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c1700 Japan Hira Zukuri Tanto with Ainu Carved Fittings
  • c1700 Japan Hira Zukuri Tanto with Ainu Carved Fittings
  • c1700 Japan Hira Zukuri Tanto with Ainu Carved Fittings
  • c1700 Japan Hira Zukuri Tanto with Ainu Carved Fittings
  • c1700 Japan Hira Zukuri Tanto with Ainu Carved Fittings
  • c1700 Japan Hira Zukuri Tanto with Ainu Carved Fittings
  • c1700 Japan Hira Zukuri Tanto with Ainu Carved Fittings
  • c1700 Japan Hira Zukuri Tanto with Ainu Carved Fittings
  • c1700 Japan Hira Zukuri Tanto with Ainu Carved Fittings
  • c1700 Japan Hira Zukuri Tanto with Ainu Carved Fittings
  • c1700 Japan Hira Zukuri Tanto with Ainu Carved Fittings
  • c1700 Japan Hira Zukuri Tanto with Ainu Carved Fittings
  • c1700 Japan Hira Zukuri Tanto with Ainu Carved Fittings
  • c1700 Japan Hira Zukuri Tanto with Ainu Carved Fittings
  • c1700 Japan Hira Zukuri Tanto with Ainu Carved Fittings

c1700 Japan Hira Zukuri Tanto with Ainu Carved Fittings

Price:

£2,800.00


Product Description

A rare and very beautiful Japanese Tanto dagger that has carved fittings pertaining to the Ainu People of the Northern Island of Hokkaido.

The blade is of the Edo period c1700 and the carved handle is probably of a similar age. The carving is very distinctive, in the form of a stylised crested parrot, with decoration that is similar to that of Polynesian and even North American Indians. The simple saya or wooden scabbard is possibly later and is Japanese. The blade has a Hira Zukuri form (straight sided) and is slightly curved. It has a nice temper line (hamon) and there are engraved written characters forming a horimono. The characters are worn, but resembles the ancient writing system Man'yōgana. The tang is unsigned and there is one mekugi ana hole. The conditition of the blade is good, but there are a few small casting flaws in it and may have been sold or discarded by the original Japanese owner, as the Ainu did not have the technology to produce edge weapons of this quality.

The Ainu, also known as the Ezo in the historical Japanese texts, are an minority indigenous people of Japan (Hokkaidō Island and formerly North-Eastern Honshū). During the Edo period (1601–1868) the Ainu, became increasingly involved in trade with the Japanese who controlled the southern portion of the island. Throughout this period Ainu were forced to import goods from the Japanese, and epidemic diseases such as smallpox reduced the population. Although the increased contact created by the trade between the Japanese and the Ainu contributed to increased mutual understanding, it also led to conflict which occasionally intensified into violent Ainu revolts against Japanese authority, of which, the most important was the Shakushain Revolt (1669–1672). From 1799 to 1806, the shogunate took direct control of southern Hokkaidō. Ainu men were deported to merchant subcontractors for five and ten year terms of service, and were enticed with rewards of food and clothing if they agreed to drop their native language and culture and become Japanese. Ainu women were separated from their husbands and forcibly married to Japanese merchants and fishermen, who were told that a taboo forbade them from bringing their wives to Hokkaidō. These policies of family separation and forcible assimilation, combined with the impact of smallpox, caused the Ainu population to drop significantly in the early 19th century.

Length: 41cm (16 ins)
Blade Length: 21.5cm (8 ½ ins)
Weight: 275g

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