Samurai Shrimp Sunnobi-Tanto Sword

Samurai Shrimp Sunnobi-Tanto Sword. Red shrimp Sunnobi-tanto. It is called shrimp because of the saya or scabbard that looks like a shrimp shell, and also the shape of the kozuka-kogatana that accompanies it (8.5 inches L). The nagasa or blade length, is 12.5 inches (32 cm), in good condition with some scratches and blemishes expected from age. The tang is mumei, or unsigned. The tsuka or handle has a very special red-brown silk that is wrapped very tightly and lacquered. Menuki is a battle’s commander saihai and gunbai, instruments to give orders in battle. The tsuba is iron with a very special form and texture. Altogether a very fine early Edo tanto. Comes with a silk bag. Full length of sword in sheath is 49 cm.

Japanese Samurai Shrimp Sunnobi-Tanto Sword

Momoyama to the early Edo period, Japan

Long: 49 cm.

*The tantō is a single or double edged dagger with a length between 15–30 cm (5.9–11.8 in) (1 Japanese shaku). The tantō was designed primarily as a stabbing weapon, but the edge can be used for slashing as well. Tantō are generally forged in the hira-zukuri (平造) style (without a ridgeline), meaning that their sides have no ridge line and are nearly flat, unlike the shinogi-zukuri (鎬造) structure of a katana. Some tantō have particularly thick cross-sections for armor-piercing duty, and are called yoroi toshi.

Tantō were mostly carried by samurai; commoners did not generally wear them. Women sometimes carried a small tantō called a kaiken[6] in their obi, primarily for self-defense. Tantō were sometimes worn as the shōtō (小刀) in place of a wakizashi in a daishō, especially on the battlefield. Before the advent of the wakizashi/tantō combination, it was common for a samurai to carry a tachi and a tantō as opposed to a katana and a wakizashi.

It has been noted that the tachi would be paired with a tantō and later the katana would be paired with another shorter katana. With the advent of the katana, the wakizashi was eventually chosen by samurai as the short sword of choice over the tantō. Kanzan Satō, in his book The Japanese Sword, notes that there did not seem to be any particular need for the wakizashi, and suggests that the wakizashi may have become more popular than the tantō due to the wakizashi being more suited for indoor fighting. He mentions the custom of leaving the katana at the door of a castle or palace when entering while continuing to wear the wakizashi inside.

Momoyama to the early Edo period

The tantō “Hōraisan Kotetsu” forged by Nagasone Kotetsu is one of the Nihon santō.

Approximately 250 years of peace accompanied the unification of Japan, in which there was little need for blades. In this period, both the katana and wakizashi were invented, taking the place of the tantō and tachi as the most-used pair of weapons, and the number of tantō forged was severely decreased. Since this period, tantō have often been carved with splendid decorations. Of the tantō and wakizashi forged during this period, three masterpieces are called the Nihon santō (Three Blades in Japan).

*From Wikipedia

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