Jump to content
Soshin

New Tantō

Recommended Posts

Here is a new gendaitō tantō I picked up at the Tampa Japanese sword show earlier this month. It is small likely made as a lady’s dagger. It is my first signed and dated sword. It is signed ‘Sashū Mikawa Tensaido’. Here are quick photos with my iPhone better photos will come later. The ji-hada is a fine ko-itame. The hamon has a gunome-midare shape. Feel free to politely discuss.

post-680-0-53408200-1552347017_thumb.jpeg

post-680-0-56279100-1552347079_thumb.jpeg

post-680-0-46255800-1552347215_thumb.jpeg

post-680-0-33851000-1552347235_thumb.jpeg

post-680-0-24512400-1552347263_thumb.jpeg

post-680-0-45056000-1552347312_thumb.jpeg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

David,

my polite comment is that it looks like a nice little TANTO, but it is not a dagger. These have two cutting edges.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my polite comment is that it looks like a nice little TANTO, but it is not a dagger. These have two cutting edges.

Yes, you are correct it is a knife.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like it...interested in Gendaito tanto.

I need help with date...nakago looks older?

The date on one side of the nakago is second year of the Meiji Period (1869 CE), first day of the second month.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Historically, "dagger" has been used for both double- and single-edged knives used as weapons. Modern usage tends towards defining a dagger as being symmetric and double-edged, but this is neither universal practice nor a law. Etymologically, the origin of the word is unclear, but most signs point to the core meaning being "knife", "point", and "stab" – nothing specifically double-edged. In terms of connotation, the most important characteristic of a dagger appears to be that it is a short stabbing weapon. Ultimately it depends whom you are speaking to, but I personally wouldn't blink at someone calling a tantō a dagger, and in fact I think I have explained tantō as being "Japanese daggers" to non-enthusiasts before. "Knife" doesn't capture the weapon-based intent nor substantial size of tantō when conveying the concept to neophytes, in my humble opinion. Tantō were not used as tools, as knives would be.

This sort of linguistic ambiguity is of course completely avoided by just sticking to using "tantō" of course. ;-)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Going off on yet another tangent: since this tantō was made before 1876 – the ban on swords – I consider it shinshintō, not gendaitō. :)

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's not debate semantics again. Tanto works.
David, I think this is a lovely piece, and ticks all the boxes. Signed, dated, good condition and lovely to look at. Well done, it's a great pickup.
I would love to hear a confirmation of the mei, as Tensaido sounds a bit odd?
As Guido says, you should consider this a Shinshinto...which is great. I see a good future in moving to blades for you :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Historically, "dagger" has been used for both double- and single-edged knives used as weapons. Modern usage tends towards defining a dagger as being symmetric and double-edged, but this is neither universal practice nor a law. Etymologically, the origin of the word is unclear, but most signs point to the core meaning being "knife", "point", and "stab" – nothing specifically double-edged. In terms of connotation, the most important characteristic of a dagger appears to be that it is a short stabbing weapon. Ultimately it depends whom you are speaking to, but I personally wouldn't blink at someone calling a tantō a dagger, and in fact I think I have explained tantō as being "Japanese daggers" to non-enthusiasts before. "Knife" doesn't capture the weapon-based intent nor substantial size of tantō when conveying the concept to neophytes, in my humble opinion. Tantō were not used as tools, as knives would be.

This sort of linguistic ambiguity is of course completely avoided by just sticking to using "tantō" of course. ;-)

In the passed on my website and other mediums I have used the term ‘dagger’ to describe tantō. I will continue doing so. Changing now would be a waste of time.

Brian, I can’t confirm the reading of the mei. While it can be read like this it might not be correct. The reading was what the previous owner was thinking from his notes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, nice tanto! Sorry for off topic but Funny I was reading a similar argument in regards to an antique print I was interested in. The seller labeled it a "Lithograph" but technically (and lawfully) lithos must have been made from the original painting and by the artists hand. Otherwise it's just a reproduction, which isn't bad per say.

 

Anyways, I spent a couple hours reading arguments about litho vs. Repro . I agree with David tho. Tomatoe, tomato but in the Nihonto world, titles matter

 

I can never get that time back lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Going off on yet another tangent: since this tantō was made before 1876 – the ban on swords – I consider it shinshintō, not gendaitō. :)

 

Consulting some offline nihontō references you are correct my little old tanto is technically shinshintō not gendaitō because it was made pre haitōrei of 1876.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

David, would you post a pic in the translation section, would like to get alternate readings of the mei so we can pin your guy down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I’m seeing is

 

薩州三川天生士

 

明治二已二月日

 

Unusual way to write the year, using a mixture of year number and zodiac cycle. The smith (if 天生士 indeed is a name) seems to be meikan-more, and I’m not sure how to read/pronunce those kanji.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guido, I also noticed it to about the year.  I am going to post it in the translation section as per Brian suggestion. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...