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Hello to everyone. First time posting here and I have a few questions on this tanto and I have 7 other swords I will posting in time.  What exactly do I have here?  Age?  Value?  What are the small knife and tool called and what is the purpose of them.  The blade is 11 and 1/4 inches long and the total length is 16 and 3/8 inches.  The blade is 3/8 of an inch wide at the widest point.  Thanks for your help!

 

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Hello, Michael, maybe add your name to your avatar.

 

Excluding any comments on the swords value etc. it appears to be a real Japanese sword as in not a fake. I think maybe Edo period but I don't know much. The polish is not so great with rust but it's not too bad and maybe you can still appreciate the attributes of the steel.

 

Does it have papers or a shirasaya? Might be worth repolishing.

 

The koshirae, fittings it is in appear to be relatively simple as far as the materials used because the copper stands out to me but it has a very nice theme and workmanship in my opinion. Not excessive but sophisticated in a sense.

 

Unique habaki too the moon against a drunk soldier who sees everything not double but triple during the day?!. I think it's a unique koshirae someone went all out.

 

Not bad at all👍 how did you acquire it?

 

I hope others add their thoughts.

 

Oh and 

http://www.nihontomessageboard.com/faq.html

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It's a yoroi-doshi. An armour piercer.
I like it a lot. I think the fittings are far better than first impression. Especially if that is shakudo inlayed. You need to take good care of that package. It is not a cheap tanto.
The 2 accessory knives: One with the little scoop is a kogai...used as a hair arranger. The other is a small accessory knife, kozuka handle with kogatana blade. used as a general purpose knife.
 

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Dear Michael.

 

Please forgive me if you know all this already.  Your tanto is in what is often described as issaku koshirae, that means the fittings are all of the same material and design.  In this case copper base with shakudo inlays.  It is an aikuchi, which means 'meeting mouth@ and describes the way the fuchi and koiguchi fit without tsuba and seppa.  Looks as if it might be missing the kojiri from the end of the saya.  I'm not sure of the reading but it might be signed Kanetsune, I am unclear about the first kanji but if that is correct then the blade is early Shinto from the 1600s

 

I agree with Brian, I like it a lot.

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I would go with 政常 Masatsune

 

image.png.13d61a8fe43278662dd7f2b60c4af12c.png

 

Btw. I like the koshirae a lot. All parts fit together and they are very tastefull. The small knife is called kogatana signed with a kiku mon.

 

 

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I like the tsukamaki (braid on the handle), & am amazed that all of the pieces of this tanto have stayed together over four centuries. Yes, an excellent find.

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Michael.  

I would like to echo what the others have said.  It's a yoroi toshi in aikuchi mounts that are very tasteful.  It's in pretty good polish.

 

The shakudo vine inlay in copper is reminiscent of Umetada work to my eye, though others may feel differently.  The mounts don't appear to be signed.  

 

The small blade has the interesting feature of having both the imperial kiku mon and the Tokugawa kiri mon on it, which I have to admit I've not seen before.  Usually the signatures on these small companion blades are tributes rather than the actual maker.  

 

As to value, I would say that in a better auction it would go for around $2500-3500 or so as the hammer price, more or less.  In general, yoroi toshi blades don't fetch as much as the standard hirazukuri blade.  Did you buy or inherit a collection?  If the others are like this, you are lucky to own them.  

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A very unfortunate event put this large collection up for sale.  It consisted of guns, swords, knives, and many various small military items of which I acquired all but the guns.  The majority of it is US but quite a bit is of foreign manufacture.  I have a very large collection of similar items so I buy all I can find and sell off what I do not want to support the habit.  Like most of us I tend to keep way too much.  This Tanto instantly appealed to me and was immediately in the keep pile.  I could easily identify 99.9 percent of the other items but as you know Japanese swords are a world unto themselves.  I know just enough to ask someone what I have when I come by one.  The others in the collection seem to be military in nature and some for certain.  As I get them sorted out I will post them for your examination.  Some my be old blades in more recent WWII fittings. 

 

I would like to thank everyone for the information and knowledge on this Tanto.  It has been a very pleasant experience learning about it.

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Beautiful.

The kogai and kozuka are much later additions to the Koshirae so the saya must also be a later addition .

Regards Adam

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8 minutes ago, Babu said:

Beautiful.

The kogai and kozuka are much later additions to the Koshirae so the saya must also be a later addition .

Regards Adam

Where on earth did you get that statement from?
All the fittings match the kozuka and kogai.
 

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Brain is right. I don't see any dismatch in that "beautifull" Koshirae.

Very nice package. 

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Look at the filing to add the kogai and kozuka on the fittings gentlemen. Rough and untidy and this just would not be.

The Fuchi and koiguchi have both been roughly filed to accommodate the add ons.

Therefore they must have been added after the fittings were made.

It's likely the kogai and kozuka were a part of a very matched sword but not that tanto.

File marks should never be present in a finished item .

