This custom kotanto finds a balance between the humble satoyama style and a classical tanto with a striking combination of forged copper, natural orange hardwood, and black urushi lacquer.
The blade began as a reclaimed harrow tooth and was hand forged in a charcoal fire, differentially hardened using traditional water quench yaki-ire, and sharpened by hand with natural Japanese water stones.
Materials for the custom orange and black hamidashi style koshirae mounting include Pacific Yew for the kataki tsuka, lacquered buffalo horn mekugi, forged copper fuchi, tsuba, habaki, and koiguchi with ring kurikata, and smooth lacquered Japanese Magnolia hounoki wood saya. Several layers of tung nut oil bring out the natural colour of the Pacific Yew wood and the copper is lightly patinated with traditional niage solution.
Blade construction is muku with a hira-zukuri profile, suguha hamon, and a mitsu mune. The blade is 5.5″ long, overall length is just over 10.25″, and the overall length when sheathed is about 11.5″.
長さ/刃長 Nagasa: 4 sun 6 bu (140mm)
元幅 Motohaba: 7 bu 4 rin (23mm)
重ね/元重 Motokasane: 2 bu 1 rin (6.5mm)
反り Sori: uchizori
中心/茎 Nakago: 2 sun 8 bu 4 rin (86mm)
柄長 Tsuka: 3 sun 4 bu (102mm)
拵全長 Koshirae: 9 sun 6 bu 5 rin (292mm)
形 Katachi: hira-zukuri, mitsu-mune
刃文 Hamon: suguha
帽子/鋩子 Boshi: ko-maru
中心/茎 Nakago: futsu, kuri-jiri, one mekugi-ana, signed near the tip
銘 Mei: hot stamped katabami-ken kamon
拵 Koshirae: hamidashi, issaku
Material: Reclaimed harrow tooth steel, buffalo horn, copper bus bar, copper wire, Pacific Yew, Hounoki, natural urushi
This piece is in a private collection in Korea.
= 0.1 shaku（尺）
= 1 sun（寸）
= 10 bu（分）
= 100 rin（厘）