Tan-119 Soshu Tanto in Shichi Go San Issaku Mount by Yasuda Masataka
Rare Mount with All Fittings Made by Yasuda Masataka.
When a mount is made by the same maker in the case of the fittings – it is known as an “Issaku” mount, meaning it was all made by the same person. Usually mounts such as this were special ordered, and in many cases for special occasions. The kanagu is all done in Suaka (Red Copper), and with the subject of Bushi bagu (samurai implements) carved in kiribori. The original delicate string wrap is still intact, housing a set of kara shishi also done in Suaka. The lacquer is very impressive, the design of sayagata is a fortuitous one as, the bands added on the koshirae create the well known Japanese tradition of Shischi Go San (7-5-3). Shichi Go San is the celebration for coming of age for children in Japan. The years of 3 and 5 are especially important for boys. So most likely this tanto was special ordered for a celebration of a samurai child either aged 3 or 5, and would become his first sword. These are very rare in original condition, and this one is a real beauty. I myself own a real nice one in my personal collection, and have since given it to my son when he turned 5 years old.
The blade is an unsigned Soshu style tanto. The hamon is a nice komidare, notare based with nie dek. The jigane is a fine koitame, but might change after a professional polish. The blade is definitely from the Koto period.