This year the American Branch of the NBTHK assembled a stunning display of some of the finest examples of Tanto seen outside Japan, representing all five Gokaden (traditions) of sword craft spanning from the 13th to the 16th century. This was a magnificent opportunity to study textbook examples of excellent works by luminary makers, a few of which were dated examples, adding yet another dimension to scholarship and study.
Moreover, these blades could be studied in hand to fully appreciate the full spectrum of what true art swords have to offer, as it can only be done this way. While images and oshigata are helpful, there is no substitute for authentic study, which can only be enabled by examining top examples in hand with proper lighting and the guidance of a knowledgeable mentor.
The examples on display were;
Awataguchi Kuniyoshi, signed
Awataguchi Yoshimitsu, signed
Yamato Hosho, unsigned
Rai Kunitoshi, signed and dated
Sa Yukihiro, unsigned
Etchu Norishige, signed, dated
Osafune Kanemitsu, signed, dated
Tegai Kanekiyo, signed
Osafune Yasumitsu, unsigned
Kaga Kiyomitsu, signed, with koshirae
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