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My tanto for comment please


Janrudolph
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Jan,
Blade is always the most important thing. More pics please. Those make it impossible to say anything much.
Gut feel is that this is also a genuine tanto blade that was rusted and cleaned up and sanded by someone like Gus. It's a genuine piece though..maybe a little over polished.
Clear closeups of the tang both sides, and of the whole thing. The fittings are fairly standard but nice ones for a tanto. They won't tell you anything about the tanto, but they are genuine mid level Japanese fittings.

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Thanks Brian! I only remade the mekugi, which was a train smash, and altered the koiguchi in the correct way so that the habaki gets a grip on the scabbard. It was a bit loose. Otherwise this is as I received it.

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No, not a yoroi-doshi. Regular tanto.
Definitely polished by a local...probably also Gus. Pity you end up with a flat surface, lacking the convex shape to the sides of the blade.

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A most unremarkable tanto! Or so it seems. This is only my second nihonto tanto, and I had to let my first one go to get this one. I did not like my "boy's tanto" with its untypical blade shape. I had hoped this one could be discussed in more depth than the first. Johan 

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Johan,
Afraid you hit the nail on the head. It is unremarkable. Generic in that it has no hamon to be seen, no hada to be seen and the shape is altered from over polishing.
So genuine, but nothing to be said more than it is a tanto. As for age, the standard catch-all is late Edo. Can't really date it from what is seen. Safe bet to say 1700's/1800's at a wild guess.
As for the fittings....never assume they are original. They were made to be changed. Unless there is some or other provenance to them, I always assume they are later.
Your fittings are decent and original, that's about all that can be said. Tsuba is a common theme, I've seen them before.
 

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With that I must be satisfied, Brian, and of course I understand your stance in matters such as these. But as a final request before this thread is ended, I would very much like to hear if someone can enlighten me as to the interpretation of the artwork on the tsuba? Looks to me a lot like some cherry blossoms and perhaps a few cowrie shells? And those long stalks?  I'd be very grateful. Johan

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My guess is plum tree. 

Similar to the photo below (snipped from a Japanese auction site)

 

 

plum tsuba.JPG

 

The long "stalks" are tree branches. Plum blooms at the end of winter, when there are no leaves yet on the tree. 

 

plum tree.jpg

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SteveM, thank you. I was especially glad to get this identification from you. I have now looked up a lot of info on the plum blossom and learned what cultural values are placed on it. To you and Brian I wish to explain that my "unremarkable" tanto is of great value to me, in that it acts like a catalyst spurring me on to gain a better knowledge of things nihonto. Steve's willingness to put a name to the artwork is what I value greatly, notwithstanding that the blade and its tang is greatly destroyed by over-polishing. We can't all get lucky and pay $40 at auction for a high-end blade in shirasaya! Some must glean what info there is concerning a blade and its koshirae from what we have in hand, and learn as much in the process. That's what I am after. I was hoping that someone could also suggest what the menuki and fuchikashira might symbolise. Johan

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The fuchi/kashira are traditional symbols of good luck and longevity: pine, bamboo, crane, and turtle. Together with the plum on the tsuba, they would all be considered auspicious symbols.

 

The menuki I am not so sure about; something related to the 7 lucky gods? Or, some kind of Daruma theme? Hopefully someone will pitch in with a proper answer. 

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