SAKAI IKKANSAI SHIGEMASA
This is a rare osoraku zukuri tanto by the famous mukansa smith Sakai Ikkansai Shigemasa. Shigemasa was born in 1904 and was a student of the renowned gendai tosho Kasama Ikkansai Shigetsugu. In addition to working with Shigetsugu, Shigemasa also forged swords with Yasuhiro at the Yasukuni Jinja (Nihonto Tenran Kai). In addition to his fame as a smith, Shigemasa was very well respected for the skillful horimono he produced.
Shigemasa is one of my favorite gendai smiths and this is an excellent example of his work. The tanto is forged in osoraku-zukuri, having a kissaki that is more than half the length of the blade. This configuration was said to have been created by Sukemune, who left behind a tanto of this shape with the hiragana O SO RA KU (meaning ‘perhaps ‘). The hamon is a gonome choji-ba with deep activities of ashi, kinsuji and yo. The jihada is itame mixed with a flowing masame and having long running chikei. The blade is absolutely flawless and has a solid silver habaki. It has received a kanteisho which verifies is authenticity and quality.