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Japanese Tanto by Kanefusa Swordsmith - Mino School - ca. 1600
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Japanese Tanto By Kanefusa Swordsmith Mino School ca 1600
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This is a Japanese tanto (short sword) by a late 16th century or early 17th century (1570-1650) Kanefusa swordsmith of the Mino school. It is a broad hira-zukuri blade with a large midare hamon, a style that has become known as 'Kanefusa-midare', and narrow twin grooves (futasuji-hi) on either side. The Mino smiths, and Seki in particular, were famous for making robust and very sharp blades for the warriors of the time. Kanefusa bears a rating of Ryo-wazamono for a very high degree of sharpness in his blades.

The Kanefusa line of smiths worked in the late Muromachi period in Mino province. They are not easy to distinguish between as they feature identical workmanship, so generally scholars will label a piece as Kanefusa and leave it at that. The latter period of late Seki, in other words, at the time of Kanefusa, Kanekage and Kaneharu nado, was the period of the best development of late Seki.

*Please note that I am not well-versed in Japanese sword terminology* Overall length is 39cm, back of blade length is 28.8cm, edge to back is 2.9cm and weighs 255 grams, with habaki in place. There is a Kanefusa kanji signature on one side of the tang, nothing written on the other and the blade has been judged healthy enough to take another polish. As may be noted in the photos, there are two or three minute nicks on the edge and there is a miniscule blunt at the tip. Additional photos available upon request. ...