- Museum number
Hilt; menuki; fuchi-kashira. Part of mounting for tanto. Hilt: lacquered in simulation of leather binding; made of wood. Menuki: roundels depicting youth riding turtle (Urashima Taro); made of shibuichi. Fuchi-kashira: sculpted with waves; made of shibuichi.
- Production date
- 1868-1912 (mounting assembled)
- Curator's comments
- Harris 2005
This 'tanto' blade is 'hira zukuri' with an 'uchi zori' curve and 'mitsumune'. The tang has 'kesho' and 'sugikai' file marks, two holes and a 'kurijiri' tip. The grain is 'itame', flowing into 'masame' towards the cutting edge. The 'hamon' is 'notare' with dense 'nie' that mingles into the grain to form 'sunagashi'. The 'boshi' is pointed, has 'hakikake' and a long return, which develops into 'muneyaki' along the back of the blade.
Minamoto Sadakazu (1836-1918) was the successor of Gassan Sadayoshi (d. 1870). Sadayoshi continued the tradition of the Gassan school, which originated in Dewa Province; the school was for centuries associated with the religious cults of the famous Three Mountains of Dewa. Sadayoshi studied under Suishinshi Masahide, the founder of the 'shinshinto' tradition, and his repertoire expanded to include traditions other than the classic Gassan style. Sadakazu is said to have imitated the work of famous earlier smiths and signed with their names after the Haitorei (law instituted in 1876 prohibiting the wearing of swords in public), when demand for swords within Japan plummeted. He was appointed 'teishitsu gigei-in' (imperial craftsman) in 1907.
The scabbard is ribbed and lacquered black. The 'shibuichi' fittings are sculpted with waves. The hilt is lacquered in simulation of leather binding, with 'menuki' of 'shibuichi' roundels depicting a youth riding a turtle, from the story of Urashima Taro. The mounting was assembled in the Meiji era.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Registration number