The newest addition to our tanto line is the Osoraku Zukuri Tanto. Like our Unokubi Zukuri Tanto, the name also refers to the shape of the blade. The kissaki (tip) is bigger than half of the blade’s length, which is considered an O-kissaki (large kissaki). This is a rare blade shape developed by Shimada Sukemune of the Shimada school of swordsmithing during the late Muromachi period of Japan. The tsuka of our Osoraku Zukuri Tanto has a full wrap real samegawa (ray skin). This technique is called “maru-kise” (round wrapped). The fuchi-kashira is made of real buffalo horn. The menuki, made of brass, features Bushi wearing yoroi engaged in hand to hand combat. This tanto is considered an “aikuchi” since it doesn’t have a tsuba. Aikuchi is a type of tanto koshirae where the fuchi is flushed with the koiguchi (mouth of the saya). The habaki features a “neko-gaki” or cat scratch pattern (also called “falling rain”) which is usually seen on nihonto with high quality koshirae (sword fittings).
Our original design for this tanto was for it to have a through-hardened (TH) 1050 carbon steel blade only like our Unokubi Zukuri and Momiji Tanto. But the overall design of this tanto is so beautiful, a TH 1050 carbon steel blade won’t give the design justice. So we decided to make it with a differentially-hardened (DH) 1050 carbon steel with a natural hamon instead, in which we had difficulties taking photos of it, but can be easily seen in person. It was also photographed in poor lighting that’s why the hamon was not visible in some of the photos. We decided not to make the blade with 1060, 1095, or T10 as we believe a DH 1050 carbon steel would be enough for a tanto.
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