Hidehisa TantoHidehisa

designationNTHK Kanteisho
nakagoubu, one mekugiana
meiIchimonji Hidehisa
urameiBunka Ninen Hachi Gastu Hi (August, 1806)

Hidehisa was a smith of the Shinshinto era, working around the Bunkyu era (1861-1864). He lived and worked in Sakura city, in present day Chiba Prefecture. His teacher was Hideyoshi, who was from the Hosokawa Masayoshi school, and teacher of the famous Sa Yukihide. Not much is known about him, but it is thought he worked along side of Hosokawa Tadayoshi in Sakura.

This particular tanto is a yoroidoshi which refers to its intended role as an armor piercer. They are designed to be extraordinarily robust, while maintaining a thin profile. In cross-section they are almost triangular. They are just long enough to penetrate armor and reach a vital organ, inflicting a killing blow. Because of this construction, yoroidoshi have a particular aggressive feeling in the hand, one that is not and gentle as many tanto impart.

This tanto comes with antique koshirae that have not been restored, but would seem to be original to the blade. It has been polished by Nakamura san and given a new shirasaya. The work of the polisher is excellent, making the jigane stand out very well; it shows strong ji nie and chikei throughout. The hamon is gunome midare, mixed with notare in places, and is very well done.

In viewing the photos of the tanto, pay attention to the dimensions of the habaki. The kasane of this tanto is about 1.1cm, and is very thick. It is difficult to portray this in photographs, so I used the habaki to communicate the thick cross section of this piece.