Original Japanese Tanto Short Sword with Kogatana Knife and Kogai in Sword Bag - Ancient Handmade Blade
Original Item: Only One Available. Purchased from a collector in Europe, this is a truly beautiful Japanese Tanto (短刀), which literally means short sword. These could be in any number of different shapes, depending on the requests of the person who ordered it. The blade is in the typical "Hira Zukuri" shape, which means it is a blade without a shinogi, or ridge typical of longer blades. It comes as a complete set with lacquered decorative scabbard, which has slots for the included Kogatana and Kogai, as well as a beautiful Tanto Bukuro (short sword bag) add Fusa Himo for tying it closed. This would also be used to attach the scabbard to the waist.
The blade is old, we are told ancient, due to a few tell tale characteristics that are:
- The hole in the tang (meguki-ana) is punched, and not drilled
- Folded steel blade - fold lines are evident on the body and spine of blade, as well as grain typical of folded steel.
- Visible temper line ("hamon") running full length of blade cutting edge. Steel crystals (nie and nioi) are visible.
- Hada or Grain is visible throughout the blade surface.
Offered in excellent condition with only spots of discoloration, the blade is still sharp and does not have any visible nicks. Blade length is approximately 10 1/8" and overall length 15 1/2". Handmade blade, with punched mounting hole tang. Multiple temper lines visible throughout the blade. The Kogatana accessory knife is in good condition, with some pitting present, though it is still sharp. The Kozuka (grip) is loose on the tang to allow viewing, but is in excellent condition and is highly decorative. The design motif matches that on the Kogai, which is a ceremonial hair arranger as well as an ear wax cleaner. These both fit into slots in the scabbard, and are highly desirable to collectors.p>The Tsuka (handle) has a round tsuba (cross guard) with bird menuki (grip decoration), and a nice Kashira (End Cap), with one bamboo securing peg. Excellent stingray Sa-Me Skin (grip) with complete Ito (cloth binding). The Tsuba and seppa (spacers) have cutouts to allow the Kogatana and Kogai to fit through it. There are also markings on the end of the handle that correspond to markings inside the scabbard, indicating a matched set.
The Scabbard (saya) is in excellent condition, and is one of the most attractive that we have ever seen. It has a beautiful speckled lacquer finish, with what appears to be flecks of abalone shell mixed in, giving it a highly attractive iridescent sheen. There also are hand-painted designs in black on the body of the scabbard. The Kurikata (scabbard knob) is in excellent condition, and the two slots for the Kogatana and Kogai are very expertly carved out. It has a brass Kojiri (Scabbard tip) that matches the design on the Tsuba (cross guard).
To top this set off, it also includes a high quality Tanto Bukuro, which literally means "tanto bag". It is a wonderful color and in excellent condition, though it also shows age on the interior, so it was not produced anytime recently. The exterior is lavender and gold thread, and is highly decorative. Tied to the bag is a Fusa Himo cord for tying it closed, as well as for tying the scabbard to the waist belt, should the tanto ever be equipped.
This is one of the best Japanese edged weapon sets that we have ever had, and it would be a worthy asset to any edged weapon collection, both for the quality of the knife, and the beauty of the accessories.
It has been over one thousand years ago that the art of making swords appeared in Japan. The swordsmiths of the time may not have known it but they were creating a legendary sword. The Samurai sword has seen combat in many battlefields. From the early days of the Samurai warrior to the fierce battles in the South Pacific during WWII.
Each hand-made Samurai sword is unique because it is forged from steel stock. A tremendous amount of work is dedicated to creating these pieces. They were an instrument of war as much as a beautiful artifact to adorn a room.
The Samurai sword has grown to be one of the most highly desired military antiques.
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