Japanese tanto 16th century Tensho period BIZEN Osafune Harumitsu 春光

Tantô, 16th century by the blacksmith Bizen Harumitsu
(春光). There were several blacksmiths working in the mid to late 16th century who used the Harumitsu name. Their signatures often included their names and that made identification a bit easier. It is signed by Bishû (not) Jû Osafune Harumitsu. The signature style resembles that used by Jûrôzaemonnojô Harumitsu, who worked around the Tensho era (1570). This was a period of intense warfare throughout Japan and swords were in high demand. This tantô appears to be an excellent example of what is called kazu-uchi mono made to meet the needs of fighting armies. In general, blacksmiths like Harumitsu also made what are called chûmon-uchi swords, that is, carefully made, high-quality swords on which they proudly put their full name, place of residence, and the date the sword was made. He is classified as a wazamono blacksmith. This means that his swords are classified as having excellent cutting ability.

This tanto has a cutting edge of 9.625 inches or 24.5 cm. The moto-haba (width at the base) is 0.95 inches or 2.42 cm and the saki-haba (width at the point) is 0.73 inches or 1.85 cm. The kasano (thickness of the blade) is 0.24 inches or 0.58 cm. The blade has only a very slight koshi-sori (curvature). The jigane (metal grain) is a combination of tight ko-itame mixed with thick mokume in areas. There seems to be a fair amount of utsuri throughout the ji which should stand out beautifully if the blade had a touch up polish. The hamon (temper line) is an irregular, jagged midare that might be called a nie-kuzuri. This is typical of the swords of the late Bizen school. The nakago is ubu with two mekugi-ana (holes).

This blade comes with a very nice set of mounts (koshirae) as shown below. This koshirae is in excellent condition. It also comes with NBTHK Hozon papers which attest to the validity of the signature and the quality of the sheet. There is also a shirasaya and a silver habaki.

The British Museum has given to its credit two swords of the blacksmith Bizen Osafune Harumitsu 1570 Tensho period.



Availability: Out of stock
  • 195 750 CZK

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