Horii Taneyoshi TantoHorii Taneyoshi

periodShinshinto (ca. 1868)
designationNTHK Shinteisho
nakagoubu, mumei, one mekugiana
nagasa57.6 cm
motohaba3.7 cm
sakihaba2.9 cm
price$5,500

Horii Taneyoshi comes from Omi, and was a student in the Gassan school, learning under the Shinshinto smith Gassan Sadayoshi. Later in his career he studied under Taikei Naotane, then in 1895 he was ordered to become Kunaisho Goyo Tosho (Swordsmith to the Ministry of the Imperial Household), a high post that shows respect for his skill. He died at the age of 83 in 1903.

This is a fine wakizashi with a massive sugata made by this smith. The color of the steel and its grain structure reflect the teachings of the shinshinto Gassan school very well. The hamon is a very active midareba with some gunome mixed in. It is composed of bright nie that combine to form sungashi and kinsuji throughout.

There is one kitae ware to note that is pictured in the photographs, and the sword is unsigned. It is speculated that one reason for swords to be unsigned is when they are being manufactured for persons of high status. Given his position as Kunaisho Goyo Tosho, it is potentially a reason that mumei turn up by this smith.

This sword is accompanied by incomplete koshirae. They are missing menuki, and kozuka. Present are the saya, tsuka, tsuba, fuchi and kashira. All are photographed in the slideshow. The habaki in particular is a high quality item made by Brian Tschernaga, who recently won the NBTHK habaki making competition. This is a very high honor, especially for a non-native of Japan to accomplish.