Aikuchi Tanto Koshirae

A custom koshirae for a small antique tanto blade belonging to a client. Crimson lacquered samegawa handle, fukiurushi horn fittings, a silver mekugi, and polished black lacquer scabbard in a classical aikuchi style.

Materials for the custom red and black aikuchi style koshirae mounting include lacquered samegawa over hounoki for the handle, a silver and copper mekugi, and lacquered buffalo horn fuchi, kashira, koiguchi, and kurikata. Overall length when sheathed is about 11.5″.

Island Blacksmith: Hand crafted tanto made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques

Specifications

柄長 Tsuka: 3 sun 3 bu (100mm)
拵全長 Koshirae: 9 sun 6 bu (291mm)
拵 Koshirae: aikuchi, issaku

Material: Hounoki, samegawa, reclaimed buffalo horn, reclaimed copper wire, silver, natural urushi

This piece is in a private collection in Ontario.


Process Highlights

Island Blacksmith: Hand crafted tanto made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
After carving the inside of the scabbard to fit the blade, the halves are glued back together with sokui and the outside is shaped.
Island Blacksmith: Hand crafted tanto made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
The initial carving is done with kiridashi knives and planes.
Island Blacksmith: Hand crafted tanto made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
The final shaping is done with finishing planes and kiridashi followed by a fine rasp and tokusa.
Island Blacksmith: Hand crafted tanto made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
A reclaimed horn button is carved into a kurikata.
Island Blacksmith: Hand crafted tanto made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Reclaimed buffalo horn is shaped into reinforcement for the handle and koiguchi.
Island Blacksmith: Hand crafted tanto made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
The horn parts fit to the wood, note that the handle is smaller to account for the thickness of the samegawa.
Island Blacksmith: Hand crafted tanto made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
The samegawa is cut using a paper pattern, then wet formed and dried to the contours of the handle.
Island Blacksmith: Hand crafted tanto made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Parts prepared for assembly.
Island Blacksmith: Hand crafted tanto made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Test fit of the horn and samegawa to the wood.
Island Blacksmith: Hand crafted tanto made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Samegawa glued to the handle core with sokui, the seam runs down the centre of the ura side.
Island Blacksmith: Hand crafted tanto made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Samegawa from the omote side.
Island Blacksmith: Hand crafted tanto made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
With the horn parts in place.
Island Blacksmith: Hand crafted tanto made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Full test fit before final shaping and polishing of the horn parts followed by lacquering.
Island Blacksmith: Hand crafted tanto made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques
Samegawa lacquered with natural red lake pigment mixed into urushi, horn parts polished and thinly coated with fukiurushi.

Island Blacksmith: Hand crafted tanto made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques


3.03022 cm
= 0.1 shaku(尺)
= 1 sun(寸)
= 10 bu(分)
= 100 rin(厘)

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