Object Title

Dagger (aikuchi)

Dagger (aikuchi)



Object Number



Rowntree collection, no. 15, 1964.

Physical Description

The blade of this sword is osoraku zukuri with slight saki zori, a high shinogi and o kissaki. There is a narrow hi just below the shinogi that extends 135 mm from the machi. The hamon is a narrow suguba of nioi with irregularities that become small gonome shapes towards the machi. Within the long kissaki the edge is ko gonome terminating in a jizo head boshi with only short kaeri. The tang appears to be o suriage, with half a tang hole at the cut end, the file marks are horizontal. The blade is fitted with a gold foil covered habaki with horizontal scatches.
The small waisted hilt, covered with same is bound in a kattate maki style with black lacquered rattan. The fuchi / gashira are of shakudo, chiselled with peonys and foliage on a nanako ground and thinly washed with gold. The menuki are shakudo discs with, on the omote side, a deer in copper and gold looking up at a silver moon, and on the ura the moon refected in a rice paddy with grasses. The scabbard flares towards the end and is very thin from side to side, gadrooned and coated with brown lacquer. At the end is a kojiri of silver in the form of a leaf from which issues a long shoot ending in a seed (?) fastened to the face of the scabbard. A kogatana is fitted, the blade engraved with nobles in front of a screen covered in columns of minute writing, the kodzuka of shakudo nanako plate in a gold frame with a stream in silver and aoi leaves and a butterfly in gold; signed Wada Masatoshi and a kao.


Dimensions: Length of blade is 411 mm, sori is 16 mm, width at machi is 26 mm, width at yokote is 22 mm and length of kissaki is 121 mm. Weight: Weight of blade is 0,28 kg.

Inscriptions and Marks



Places Japan

Bibliographic References

Dorling Kindersley, Weapon. A visual history of arms & armour, Dorling Kindersley Ltd, London, 2006, pp. 66-7

I Bottomley, An introduction to Japanese swords, Leeds, 2008: 16-17


Although appearing to be an old shortened blade, this is probably a Shinshinto piece. The maker of the kodzuka, Masatoshi worked in the early 19th century and is thought to have been linked to the Ishiguro school. The subject, with three aoi leaves being swept away by water may allude to the decay of the Tokugawa regime.