The circle above indicates the time we discuss in this section
In 12| The Middle Kamakura Period: Tanto described that the shape of Tanto called Takenoko-zori had appeared during the middle Kamakura period. This style of Tanto curves inward a little at the tip. The drawing below may be a bit exaggerated to show the curve. The real Takenoko-zori curvature is not so apparent. Maybe a few millimeters inward.
Usually, the length of the Tanto is approximately 12 inches. Tantos are described as follows; a Tanto of approx. ten inches is called Josun Tanto (定寸短刀), longer than ten inches is called Sun-nobi Tanto (寸延び短刀), and less than ten inches is called Sun-zumari Tanto (寸詰短刀).
Sun-nobi Tanto (寸延び) > Jyosun Tanto (定寸) > sun-zumari Tanto (寸詰り) (longer than 10 inches) (approx. 10 inches) (less than 10 inches
Shintogo Kunimitsu (新藤五国光) Sano Museum Catalogue, permission granted to use
The style above is called Kanmuri-otoshi (冠落し); the Mune side (opposite side of cutting edge) is shaved off. The length is approximately 10 inches. Woodgrain pattern surface, Nie on Ji (refer to 3 |Names of Parts). Very finely forged. Hamon is medium Suguha (straight). Boshi is Ko-maru (small round). Because of the Kanmuri-otoshi style, it may not be easy to see the Takenoko-zori; the Mune side bends inward very slightly. Among the Tanto producers, Shintogo Kunimitsu is considered as the top Tanto maker.
Above photo is also by Shintogo Kunimitsu (新藤五国光) with Saya. Saya is the scabbard. The handle of the scabbard (white part) is made with sharkskin. Both photos are from Sano Museum Catalog. Permission granted.