Tanto "Shinsoku"
 


blade length 23.9cm
 
The steel is full of particles (jinie). The layer pattern is mainly small wood grain, and some large grain.








 
The hamon is made of large particles (nie) that is bright and dense. Its pattern is suguha including kinsuji and other complicated activities in it. The appearance is very good.
    
      
 
The tang has two characters of the signature "Shin" and "Soku", but the second character is hard to read.


 
The habaki is double pieces with base. The outer piece is solid gold, the inner piece is gold foiled.
 
 
The inscription on the scabbard "Shinsoku" was written in "Kansei 3rd year" (1791). It is hard to read all the letters.

 
Shinsoku is a very famous smith in the sword history. One of the oldest legendary smiths.
He was a priest in Usa shrine in Buzen province. Genuine blades are very very rare. Several blades are known, but most of them are made by the successors.
I don't know if this tanto is made by the Shinsoku in legend, but I am sure this blade is made in Kamakura period or older.
 
In Japanese swords in the medieval times, the name of smith is not a name of individual person. The name means a spirit of legendary smith. A smith becomes a box to carry the spirit of ancestral smiths. That is a tradition of Japanese sword smith. So the name is used by successors.
In the modern age, such an idea has been forgotten, but we still have such feeling a little even now.
 
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