Ordering number: AS23290
Tanto: In Shirasaya(NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Token)
Inscription(Mei): Motte Kinjo Ishikawa-mon Kotetsu-saku Kore Sumitani Masamine(Kao)(living national treasure)
(Made with iron from Ishikawa-gate in Kanazawa castle, by Sumitani Masamine)
Showa 38 Nen 11 Gatsu 27 Nichi Nakaguro Osamu Tame Yakuyoke
(Praying for the safety and protection of Nakaguro Osamu, on 27th of November in Showa 38, 1963)
In our company, we classify swords as Saijō-saku (highest quality), Jōjōsaku (high quality), Jō-saku (good quality), and Futsū-saku (ordinary quality) based on the craftsmanship of the swordsmith. This piece is ranked as Jō-jō-saku, indicating it is of the highest quality.
Habaki (Collar): Silver Single Habaki
Blade Length: 28.0 centimeters (11.02 inches)
Curvature: 0.0 centimeters (straight blade)
Peg Hole: 1
Width at the Base: 2.9 centimeters (1.14 inches)
Thickness: 0.6 centimeters (0.24 inches)
Sword Weight: 210 grams
Era: Contemporary (modern)
Shape: The blade has a wide body with a slightly thick cross-section, features a triple groove (mitsumune), has a shallow curvature, and bears bo-hi (grooves) on both sides.
Blade Surface Pattern: The blade exhibits a finely grained ko-itamehada (small wood grain pattern) that appears almost like actual wood grain, showcasing excellent craftsmanship.
Blade Pattern: The hamon (temper pattern) features midare (irregular waves) with deep nioiguchi (temper line) and activities such as sunagashi (sand patterns) and fine kinsuji (golden lines).
Characteristics: Sumitani Masamine was born in 1921 in Hakusan, Ishikawa Prefecture. He graduated from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Ritsumeikan University and later apprenticed under swordsmith Sakurai Masayuki. He then established the sword forging workshop “Sansuryūtei.” Masamine created numerous swords and received the Masamune Award three times at the Shinshin-to Exhibition in 1965. In 1989, he crafted a sacred tachi (long sword) for Ise Jingu Shrine. In 1981, he was recognized as a Living National Treasure (ningen kokuhō). He was also honored to have crafted swords for members of the Imperial Family, including Princess Noriko and Crown Princess Masako. Unfortunately, he passed away at the age of 77 on December 12, 1998. This tanto showcases an exceptional sugata (blade shape) with wide body and shallow curvature, making it a remarkable masterpiece.
From Aoi Art: This tanto, created by the Living National Treasure Sumitani Masamine, is made from ancient nails used in the reconstruction of the Ishikawa-mon gate of Kanazawa Castle. It is a highly valuable and rare piece. Sumitani Masamine, whose real name was Koichi, was born in 1921 as the eldest son of the Sumitani family, which was involved in sake brewing in Ishikawa Prefecture. After obtaining a permit to create swords, he achieved numerous awards, became a Mukansa swordsmith in 1967, and was designated a Living National Treasure in 1981. He developed the Sumitani-choji hamon pattern and served as the chairman of the All Japan Swordsmith Association from 1984. He passed away in 1998.
NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Token paper
Aoi Art estimation paper: Whole Oshigata by Ayaka Tsuruta