Tanto signed KANEMITSU

Koto End Muromachi period (Eisho era/circa 1520-) Mino
Length of cutting edge 29.8mm curvature 0.2cm Width of base 29.3mm Thickness of base 6.0mm

NBTHK(Hozon) certificate

Blade construction: Dignified Tanto of Hira-zukuri,Iori-mune. Wide on base, slight curvature that leads to upper Fukura swelling in full.(click HERE for higher resolution image of the entire blade)
Forging(Hada): Forging is rather pronounced Itame-hada whereas streaming Masame ware appears both along quenching temper area and back ridge. A bit on coarse side Ji-Nie granules emits diffused reflection of Nie with mottled effect to generates "Shirake-utsuri" like mirages. Darkish lines of Nie so called "CHIKEI" activity wells out from steel.
Temper(Hamon): Hamon is Ko-Nie-deki, a bit on stronger side hard metal martensite crystals, Gunome outline, box-like or slanting Togari-ha. The interior of temper is filled with mist-like crystallize area with Nie feet of ASHI and floating matensite dots of YOU as well as short line of Nie Sunagashi areas. The entire temper is rich in quenching activities, vividly bright.
Temper of tip(Boshi): Temper of boshi forms irregular Midarekomi with an indication of brushing Hakikake, small circle turn back shortly.
Tang(Nakago): The ship-bottom Nakago is unalterable original "UBU". The heel is un-even U-shape in full. One peg hole with cross-shaped Higaki filemarks. Back ridge of Nakago is a bit contoured with O-sujikai greatly stanting left filemarks. The inscription signature is two large charactar that reads KANEMITSU 兼光.

Among 5 major schools of Japanese sword central Mino-den was late developed school that rised to power in Mino domain (now Gifu pref.)
According to a sword maker directory Nihonto Meikan, KANE-MITSU 包光 (in different kanji of KANE 包) who belonged Tegai branch in Yamato school) moved to Seki town, Mino domain during Eiwa era (1375-78) and changed it's name to KANE-MITSU 兼光 in another kanji of KANE 兼. He has been said as the founder of the Seki-sword maker under the patronage of Shinto shrine Kasuga Jinja 春日神社.
According to Muromachi-ki Mino-Toko-no Kenkyu, the extant work of KANEMITSU 兼光 with the oldest date of year is a Tanto signed KANEMITSU In the 8th month, the 1st year of Ouei (1394) and had been active throughout Muromachi period in several generations.

The subject maker KANEMITSU 兼光 is given rough age from Bunmei to Eisho era (1469-1520) an expert opinions as well as NBTHK certificate. This KANEMICHI 兼光, real name Seijiro 清次郎 a Buddhist name Ryokei 良敬, moved from Seki to Tsushima town in Owari in his later age.

The subject work is full of Samurai majesty spirit during the Warning States of period when major powerful clans such as Oda or Toyotomi in Owari, Tokugawa in Mikawa, Imagawa in Suruga, Takeda in Kai and Hojo in Odawara began rise to power.
Those tanto was supposed as an supplement usage for the Katana while horse riding battle. Hira-zukuri construction was working well for cutting through, Itame forging ware of functional mixture with hard and soft steel was designed for durable construction.
This prominent Tanto creates a majestic manner of heroic image by powerful Samurai to play for success and has been treasured in generations.
Silver foiled lower layer and gold plated upper layer Habaki collar, preserved in a Shira-saya plain wood mounting.
Good polish/Condition scale: very good (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor)
reference data :
Honma Junji/Ishii Masakuni, Nihonto Meikan, Yuzankaku, 1975
Suzuki Takuo/Sugiura Yoshiyuki Muromachi-ki Mino-Toko-no Kenkyu Ribun-shuppan, 2006
Sugiura Yoshiyuki Mino-to-ko Meikan, Ribun Shuppan, 2008