And before you mention it, the kogai doesn't even reach the Fuchi as shown in the images so it's not wear.(appreciate copper on copper doesn't wear that way)

 

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That is clutching at straws. No ways was that filed in there, left rough and then patinated.
No..makes no sense. All fittings are en-suite.

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Even when you can clearly see it you still dig your heels in don't you.

So in your opinion the artisan deliberately left those kogai and kozuka notches rough finished like that because you think that old copper has been patinated? It's just old copper.

If you look you can just see where some of the decoration remains but the rest has been lost to the filing on one side.

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Filing ?, or just wear and tear from taking the kogai in and out.

 

Later additions, lucky to find a pair which are an identical match, or if made, you would think after going to all that bother to match, they would be made to fit without having to file existing fittings.

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Babu why you try to rate down this nice piece? 

I didn't know whats your intention. Its a fine Tanto.

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Who's rating it down?

I can see clear file marks that appear to support the fact that the Fuchi and koiguchi have been filed down in what we can only assume is an attempt to fit both kogai and kozuka.

It's both sides and unless you're all in agreement that the artisan intended to leave this easily worked material rough in those areas then why am I all of a sudden Mr nasty??

There is no way that artisan intended for that set to have a kozuka and kogai.

If he did both the grooves would be lovely and smooth and the pattern would not be cut short.

I don't know what has gone down but the evidence is there for those with eyes to see.

It's still a lovely set but why do both the kogai and kozuka slots look so rough and unfinished?

Answer that please.

I thought this forum a place of respectful study and learning.

Not everyone jumping on another person's opinion all the time.

Explain the rough finish and I'll listen.

The material is copper. Plain ol unpatinated copper. Soft and easy to work by hand.

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Alex A said:

Filing ?, or just wear and tear from taking the kogai in and out.

 

As you can see the kogai doesn't even make contact with the Fuchi.

How then can it be wear and tear and all over that area?

No way is it wear and tear so what is it?

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Ah...I wish Ford would show you the error of your ways.
You are completely off base. FIRSTLY, you seem to think someone would take the significant time to source an identical set of fittings to match with the existing ones. Then he would take the time to file the existing fuchi.....and then not bother to smooth it off? Just leave it with rough file marks? Are you kidding?
You also claim these to be just plain copper with no patination. Do the Umetada know this?? These have significant patination.
Btw...the walls of that fuchi are not thick enough to just file a groove into it. You think it's solid?
Also....YES...they make contact. They do have to be withdrawn and inserted! You think both sides of the fucki AND the koiguchi were filed...and roughly? You know what that would do to the back of both the kozuka and kogai?
:roll:

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Maybe I am offbase but it's a sound theory based on engineering principles.

 

That is not umetada work it is not flamboyant enough and shows little or no strength of design.

Who told you it was umetada?

 

Also You are still not explaining why the two grooves are so rough of finish..it's not wear n tear.The kogai doesn't touch the Fuchi (see image)

 

 

I will once more draw attention to the detail.

I've also asked the OP to take close ups of both sides with saya closed but with the kozuka and kogai removed.

This will either confirm my theory or confound it. That's if Micheal agrees to do this.

After all it's just a theory at this stage.

For the record it's a lovely tanto I'd be happy to own.

However I would not pay $2500-3000 for it that seems very steep for a yoroi doshi so I would be outbid. I'm more likely to say $1800-$2000 is my top end.

 

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A few observations with the actual Tanto in hand.  First please excuse my lack of correct terms as I would butcher them quite badly and it would take me hours to find the correct translation of the terms.  The inlaid design is meant to go around the notches and none appears to have been lost. The pictures have glare in this area.  All of the inlaid design on each piece is a perfect match to one another done by the same hand in my opinion.  I have compared a fair amount of firearms engraving looking for the same techniques in the style and execution of the cuts.  There are obvious file marks in the notches.  I am going to include one additional picture I have of the area in question. 

 

On a different subject I googled the name Masatsune and found the image below.  In my completely untrained eye the two bottom characters of the signature are a near perfect match to the ones on my blade.  You can be the judge and I welcome your opinions. 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Guns Knives and Swords said:

In my completely untrained eye the two bottom characters of the signature are a near perfect match to the ones on my blade

No they appear very different Micheal but I'll let others comment as it will just cause conflict.

I had a tanto by this Smith in 2008.

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3 minutes ago, Guns Knives and Swords said:

Requested pictures.  For whatever it is worth the back side of the knife and hair tool are also rough filed and not polished smooth.  They do have the same patina.

Thank you Micheal Is the top image the kozuka knife or the kogai?

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It appears that the one side is original and the other is a cruder added slot that doesn't even quite fit the saya groove.

I do not doubt that some will say it's wear but then you have to ask why the softer wood of the slot doesn't show the same wear if that is the case.

It's a later addition without doubt.

It's not even well done and if that slot is not right, then that saya is not either as the original would only have one slot.

 

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It is Masatsune but I'm not a professional collector and know not many things.

The "file" marks are normal signs of wear. But this is also the meaning of a noob. So other collectors with a lot more knowledge can give the right answers. 😀

Btw I'm willing to learn every day something new.

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