Tag: classical tanto

  • Photo Essay: Antique Koto Tanto in Edo Mountings

    Photo Essay: Antique Koto Tanto in Edo Mountings

    This tanto appears to be koto and may be around 450-550 years old (Warring States Era). Though this blade has some battle damage and is somewhat worn (“tired”) due to many polishes over the centuries, it can still be enjoyed as an interesting and very old sword. The tang is signed Kane_ (兼_) in an […]

  • Ashinoho Tanto

    Ashinoho Tanto

    Ashinoho (ashi-no-ho, 葦の穂 pronounced “ah-shi-no-ho”) refers to the water reed, specifically the top of the plant curving over as it is loaded with seeds. The idea is associated with the fullness of season nearing and the realization of potential in the right time, but also carries with it the concept of humility and restraint in […]

  • Photo Essay: Polishing an Antique Tanto

    Photo Essay: Polishing an Antique Tanto

    Some views into the steel of an antique yoroidoshi during restoration polishing, on a day and stage when the light and the surface were showing interesting details of the hamon and hada. Thank you to its caretaker for allowing me to contribute to its care and preservation. In a private collection in Vancouver.

  • Nagatsuki Tanto

    Nagatsuki Tanto

    Nagatsuki (長月, pronounced “nah-gah-tsoo-key”) translates literally as “long moon”. In the ancient calendar it is a poetic name for the time around late September, possibly abbreviated from yonagatsuki meaning “night of the long moon”, or “month of the long night” depending on the reading. The idea is associated with the time of Autumn, seasonal change […]

  • Furusato Tanto

    Furusato Tanto

    Furusato (故郷, pronounced “foo-roo-sah-toe”) means home place or hometown and contains the ideas of being rooted or grounded wherever one may sojourn, and a confidence and longing for return. This tanto has a simple and elegant form with a natural and humble mounting that reflects the rustic satoyama lifestyle and suits the aesthetics of the […]

  • Inome Tanto

    Inome Tanto

    The inome (pronounced “ee-no-may”, 猪の目, eye of the boar) name comes from the pierced heart-shape designs of the decorative o-seppa (washers) on either side of the tsuba (handguard). This lovely motif is ubiquitous in Japan, seen often in architecture, furniture, and sword mountings. In this context, the inome symbol conveys the idea of the focused, […]

  • Yoroidoshi in Shirasaya

    Yoroidoshi in Shirasaya

    This blade began as a segment of reclaimed horse-drawn carriage spring and was hand forged in a charcoal fire, smoothed with files and a sen scraper, hardened using traditional water quench yaki-ire, and polished by hand with natural Japanese water stones. Crafted and finished entirely with hand tools and traditional techniques, the slender blade profile […]

  • 温故知新・On Ko Chi Shin

    温故知新・On Ko Chi Shin

    A true and accurate understanding of the past is an important step towards a good future. 温故知新 (on ko chi shin) is an expression that most directly translates to, “study the old to know the new”. This one-of-a-kind project represents the current progression of my work based on the study and practice of historical techniques, […]

  • Aikuchi Tanto Koshirae

    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 (朴の木, japanese bigleaf magnolia/magnolia obovata) for […]

  • Yozakura Tanto

    Yozakura Tanto

    The nightime viewing of cherry blossoms by moonlight is cherished for the unique perspective and focus it brings to the experience. The dark tones of the sky and the gentle light of the moon provide subtle variations in colour, texture, and detail that cannot be fully appreciated by day. This piece is reserved in its […]

  • Kuromon Aikuchi Tanto

    Kuromon Aikuchi Tanto

    Kuromon can be translated as “the black gate”. Designed around the concept of textural exploration as a companion project to Kuromatsu Aikuchi Tanto, this tanto with koshirae is a bold yet restrained piece that has the austere simplicity that appealed to the refined tastes of working samurai centuries before the Edo period. This tanto is […]

  • Tsukimi Tanto

    Tsukimi Tanto

    The bright orange moon of late Summer and early Autumn is the inspiration for this work. Tsukimi means moon watching, and brings to mind a lovely harvest moon and the rustling sounds of the dry, frost coloured susuki grass as the evening breeze blows across the plateau. The unusual ring and plate style kurikata is […]

  • Forging the Ashinoho Tanto

    Forging the Ashinoho Tanto

    This tanto began as a reclaimed carriage spring and was hand forged in a pine charcoal fire, smoothed with files and a sen scraper, differentially hardened using traditional water quench yaki-ire with clay, and polished by hand with natural Japanese water stones. This tanto was forged from an antique horse-drawn carriage spring in early 2014, […]

  • Uzumaki Kotanto

    Uzumaki Kotanto

    Uzumaki means a spiral or whirlpool shape and refers to both the triple wave whirlpool shape of the bronze accent around the mekugi and the spiraling wrap of the gangi-maki handle. It also alludes to the cyclical nature of the history and journey of usefulness of the many materials reclaimed for its creation. This tanto […]

  • Icho Hime Kotanto

    Icho Hime Kotanto

    Hand forged harrow tooth steel, copper habaki, Nootka Cypress and Ebony tsuka with ray skin wrap, Purpleheart saya, brush-finished silver fuchi by Nina of Paprika Jewellery. This long, sleek piece is a collaboration and is named for the ginko leaf design on the custom silver fuchi made by Nina. The ginko leaf opening was cut […]