Tachi Sword, Signed “Kunimune”

Tachi Sword, Signed “Kunimune”
Blade length 79.0 cm, curvature 2.9 cm; Kamakura period, 13th century; Important Cultural Property; Gift of the Ii Family

Crafted by the swordsmith Kunimune of Hōki Province (present-day Tottori Prefecture), this tachi sword is of an old type worn with the cutting edge of the blade facing down. This example, which belonged to twelfth daimyo Ii Naoaki, is characterized by the relatively short tip, a curvature that starts from the bottom of the blade, and the slightly rough surface texture. The blade pattern (hamon) may appear to be in the suguha style of a straight line parallel with the sword’s edge, but on closer look proves to be a fine-wave pattern.

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