Ordering number: 23332
Tanto: In Shirasaya with Koshirae (NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Token)
Inscription (Mei): Minamoto Masao
Bunkyu Gannen 8 Gatsu Hi
At our company, we categorize swordsmith works based on their quality: Finest, Excellent, Fine, and Ordinary. This piece’s quality ranks it as an Excellent work. Polished.
Habaki: Gold foiled double Habaki
Blade Length: 26.2 cm (10.31 inches)
Curvature: 0.0 cm (0.0 inches)
Peg Hole: 1
Width at Base: 2.59 cm (1.02 inches)
Thickness: 0.59 cm (0.23 inches)
Weight: 220 grams
Era: Edo Period, Bunkyū 1st Year (1861)
Shape: This piece has a solid and well-defined shape with a thick kasane (cross-section). It is a robust work with a healthy and sturdy appearance.
Jigane: The masame hada (straight grain pattern) has distinctive hada-ji (skin texture) with well-pronounced jinie (metal particles), resulting in splendid jigane (forging texture).
Temper Pattern (Hamon): The hamon features deep nie (crystalline structures) activities in nioiguchi (temper boundary line), creating a unique wavy midare-like irregular pattern. The hamon appears with a rounded hamachi (notch area), deep curvature, and saka-ashi (reverse-turn) activities. The hamon is beautifully tempered and features fine kinsuji-like lines along with sunagashi activities.
Special Features: Minamoto Masao is said to be a disciple of Kiyomaro, who was known as Masayuki during the period. He is extensively covered in Kiyomaro Taikan (Great Register of Kiyomaro) from page 207 to 213. Around the 1st to 3rd years of the Bunkyū era, he produced his most compelling works, which are closely reminiscent of Kiyomaro’s style. The presence of masame hada might be influenced by Kiyomaro, as he created several masame-hada works that likely influenced Minamoto Masao.
Saya: A saya (scabbard) made of what appears to be rosewood, with decorative carvings on the upper part of the scabbard.
Menuki: High-relief carvings of two horses, adorned with gold-colored enamel.
Tsuka: The red copper fish-roe textured tsuka (hilt) features high-relief carvings of a horse and a gourd, decorated with gold-colored enamel.
From Aoi Art: Minamoto Masao’s craftsmanship is said to closely resemble the works of Kiyomaro. The deep nioiguchi activities in the hamon are truly remarkable. Tanto creations are relatively scarce, making this piece a highly recommended work.
NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Token Paper
Aoi Art Estimation Paper: Whole Oshigata by Ayaka Tsuruta