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A tanto


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My newest nihonto

I've spoken to Paul B and he has given me a few pointers and I hope to show it to him when Covid permits

In the meantime I welcome any comments especially seeing how accurate the kantei exercises have been over the last few weeks

And finally to Shinsa or not to Shinza that is the question?


An Ubu hira-zukuri tanto, iori mune with no sori. 
The hada is of itame and Mokume type. 
The hamon is a shallow midare/gunome in nioi deki. There is some evidence of activity 
such as sunagashi 
(Sunagashi= drifting sands- it describes activity within the hamon where lines of nie join 
together and flow parallel to the hamon. It looks a bit like masame hada inside the 
hamon running through the hamon. The boshi is sugu and narrow possibly the kissaki 
has been reshaped. There is no kaeri evident. The nakago appears to be ubu it is short 
and slightly funa-gata in appearance and ends in a ha-agari kurijiri. The Yasurime 
appear to be kiri but not clear. 
The polisher added: It’s a nice Tanto and lots of activity, the hamon at the kissaki was really unusual and two different colours of steel so at first I thought it was utsuri.















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But the kaeri of the boshi is good to see! And at least on the Ura it retreats in connection with Muneyaki far over the Mune. Also I mean to recognize a very weak Sori. Nice to look at are the Chikei in the Ji.
The blade looks very much like Momoyama or early Shinto.

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I would vote sue-seki, late Muromachi, but unfortunately that's the type of work where one can go all the way to Bizen and still be close enough. i.e. not too distinctive, at least to my eyes.

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Hi Grev, was hoping get some time have a go at this one, like these kantei quiz.


Something telling me this may be early Edo but not sure yet.


Personally, i would not bother with Shinsa unless it was in UK, not because its not worth it, just i couldnt be bothered shipping abroad + expenses.


You should be able to get some good answers without the hassle.


Nice blade.







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A PM also advised against sending for Shinsa

I thought this to be the case it's just that I have a mumei Tairyûsai Sôkan that has old papers so it would be a two sword deal with Paul Martin if I decided to send them

I would really like a few more comments


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Be good to find out what they think.


The little time i spent the other day i ended up looking into Shimada but then footy started :laughing:


Some good clues there, you should be able to come up with something yourself

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Hi Grev,


I think the problem with sending it to shinsa is that, without a signature or a real tell in terms of kantei, you might not find out more than you already know i.e. it comes back with a general attribution to say "sue Seki". For me, it has a bit of a Mino feel generally and what looks like nagare hada in places supports that but I can't say more. If the polisher's assessment is correct, I feel the two steel thing is unusual for late koto/ early shinto - it's something I normally associate with shinshinto blades so perhaps there's an outside chance that it might be later than late Koto/ early Shinto but it's possible that it happened at other times too or was just coincidence in this case. Did the polisher give you his opinion?


Ultimately, I guess it depends on how curious you are and if you are sending one blade and money isn't an issue, you might as well add a second to the package maybe.


What are your feelings about the Sokan? Have you posted this blade previously if not, could we have a look please?



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Hi Grev,


Adding all that together looked at Mino and other schools like Takada and Fujishima etc


And in the end, my inexpert kantei attempt comes to Sue-Seki also.


Be nice if there was masame near the mune and would help varify.


Be good to hear what a shinsa panel think.

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I've looked at a few Sue-Seki short swords and most have the same basic shape and kaeri of the boshi

I'll try and get a few more references

Chris you said about the reshaped kissaki but wouldn't the hamon around the kissaki look uneven?


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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/12/2021 at 2:23 PM, Alex A said:

Must admit, struggling to see a re-shaped kissaki or anything unusual about the boshi in these images.


Same here. Even if it is, usually it's a part of the polishing processes to gently reshape the kissaki (if needed) and in this case isn't much if any reshaping done at all imho.


I say send it.  Why else are we in this hobby? We only live once.  

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