The aikuchi form is a form of koshirae for small Japanese swords in which the tsuka ("hilt") and the saya ("scabbard") meet without a tsuba ("crossguard") between them. The word literally means ai ("meeting") + kuchi ("mouth; opening"), in reference to the way the hilt fits directly against the scabbard. Originally used on the koshigatana (a precursor to the wakizashi) to facilitate close wearing with armour, it became a fashionable upper-class mounting style for a tant (literally, "small sword", nowadays regarded as a dagger) from the Kamakura period onwards.This particular example is a Kwaiken dagger mounted in the Aikuchi style. The Kwaiken is a short single- or double-edged dagger, without ornamental fittings housed in a plain mounts, formerly carried by men and women of the Samurai class in Japan. It was useful for self-defense indoors where the long katana and intermediate wakizashi were inconvenient. Women carried them in their kimono either in a pocket like fold or in the sleeve for self-defense or for suicide by means of slashing the jugular veins and carotid artery in the left side of the neck.
This example is in classic Kwaiken form, but with a very fine blade with two carved horimono on each side of the single edged blade, which remains in fine condition retaining the original polish and edge. The horimono inscriptions reads and translates to "good luck, " a classic inscription. There are no nicks or any visible kizu in the blade. Tang with a smith signature and evidence of extensive age, Signed by the smith Kanemitsu, which refers to a smiths in the Koto period (Before the end of 16th Century). In its later Edo era lacquered wood shira-saya having solid silver mounts, menukies engraved with Fans.
A real pleasure to handle this exquisite but lethal piece of weapon, which was passed down for generations and cared for enough to keep being remounted for further service over the 400-600 year period, amazingly survived to our days in exceptionally presentable condition. Overall : 10" Blade : 5 1/2".
Listing and template services provided by inkFrog. The item "Fine Japanese KWAIKEN / AIKUCHI Lady's Dagger Signed Koto Blade with Horimono" is in sale since Wednesday, March 3, 2021.
This item is in the category "Collectibles\Militaria\Pre-1700\Original Period Items". The seller is "antiqueblades" and is located in Saint Petersburg, Florida.
This item can be shipped worldwide.