarded signed [Bizen-koku-ju Osafune Hira-uemon-no-jo TAKAMITSU In the 8th month Eisho 16th] 備前国住長船平右衛門尉貴光 永正十六年八月吉日.
It is assumed that he was bestowed a common name title of Hira-uemon-no-jo 平右衛門尉 and being allowed to inscribe his own artistic name TAKAMITSU 貴光 on about Eisho 16th. Quite rare opportunity to come across this tanto. Excellent condition with vividly clear inscription of signature and delicate Yasrurime of filemarks holding great taste of patina bearing 500 years of history. It is also has a Sayagaki "Kasaku" by Dr. Kunzan in 1977.
Recent polish/Condition scale: excellent (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor)
Gold foiled single layer Habaki collar, preserved in
Shirasaya with Sayagaki
reference :
Osafune-cho Osafune-cho-shi Token-hen Zuroku 1998
The 21th JUYO Token Zuroku