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Kagemitsu Tanto

Jon MB

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Hello All,


Here is a Tanto, signed 'Kagemitsu'.


Not sure if I posted it before..


Bought it in a flea market in Asia more than 10 years ago...USD 30.

I think it was captured by Soviet forces in 1945.


Do we like it? Should I have it polished? Notice problem with boshi, I think it can be recovered.




Bizen Kagemitsu?


Thank for your help, all comments welcomed.


Blade:25.5 cm (10")

Total: 37 cm (14.5")












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Yes, Bizen or so it looks. Kagemitsu? Remains to be seen. People with a good meikan can help you.


Problem with boshi? You mean kissaki - the tip is broken, but a polisher can fix that. Make sure there is boshi (hamon in the kissaki), otherwise polishing would not make sense.


The koshirae is late, but nice. 


Excellent purchase, well done! 

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1. this tanto is trying to be old, old, imo, however, I believe that I'm seeing slight uchi-zori and if so, plus shape, hints at only old copy of old, old, muromachi quite possible. 

2. Kagemitsu, keep in mind that although the mei might be valid, elgible for hozon paper, this very well could be a mass produced signed school piece = lower quality. 

3. polish, while perhaps tempting because of price per inch, that's still cost per inch that could go towards a more promising piece.

4. before taking further steps, it's always wise to understand exactly what you have and more importantly don't have and might end up with, consult a good polisher.


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great buy the money spent,


to me it reminds me of sue koto  yorodoshi, except its abit longer then normal.


shape and thickness is classsic osafune kiyomitsu, sukesada etc


maybe the mei is abit on the largish side for normal sue osafune work of the time. 


mabe some closeups of the JI just around the habaki area please.


iMHO the mei is funny

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I think you may have gotten very lucky, Jon. From what I can see of the hamon, that sure looks like his characteristic kataochi gunome, & there were few other tosho who made that pattern. I also see one mei in Markus Sesko's e-Koto Meikan that's darn close to the one on your nakago. Keep your fingers crossed, but you may have a real winner! Woody did an excellent job of polishing my Kagemitsu, BTW. Good luck!



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Can't know for sure, but it's the cultural norm, never seen it done any other way there. I think pic 10 shows the effect of sharpening a bit.


Mongolian knives (like the Chinese/ Tibetan /Manchu trousse sets with chopsticks) are considered good quality if they have silver fittings. The copper fittings to the koshirae here would likely have left the impression with Mongolians that this was not such a high quality knife.

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Going back to the tanto....The mei herewith does not seem to correspond to the tight, compact mei of Nagamitsu’s son Bizen Osafune Kagemitsu, who worked in the 14th century. For the rest - the polish is not adequate to tell defining characteristics of hamon and hada. Good luck and enjoy it.

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