A very sturdy and solid armor-piercing blade that was originally a kikuchi yari, a Japanese spear, before it was shortened to a tanto. Accompanied by a certificate from the NBTHK attesting to the sword’s quality and authenticity.
The hamon is hoso suguha, a string-like temper line. The jigane is a coarse itame nagare (flowing wood grain) combined with masame at the edge, which along with the shirake utsuri is very characteristic of the Enju school.
The attractive Higo-style koshirae was made during the late Edo period (1615-1868). The fuchi and kashira are made from shakudo and show oars on top of fine nanako. The menuki is a coiled dragon in gold under the brown-lacquered tsuka-ito. A high-quality same lies under the wrap. The interesting and unusual iron katchushi (armorsmith) tsuba shows a paulownia inlaid in copper on the rim. The saya is lacquered in a base of aogai (powdered abalone) with chrysanthemum overlays all around. The kozuka was made by Yurakusaki Sekibun from a high-quality suaka copper blade showing an engraved tiger with gold and silver inlays, while the kogai was also made by a late Edo period artist. With a modern sword stand.
NAGASA 24 cm
Condition: The blade and koshirae are in excellent condition. The blade with very minor surface wear.
Provenance: Important samurai art from an Austrian private collection – Lots (31 – 39) are from an Austrian private collection, assembled with great knowledge and care, as all the objects are in a superior state of preservation. The collection most prominently features three Koto swords, no. 31 is listed as a Juyo Token (= important work).
The blade of this tanto was originally a specific type of yari, a kikuchi yari, named after the Higo Province town that was the seat of the Enju school of swordsmiths. These yari had an unconventional shape, resembling a kanmuri otoshi or yoroi doshi (armor piercer), but with a long nakago to be used as a spear if the need should arise. As warfare intensified during the Sengoku period, seeing an increase in close-combat fighting, these yari became an obvious choice for shortening and remounting as an armor-piercing tanto, its heavy triangular construction providing a fine thrusting weapon capable of penetrating heavy targets.