Tantō (dagger) blade
Mino school, Japan
16th century AD
This dagger blade is signed by the swordsmith Kanefusa I. The hamon, the crystalline pattern on the edge of the blade, is in the hako gunome (box-shaped) style which Kanefusa developed.
The Mino school was one of the three leading groups of swordsmiths in Japan from the second half of the fifteenth century, but sword production considerably decreased therein the late sixteenth century, shortly before the country was unified under the Tokugawa shogunate.
L. Smith, V. Harris and T. Clark, Japanese art: masterpieces in (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)