K79. Naginata Naoshi Tanto with Honami Shu-Mei to Shikkake Norinaga
K79. Tanto in shirasaya with gold wash habaki.
Nagasa: 10 7/8" 27.6 cm.
Sori: .4 cm.
Moto haba: 2.4 cm.
Moto kasane: .3 cm.
Saki haba: 2.2 cm.
Saki kasane: .3 cm.
Kissaki nagasa: 13.7 cm.
Nakago Nagasa: 3 7/8" 9.8 cm.
Overall in shirasaya: 19 1/2" 44.3 cm.
Before I write my spiel, let me say that this was the most difficult sword to photograph I've ever had. Try as I might and for whatever reason, my pictures show very little of what is nice about this tanto and make what is normal grain structure in the blade look bad. I'll try to be quite thorough with my description.
This tanto, I believe, used to be a naginata. The mune in the kissaki was brought forward and the nakago was cut short, leaving what we have today. There is a shu-mei (lacquer attribution) to Yamato Shikkake Norinaga, signed by Honami Koson. Also included is a paper issued at a 1975 shinsa in California, giving the blade to Norinaga and with the date of 1394.
The hada is masame with mokume, some of it tending large. The hamon begins in a narrow suguba with subtle hataraki and at the yokote it changes to the classic ko-gumome expected from Shikkake, on through the kissaki and out the back without kaeri, all in a consistant nioi-guchi covered in finest ko-nie. The blade is in polish and other than the large grain there is nothing that could be considered a defect.
Shikkake is one of the 5 schools of Yamato Den. Norinaga's father/master is thought to be the founder of Shikkake but since there is no work extant from him, Norinaga is the founder by default. Early Yamato naginata are rare; it is somewhat amazing that this has come down to us as a tanto. 14 ounces. $2,500.
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