An Ancient and Wonderful 500 Year Old Moroha-Zukuri Double Edged, Double Hamon, Aikuchi Tanto. An Ancient Samurai Work of Art of Incredible Rarity and Breathtaking Beauty, With a So Very Rare Hitatsura Full Temper Blade
Superb and glorious Murumachi era moroha tanto with a spectacular double hamon of great depth and intensity. Combined with a wonderous aikuchi mounting of a handachi type mounted ishime stone finish saya, in a deep coromandel colour. A black silk tsuka-ito bound with beautiful gold oni menuki of a horned demon over same-gawa, with carved polished buffalo horn fuchi kashira.
Oni menuki demon) were commonly used by samurai to call upon their supernatural powers and strike fear in the hearts of their enemy. Oni are mythical creatures from Japanese folklore which commonly describe demon spirits, ogres / orcs and trolls. They are said to be the trapped or reincarnated souls of wicked people, doomed to walk the earth reliving their wickedness, by terrorizing and sometimes eating their victims. Oni always have special beast like strengths and/or supernatural abilities to cause destruction or sickness. Needless to say, seeing an oni is a bad omen which is why samurai would wear them on their swords or kabuto..
The word “oni” is likely derived from the word “on” or “on’yomi” meaning to “hide” or “conceal”, as oni are spirits hidden from the eyes of humans until they want to be seen. Depictions of oni vary widely but they are often portrayed as large disfigured humans or animal like creatures. Almost always with horns, sharp teeth, straggly hair and sometimes with 3 or more eyes. Their skin is often colored red, blue, green, yellowish or blackish, maybe to show their type of supernatural powers. As Buddhism became more rooted in Japan, they brought their own symbolism to the oni. Often depicting a vertical 3rd eye, rings, fires and other symbols to symbolize different abilities of the demon.
The blade is simply stunning and bears incredibly rare features never normally seen, especially in a blade made five centuries ago, with hitatsura the
name given to a blade with a hamon (temper line) pattern known as full temper, that travels from the bottom of one side of the blade and the travels up to the kissaki and returns back fully down the other side.