Blade construction (kengyo) : Hira-zuruki Tano. Iori-mune holding no-curvature very thick in Kasane - Appropriate degree of tapering from base to the less swelling point of Kissaki. The entire blade is designed for stabbing so called "Yoroi-toshi". (click HERE for high resolution of the blade photograph)
Forging pattern (kitae hada) : Kitae hada is conspicuous Ō-Itame hada mixing with streaming Masame ware that appears mostly along Mune-side. The surface is covered in sparkling Ji-Nie of martensite crystals over the surface that generates Chikei of darkish Nie lines.
Tempering pattern (hamon) : Quenching area is covered with rather on profuse and deeper side of Nie. Flamboyant pattern of undulating Ō-midare - mixture of Gunome zigzag, "Yahazu" Herringbone pattern or angled pointed tip outline with complex various patterns. The quench splashes over Hiraji surface to generate "Yubashiri" and overflows along the back ridge to form "Muneyaki". In the interior of temper, there works with floating YOU activities and SUNAGASHI or KINSEN (short, long lines of Nie / bright curved threadlike areas). The entire quenching pattern generate various sparkling Nie bright activities and the interior is filled with deep mist granules of Nioi.
Temper of tip (boshi) : Temper of tip is rather on stronger side of Nie that forms irregular pattern harshly with "Hakikake" brush up indication then turns back deeply that connects to "Muneyaki".
Tang (Nakago) : Fish bottom (Funazoko) shape Nakago is original UBU. "Katte-sagari" shallow slanting left file marks, there is a little contoured mass on the back ridge. Single-bevelled (Ha-agari Kurijiri) heel shape. One retaining punch of "Mekugiana". Two character inscription to read HIROMITSU 廣光 appears in front under the Mekugiana.
The power of Sōshu school in Sagami province (now Kamakura city) ever since Kamakura era had been declining down to Muromachi period due to the reasons that Sōshu technique was the most troublesome technical method among five major schools.
From the reference of Nihonto Meikan, the founder HIROMITSU 廣光 reportedly said the most able disciple of the famed MASMUNE 正宗 in Nanbokucho period. Descendant of HIROMITSU 廣光 had observed the tradition of main Sōshu technique in generations until Dai'ei era (1521-).
The subject stirring Tanto was formed for stabbing purpose through the openings of armor or helmet. Itame forging of functional mixture with hard and soft steel in different character was designed for the possible best durability. "Muneyaki" quenching technique was carefully designed for the most supreme sharp performance.
The Nakago shape of fish-bottom "Funazoko" proves the legitimate Sōshu-tradition and this manner had a strong effect on the other schools such as Shitahara in Bushu, Shimada in Suruga and Senko in Ise.
This prominent Tanto has been treasured in generations over the passage of 500 years or more.
Now being furnished with the matchless cool fitting in peaceful Edo period.
Tsuba combined URUMINURI-dimmed brown lacquered willow pattern scabbard Tanto Koshirae consists of :
(click HERE for entire koshirae image in front, HERE for the other side and HERE for higher resolution images for each metal fitting)
- Tanzaku rectangle with pin stopper : Oborogin silver alloy stripe bearing a note from "Wa people from the chronicle of Wei" of GISHIWAJINDEN 魏志倭人伝 『智者避危於無形』 (note)
- Fuchi/Kashira : Foreigners under bamboo tree design, Shakudo Nanako-ji surface, Takabori, Iroe, unsigned
- Black Roiro lacquered Tsuba combined with scabbard
- Menuki : Hatchet design Shakudo Katabori, Iroe
- Kozuka : Bamboo grass a pair of tiger and leopard design
- Tsuka : Persimmon tanning Koto string Hiramaki wrap
- Brazen screwed Mekugi-peg with a Kikuza-hatome decorative washer
Copper ground, silver plated Habaki collar. Preserved in a Shira-saya plain wood mounting. Good old polish/Condition scale: very good (using a scale of mint-excellent-very good-good-fair-poor)(note) 智者避危於無形 "Those who have visions see things before they happen"
reference data : Ishii Masakuni/Honma Junji, Nihonto Meikan,Yuzankaku, 1975