A Dagger, or Kaiken Tantō, Meiji period

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Item ref: 3850

  • Japan
  • Iron, silver, copper alloy, wood, lacquer
  • 30 cm / 12 in


Private collection, Europe

Meiji period (the blade 16th century, mounts late 19th century)

The blade is shobu zukuri, with a medial ridge running the full length, engraved with the Sanskrit character or bonji for the Buddhist guardian divinity Fudō Myō-ō, ko-itame hada and gunome hamon of ko-nie becoming suguba along the mune, signed Bishū Osafune Harumitsu 備州長船

住春光. It is fitted with a silver habaki or collar. The mounting is in aikuchi 合口 (guardless) style, the hilt (tsuka) covered in shibuichi (copper silver alloy) with a central embossed and chased roundel of a cherry tree in bloom, ribbed gilded bands above and below, a mekugi of shibuichi, the terminals formed as cherry blossom, and a kashira chased with cherry blossom.

The scabbard (saya) is of wood, lacquered in nashiji style with a cherry blossom diaper in gold, with fittings for the mouth and chape (koiguchi and kojiri) of shibuichi, decorated to match the hilt. A pair of chopsticks (waribashi), also of shibuichi with cherry blossom, fit in a pocket in the mouth of the scabbard.