K73. Very Finely Mounted & Papered O-Tanto by Fujiwara Yoshinaga
K73. Sweet sun’nobi tanto in wonderful koshirae.
Nagasa: 13 1/8″ 33.2 cm.
Sori: .35 cm.
Moto haba: 3 cm.
Moto kasane: .7 cm.
Saki kasane: .43 cm.
Nakago nagasa: 4 3/4″ 12.2 CM.
Overall in Koshirae: 26 1/2″ 67 cm.
The blade is signed on the ura: Fujiwara Yoshinaga Saku, and on the omote: Fudō Myōō Aizen Myōō (Fudo is a Buddhist diety, a wrathful messenger, and Aizen is the embodiment of rage).
Hira zukuri, iore mune, ubu, 1 hole. There is a beautiful itame hada with ample ji-nie. The hamon is suguba in a bright and consistent nioi-guchi covered in the finest ko-nie, starting narrow and gently widening into an o-maru, swept (hake kake) boshi with a long kaeri. The blade is in polish and mounted with a lovely 2 piece gold foil habaki. It comes with a Kicho paper from the NBTHK dated 1979. I don’t know which Yoshinaga made this (the paper doesn’t specify); Shinto, earlier rather than later, is my guess for time of manufacture. There is a shira saya with tsunagi but when this sword came to me it was mounted in its koshirae; I see no reason to move it back to the shira saya.
The koshirae for this tanto is special; it was given Tokubetsu Kicho paper by the NBTHK, also in 1979. The saya is finely ribbed black lacquer, with horn koi guchi, kurikata, and ko jiri. The kogai and kotsuka are very high quality: shakudo and gold with exceptional nanako (a former owner was offered $2,000 for these 2 ppieces alone). The kogatana is signed and polished on its back. The tsuba is signed Naohide: iron with gold pillows in the ryo-hitsu, a cross hatch pattern with a few small flower shapes and Buddhist wheels. The rim of the tsuba is carved in tortoise shell.
The fuchi is copper with shakudo and gold; the kashira is horn. The menuki are shakudo and gold, and quite high quality. The theme, whatever it is, matches that of the kotsuka (same hand?). The tsuka-ito is well done; it covers same’ with the most impressive large nodules I’ve ever encountered. With the exception of a 2″ fine split in the saya near the bottom (see my last picture), everything here is in excellent condition.
I really like this sword (in case you hadn’t noticed); I bet you willl too. Nothing flashy, nothing over the top: this is elegance. 2 pounds, 7 ounces. $4,350.