- Museum number
Sword blade (tanto); with mounting (short sword-sheath; kozuka; hilt; menuki; fuchi-kashira). Blade: made of steel; signed. Sheath: made of black lacquered wood. Hilt: with gold mekugi; made of wood and skin (ray). Kozuka: crane in high-relief coloured metal inlay on silver ground; inscribed. Menuki: in shape of corn?; made of gilded metal. Fuchi-kashira: made of black lacquered metal. Soshu school blade and Goto school metal fittings.
- Production date
14thC (early; blade)
19thC (late; metal fittings)
- Curator's comments
短刀 国光作 及び短刀拵
Dagger (tanto) and a dagger mounting
The tanto is a short sword, or dagger. This one was made by a medieval swordsmith called Kunimitsu, working in the 1300s amd must have been a treasured heirloom. The mounting includes a scabbard, hit and guard, as well as a small knife that fits into the handle.
Samurai women leraned how to use daggers.
In extreme situations they were expected to fight, or stab themselves rather than be captured by the enemy.
Dagger: steel, about 1300
Miunting: wood, lacquer, 1800s
(Label copy, 2017)
'Hira zukuri' tanto blade with the slight 'uchizori' curve of the late Kamakura period. The blade has 'itame' with 'mokume' grain with 'jifu utsuri' and much 'chikei'. The 'suguha hamon' is of fine 'nie' with 'kinsuji'. The maker, Shintogo Kunimitsu, is feted as the founder of the Soshu tradition at Kamakura in the late Kamakura period.
- On display (G93/dc10)
- Exhibition history
2006 Oct 13-, BM Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from prehistory to the present'
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Bought at Christie's (lot 226) by Eskanazi Ltd at the BM's request. Former collection of Walter A Compton.
- Registration number